Rise of the normal-sized models

I have never once considered myself a plus-sized model, yet I don’t fit the mould of the willowy size 6 models. However, a flow of normal-sized models are beginning to sweep the fashion industry.


Sienna Somers, savvy student

Sienna Somers, photographed by Dave Purgas

The French Parliament have proposed a legislation to set a minimum weight for any model working in France, whether it be catwalk, editorial or high fashion. Models would be required to have a healthy BMI, which is considered above 18. The average model is 5 foot 9 and would have to weigh around 125 pounds, whilst the current average weight for a model is between 90-120 pounds. Employers would be required to ask models for proof of healthy BMI, both before and after a model is employed. Regular weight checks with agencies and employers would be enforced and violators could face a fine of up to 75,000 euros and six months in prison.

This legislation aims to reduce the glorification of too-thin women, in the hope to combat anorexia. It is estimated that 30,000 to 40,000 people in France suffer from anorexia, a number which is ever increasing.

Plus sized models have been taking the modelling industry by storm in the last year, with Ashley Graham being the first plus-sized model to ever be published in Sports Illustrated.


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Whilst the rise of plus sized models is a fantastic thing, it also raises some other issues, nowadays, anyone who doesn’t conform to the thin model ideals are automatically filed under the plus-sized model category. I consider myself one of the individuals stuck in this nameless limbo. Normal-sized model Myla Dalbesio, a healthy sized 10 was recently cast in a Calvin Klein‘s “Perfectly Fit” campaign and discusses size in an interview as part of the What’s Underneath project.

If the french legislation is successful, this could revolutionise the fashion industry and the models of the future. Most of the ‘it girls’ of the last 20 years have been under the healthy BMI; Kate Moss- 16, Cara Delevigne- 16, Jordan Dunn-15, Miranda Kerr-16, Rosie Huntington-Whitely-17. These faces may stop becoming regulars at Paris Fashion Week. Hopefully this will encourage healthy sized people to pursue modelling and change the modelling industry.