Wednesday, April 20, 2016

#KEEPTHEPLUS vs #DROPTHEPLUS: 30 REASONS To KEEP Saying PLUS SIZE On PLUS MODEL MAG!!!

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Within the FASHION INDUSTRY, it seems that there has been an on-an-off debate about the implications of the term PLUS SIZE, and whether or not the term should be permanently dropped!!!

Thermally god people at PLUS MODEL MAGAZINE decided to picks the heads and hearts of 30 women within the PLUS SIZE COMMUNITY to bring to us PLUS MODEL MAGAZINE: 30 REASONS Why WE SHOULD KEEP Using the Term PLUS SIZE.

Here are a few of Yours Truly CCG's favorite interview interludes:

DAILY VENUS DIVA Editor-in-Chief STEPHANIE PENN“There is an entire industry built around the word ‘plus’. The ‘plus’ industry has birthed an abundant amount of blogs, events, celebrities and an unspoken camaraderie among women with different backgrounds. For that reason alone, I support the use of the word ‘plus’. To those against using the word, I say this: create an industry of individuals to market your brand to and let me know how loyal they’ll be to your cause."
Plus SIZE Fashion Blogger/Stylist NANTHALE E. COLLINS:“Keeping the term ‘plus size’ is important to identify a sector of the fashion industry. As a stylist, it’s used to describe a type of designer, model or clothing line. It’s just a descriptor to me and needed for my line of work. I’m proud to be plus size because I’m proud of who I am. I am a black, plus size woman from Brooklyn, NY. That’s just who I am!!!"
Tamara Marlene, Associate Editor, Daily Venus Diva:“The term ‘plus’ is just like petite and tall. It’s a distinction in clothing, like male and female. As a plus woman, I need to know where I can shop. It’s only beneficial to those that are trying to expand their careers past the stigma of being labeled as plus. This would not be an issue if we can attack the true issue at hand, which is inclusion. Once plus clothing is able to be found in every retail store, then I can see the need to remove the label. Trying to stop mid-progress is self serving. We haven’t won the battle yet. And again, the true battle is inclusion and equal representation. As we see, having an African American president didn’t resolve racial issues, a plus model on Maxim or removing the term ‘plus’ doesn’t resolve the true ‘plus’ issues. 
Plus is who I am. I’m a mother, I’m an editor, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a plus woman. I love my body, the extras… not flaws.”
 LAVENDER'S JUNGLE CEO/Designer LaKRISHA JOSEPH-BAKER:“I embraced the term ‘PLUS’ many years ago. When I was in elementary school, I remember wanting to be a ballerina. Although I wasn’t overweight, my body structure just wasn’t that of a ballerina. I was naturally muscular, had full breasts, and was taller than most of the boys in my class. I remember the ballet instructor telling me that I would never be small enough to be a ballerina and even if I was, It would kill me to force my body to be something it never wanted to be. That was the first time in my life I ever felt ugly and ashamed of my figure, I think I was 8 yrs old. I remember crying to my Grandmother that I needed to tape my breasts down and get my body thinner so I could be a ballerina. My grandmother said, ‘Girl, these big bones and full bodies are the strength of the women in this family; they were passed down to you in your blood.’ She told me the story of my body. She talked about how I had her mother’s eyes, her sister’s broad shoulders, her cousin’s hips, and the breasts of every woman in the family. Something about that talk made me so proud that I was connected in this unique way with the women in my family. We were meant to be PLUS."
Plus size model Alicia Greene:“The fact that the #DropThePlus campaign is even happening should be a larger conversation around privilege, intersectionality and media influence. What is it about the word ‘plus’ that REALLY makes you want to disassociate yourself from it? What makes the #DropThePlus movement dangerous and dismissive as it claims to reflect all women’s and girls’ experiences and aspirations? But, does not include or speak to all of the women and girls who DO find self-confidence, empowerment, community in or identify as ‘Plus Size’.”

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PHAT GIRL FRESH Blogger & Writer MAUI BIGELO:“Every community or group of people are recognized by name, why should the plus size community be any different? The plus label is not a way to exclude us, it is a way to connect us to one another. The plus label is painted and worn with pride by women who love themselves and dare to live out loud despite what society says. It is not one to be worn in shame and should not be dropped because some women are uncomfortable or feel that they have outgrown it.”
 STYLE OVER SIZE Fashion Blogger JAMILYN GRIGGS:“When I think of the term plus size, I think of it as an identifier when shopping. For me, it is not a term I deem as negative. When shopping, it allows me to shop with 90% confidence that there is something in my size.
I’m a myriad of descriptions and just so happens ‘plus’ is in there as well. Doesn’t take away from being a black woman who is a daughter, friend and shopaholic that can make you laugh. I’m proud to be who I am."
 JUST CURVES CEO YOLANDA WILLIAMS:“The only reason why some people want to drop the plus is because they believe the negative connotations surrounding the word. For some, plus size means fat and we all know what fat means in this society… lazy, greedy, sloppy, disgusting. Being fat seems to be one of the worst things you can be. Some might argue that using a term like plus size perpetuates the negativity because it separates and classifies. 
Dropping the plus won’t make people stop bullying fat people or make designers care more about plus size fashion. Dropping the plus won’t force the media to discontinue perpetuating fat stereotypes or force companies to stop harmful advertising practices that perpetuate diet culture and unrealistic body standards. BUT, if prominent plus size celebrities would actually embrace the plus, they would send a strong message by changing the meaning of the words, associating it from being negative to positive. Words like healthy, beauty, strength, and perseverance. Imagine the impact on young women struggling with their bodies if Ashley Graham would have said on Ellen, ‘Yes, I’m plus size, and proud! There is nothing wrong with that label… I embrace it because it doesn’t mean I am unhealthy or less worthy of mainstream modeling opportunities, love, or happiness. It just means there’s more of me to love! It’s not me that needs to change, it’s society’s thinking about what those word means!‘ How POWERFUL would that have been?"

Alex full body shot - Feb 2016
DOROTHY COMBS MODELS Plus Model CANDICE KELLYl:“My association with the term ‘Plus Size’ has always been neutrally inclusive. Growing up, I was fortunate to witness beautiful representations of my similar body type in my daily life. These women, mainly my mom, exuded this warm, gracious confidence that demanded the rooms attention with just their presence. 
My first experience of actually conceptualizing the variants of sizes, ‘plus sizes’ in particular, was around the age of 13. While shopping with my mom, she asked me to grab a pair of “Queen Sized” pantyhose from the hosiery section of the department store. To me, the label itself made perfect sense because my mom is a Queen. With this perception of sizing, I aspired to one day wear my own Queen Sized pantyhose; I envisioned it to be something like my crowning day.However, if you were to read some the Drop the Plus commentary you would think being called Plus Size is a derogatory term that sets you back from making any real social or economic progress within society.
From my perspective, I typically see a certain group of individuals with an assured level of privilege fighting to Drop the Plus; it may be because throughout their lives they have operated without association to any particular identity, but once they’re given a label like plus size, their responses are somewhat hostile, as if the term plus size is oppressive. 
In my opinion, a more proactive approach to actually empower people would be to embrace the beauty in being plus size and add that to the conversation to help normalize the term. Relatively speaking, I’m a black woman, there are negative connotations linked with both words ‘black’ and ‘woman’, but I can’t just create a hashtag like #DropTheBlack or #DropTheWoman and that will rid minds of all undesirable associations. The world will still see me as a BLACK WOMAN.
I’ll just #KEEPTHEPLUS."


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-CCG

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