From Robyn Lawley in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue to Tess Holliday practically everywhere, it has been a remarkable year for the plus-size fashion community. Plus-size models like Ashley Graham and performers like Melissa McCarthy achieved celebrity status and launched their own clothing lines. The first plus-size designer won Project Runway. Body positivity campaigns sprung up on social media. Last but not least, Fashioning Fat: Inside Plus-Side Modeling came out!
For the plus-size industry, as well as myself professionally, it was a busy year.
As one of a handful of sociologists who study the field of fashion and the first to examine plus-size modeling through a sociological lens, I, quite frankly, benefited as the plus-size stars aligned. I was blessed to receive a great deal of media attention and opportunities because the publication of Fashioning Fat occurred during the initial excitement over the historic inclusion of plus-size models in SI Swimsuit. I appeared on PBS, NPR, and even Channel News Asia. I was interviewed for periodicals such as New York Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and Business Insider. I wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post, which was reprinted in places like The New Zealand Herald. All this demonstrates the rising cultural significance of plus-size modeling; one that is global. This blog, itself, amassed a global audience from over 60 countries since its launch less than a year ago.
So, thank you, dear readers, for following me on this journey. There are sure to be more surprises in store in 2016.
Since this is the time for New Year’s resolutions (which, let’s get real, often involve the body), let me end with an excerpt from one of my favorite blog posts this year, Just Use It:
In an interview with ESPN for the 2015 Body Issue, USA Track & Field hammer thrower Amanda Bingson asserts, “Whatever your body type is, just use it.” Frankly, I could not agree more… Trapped in a narcissistic world of images and the ubiquitous selfie, we seem to have forgotten that our very bodies have a function besides looking good. The body is a tool for sensation, movement, communication, procreation, etc. Rather than a project to be worked on, we should focus our attention on how we can use our bodies to achieve our goals, just like the stellar athletes featured in the magazine. They work with their bodies, not against or in spite of them, to achieve the unbelievable. Now, doesn’t THAT look good?
Here’s to 2016! May it continue on trend with increased body positivity.