6 Stars on Why It's Time to Retire the Term 'Plus Size'
"It shouldn't be about labels."
Earlier today, Amy Schumer called out Glamour for including her in a bonus issue about "plus-size" women without her permission.
"I think there's nothing wrong with being plus size," Schumer wrote in a post on Instagram. "Beautiful healthy women. Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size 6 and an 8. @glamourmag put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn't feel right to me. Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool glamour not glamourous."
The story appears in an edition of the magazine geared at women sizes 12 and up, done in partnership with the women's clothing retailer Lane Bryant. In response to Schumer's post, a Glamour spokesperson told People that they did not actually describe the actress as plus size: "The cover line on this special edition ... simply says 'Women Who Inspire Us,' since we believe her passionate and vocal message of body positivity IS inspiring."
Schumer has taken to Twitter to continue to the dialogue. "Bottom line seems to be that we are done with these unnecessary labels which seem to be reserved for women," she tweeted.
She isn't the only celebrity who has spoken out against the term "plus size." Here, five more women who have articulated why the phrase has got to go.
This year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover girl (and self-proclaimed body activist) made headlines at SXSW last month when she argued that the term "plus size" should be retired. "I think the word plus-sized is totally outdated," Graham said. "It shouldn't be about labels... I don’t want to be called a label, I want to be called a model."
In an interview with Refinery29 last fall, the actress and fashion designer explained why she feels so frustrated when she hears her clothing line, Melissa McCarthy Seven7, referred to as a "plus-size" line:
"Women come in all sizes. Seventy percent of women in the United States are a size 14 or above, and that’s technically 'plus size,' so you’re taking your biggest category of people and telling them, 'You’re not really worthy.' I find that very strange," she said. "I also find it very bad business. It doesn’t make a lot of sense numbers-wise. It’s like, if you open a restaurant and you say, ‘We’re primarily gonna serve people that don’t eat.’ It’s like, what? You would be nuts. Yet, people do it with clothing lines all the time, and no one seems to have a problem with it. I just don’t get why we always have to group everything into a good or bad, right or wrong category. I just think, if you’re going to make women’s clothing, make women’s clothing. Designers that put everyone in categories are over-complicating something that should be easy."
Shortly after McCarthy's interview was published, Trainor spoke to ELLE about her #OwnYourCurves collaboration with FullBeauty and explained why she also finds the label detrimental. "I've always hated the word 'plus-size.' It bugs me," said the singer. "When I first signed up with FullBeauty, and I talked to them. I was like, 'I don't want to be labeled as this plus-sized girl coming in,' and they said, 'Absolutely not, we don't like that term either.' Which is why we like to say 'full beauty' [and] why I was immediately excited to work with them. Everything Melissa said is completely accurate. [They're] a big part of our society, women who are size 14, and how are you going to criticize us? The word 'plus-sized' should be gone."
Back in 2014, the model argued against "plus size" in an interview with Cosmopolitan Australia, noting that the distinction is unnecessary and forces curvy models into a smaller market. "It's ridiculous and derogatory—it puts women down and it puts a label on them," she told the magazine. "Women love seeing women they can relate to. It's not about the tiny 19-year-old model with no personality. People want to see curvier girls. 'Plus-size' modeling is in itself [a] very small [industry]—they just need more girls to do it, and more amazing straight-sized models going into it."
The America's Next Top Model host has been a longtime advocate for models of all shapes and sizes. In a 2013 HuffPost Style interview, Banks explained why she uses the label "fiercely real" instead of "plus size" on the show. "I don’t want to use the term 'plus size,' because, to me, what the hell is that? It just doesn’t have a positive connotation to it."