The Size Debate: Does This Model Look ‘Plus Size’ To You?

So, earlier today we shared our surprise at dropping by The Lake & Stars’ terrific presentation and discovering (gradually) that there were plus size girls mixed in with the size 2s… which took a while for us to realize, because the plus size models just looked like gorgeous women in gorgeous lingerie, practically indistinguishable from the rest.

Case in point? The woman pictured is Inga Eiriksdottir, an Icelandic beauty whose career never took off as a straight size model… until she joined Ford+ (their plus division, natch) and then she landed a bunch of editorials (like this one from Russian Vogue, photographed by Terry Tsiolis).

And she modeled for The Lake & Stars in her underwear.

And she looked amazing.

So. What do you think? Does this image say ‘big’? Is Inga’s look congruous with your understanding of ‘plus size’? How does this term mean anything at this point?

And here’s Inga in her straight size days, via The Fashion Spot:

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    • Jennifer Wright

      How is this a plus sized model? Wait, I’m sorry, am I revealing that I don’t know what models look like? I meant, she should drink more diet coke, smoke more ciagrettes.

    • Chelsea

      This isn’t a real question. I refuse. I just refuse.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        Because she’s so obviously not?

      • Chelsea

        She is TEENY TINY!!! She looks healthy… maybe that’s what plus sized means? I always thought it was 18 & up. I’m a size 6, but if I were a size 18 I’d want to be represented somewhat accurately.

    • Christina

      Maybe it’s not so visible in the photos as in real life? Straight size models can be really bony, whereas she’s merely thin. I guess if you look the rest of the photoshoot, the “biggest” difference between her and a straight size model is her arms (especially the underarm) and thighs.

    • Lindsay Cross

      This image does not say “plus size model” to me. But I do think she looks like an actual healthy, attractive female. I wish they used more models that looked like this. And I don’t care what the hell they label them.

      • jordan


    • Fi

      Whilst I totally agree she doesn’t look like a plus-sized model AT ALL, let me play devil’s advocate here, as a former casting assistant. The majority of plus size models, except the three or so you may have heard of, are actually pretty old and dowdy, and frankly don’t have the right look to represent certain brands. So whilst it is incredibly ridiculous that some brands use small models to represent larger women, it really is a larger industry problem that one brand can’t solve on their own. The tide is turning with more demand for plus sized models, but at a slow rate.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        This is a great comment and really insightful. You’re right, the majors (Crystal Renn, Lizzie Miller, obviously) are young, fresh and really gorgeous.

        But, most of the plus size models who’ve achieved major fame and success are over 30, like Emme, Kate Dillon, and Mia Tyler. And frankly, with the average runway model being a teenager, I’d say fashion is as much an ageist industry as it is strict about size.

        So, would you say age plays as much a role in the lack of plus size casting as size prejudices? If so, that’s very interesting!

    • kat

      it is either very photoshopped, or she has lost weight, last time i saw photos of her (maybe 3 months ago?) she was a lot bigger and definitely looked plus sized to me. Let’s be honest. she looks nearly the same as her straight size picture. if she was the size of the’plus size’ picture in real life, she could get away with straight size modelling

      • Ashley Cardiff

        You can be the judge! Jezebel’s lovely Jenna Sauers tweeted this shot from up close:

      • kat

        in my opinion her hips/thighs are definitely on the thin side for a plus size model but still not out of place on one either. her waist/stomach is half the size of every unedited plus size model picture i’ve ever seen, which is why she looks so much thinner, so she probably is considered plus size on the basis of her hips measurement. not so much her stomach/upper body. same goes for alyona osmanova in your other post (although she has bigger thighs too)

    • Patty

      I found this article interesting actually, because I was under the impression that plus size, in the modeling industry is anything over a size 6 or 8, something to that effect. So most people don’t realize that a size 8 or 10 is considered plus size.
      I apologize if this is incorrect or outdated, like I said that was the impression I was under.

      • Patty

        I did some research after I replied, and Ford’s standard is size 12. So, I apologize. But it stil goes to show that most people associate plus size with much larger-looking women, rather than the average size 12.

    • miinxi

      If this is ‘plus size’ what the f**k am I? Super size?

    • colette

      Not even CLOSE. But props to her on manipulating the industry like that.

    • Meghan

      She looks severely underfed in that “straight size” photo.

    • Tobi

      I’m bigger than that plus-sized model, yet I’m still too small for plus-sized clothing and most big plus-size brands (Lane Bryant, for example).

      She’s not truly plus-size. In fact, she seems smaller than even the model-version of plus-size.

    • Jennifer

      I’m with Chelsea. It’s ridiculous. She’s gorgeous and THIN. Not plus size. If I were a size, I don’t know, 14? 16? I’d want a bigger girl to represent me. Not a six.

    • Siobhan

      She’s not plus size at all she is normal healthy weight.

      Which to be honest should not be catagorised as plus size because many girls who are a healthy weight will now be freaking out because they don’t want to be ladeled as ‘plus size’ which is horrible :(

      I think we should stop all of this size zero and plus size thing and just let anyone be a model as long as they have that ‘stand still forever’ talent.

    • Lindsey N

      She doesn’t look natural in the second pic. Not because of how thin she is, some people are that thin and look amazing. It just isn’t how she’s supposed to look. In the “plus-size” photo she looks amazing.

      I generally just think that “plus-size” means a woman was blessed with more curves than I will ever have. Not that she’s big.