The lovely Marquita Pring is on a role: in the past year, she’s been appointed a face of Levi’s, walked for Gaultier and (so major for a model) worked with Steven Meisel… all at a size 12/14. Just don’t call her plus-size.
WWD sat down with the mannequin and asked her a slew of questions about the modeling industry and the differences that exist for women of different sizes.
First off, how does she define the term “plus-size”?
I hate the term. I don’t consider myself “plus-size.” I don’t consider any of the girls on my board plus-size whether they’re smaller or bigger than me. But it’s true that there’s really no true definition. The second I say to someone, “I’m a plus-size model,” they just look at you like, OK, if you’re plus-size then I must be oversize. So I would love to just do away with the term and say “curvy” instead.
And how does model culture differ from plus-size to straight-size communities?
Within our curvy universe, it’s a lot more close-knit and friendly. There’s not nearly as much competition. I think with the skinnier girls, there are so many more incredibly beautiful, stunning girls that have very similar features and characteristics. Whereas the plus-size industry is a lot smaller so I think we accept more than compete. We know you don’t have to be catty to get ahead. It can be kind of cutthroat in the skinnier model community.
But perhaps the most interesting part of the interview is Pring’s confirmation that there exists an idealized body type at every size and even for a 12/14, she faces industry pressure to look smaller and larger and sucked in and padded out. Yes, she sometimes pads herself for clients:
Every client is different. You get a wide range. Some people like you much smaller, size 10, size 8. Some people would prefer a 14 or 16. So for me, I’m right in the middle at a sort of small 14, high 12. So I pad sometimes since I’ve got clients who would prefer a solid 14 or 16.
Does anyone find that surprising?
While we ponder such things, let’s just appreciate these cheekbones on the Gaultier runway: