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Two Steps Forward or Back? JAG Agency and the Plus Size Model

Two Steps Forward or Back? JAG Agency and the Plus Size Model

Modcloth Goes Into Plus Sizes

I was reading Full Figure Plus’s article about 10 Problems Jag Agency will bring to the forefront of plus size fashion industry and I had to share with you the article and my thoughts around an agency made for all sizes. While I love the inclusion of it all, I have serious questions and it seems I was not alone in this thought too.

Did you read about JAG Agency?

Modcloth Goes Into Plus Sizes

You see, on one hand I find myself doubting the real inclusion, fearing the usage of size 8’s as plus size models. I FEAR this. The models who happen to gain a little bit of weight now being pitched to the plus size brands… With so much progress to use more and more size 16’s and 18’s I feel an agency like this will open the door to an “Oh, well let’s just send her to this board or casting, or audition.” I fear and loathe this feeling.

Modcloth Goes Into Plus SizesImages from Modcloth’s inclusive campaign

So, when I saw this post by Glen I smiled and wanted to hug him,  and I had to share with you and add my two cents to his points:

10 Problems The Opening Of The Jag Modeling Agency Will Expose

In bold are my thoughts…

1.Designers STILL are not making samples of clothes to fit the plus model silhouette. HOW ABOUT, the models FIT the samples? That is all I ask for. If the model is NOT EVEN IN THE RANGE of the garment, why hire her?

2. There are not enough casting agents willing to represent plus models. I agree. There is always room for growth. If there is not variety and diversity in the business side of things only the few will control what WE SEE and FEEL in the visual side of things.

3. There are not enough photographers experienced in shooting plus models. We have quite a few, but we SOOO NEED MORE. And NOT just in the US, all across the globe. Commercial is great but we NEED more editorial, high end, and dramatic shoots. Let’s push the envelope!

4. There are too many modeling agencies with plus model divisions that they neglect- AMEN.

5. Plus Model Magazine, Dare Magazine, Slink Magazine, and Volup 2 cannot be the only Fashion sources for plus model exposure. The matriculation of plus size fashion throughout the fashion world is needed…

6. There are not enough makeup artists focusing on the plus model industry. We have some face beaters, but we need MORE of the creative, imaginative, and edgy variety sharing their get down!

7. Many mainstream retailers are still not willing to use plus models aka size 18 and up in their print media campaigns. I mean, can we get a plus model in a shoe or accessory ad?

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8. Fat shaming is at an all-time high as it relates to plus models and the plus size community in general. I have started to notice this more with comments directed TOWARDS each other, not even from the outside, but we do this to each other, WHY!?!?!?! 

9. There is still rampant size discrimination on the fashion runways around the world. With Caibira making history at NYFW, we need more designers with the backing, the imagination, the skill set to deliver in fashion week- showing the fashion industry we can play too. 

10. The segregation of plus models and the plus size consumer in advertising marketing programs. If we can get more plus size models INTEGRATED into the beauty, accessory, and shoe campaigns, THIS would be progress! 

Elle Canada Plus Size Model Story

I echo a lot of what Glen had to say and I am curious, cautious, and concerned about this change. I am cautiously optimistic that this will allow a change, but when you have straight size models like Cynthia Bailey modeling for One Stop Plus, we still have a long way to go in the fashion game. And with the advent of JAG and their use of 6s and 8s, I do hope this is not the direction they push for. Even Ben Barry tackles this difference in size and the savvy plus size woman in Elle Canada’s latest piece!

I know that there is change happening, still a fight for more 16s and 18s in catalogs and campaigns, but I really feels a change is happening! I do! Fingers crossed that they do!


View Comments (12)
  • Seeing true diversity on the runway like what we saw during FFFWekend in LA is what will make agencies like JAG truly viable and put stakeholders across the plus industry to work for the good of the entire community.

  • It’s two steps forward but we have a long way to go. *Sigh* I could write for days about not seeing women like me in the industry when I was younger. I remember women used to come to me and tell me how nice I look and where do I shop. I’ve dealt with this for many years, that’s why I stay on top of the trends and try to incorporate some of it into my wardrobe. I like what JAG Agency is doing, keep up the good work and represent.

  • As someone who is *cough* a little older *gag* I am not necessarily on the cutting edge like I might have been once–still, I want to look nice and up to date. Looking at the small models, I often can not even imagine what it would look like in my size, much less on me. That’s one thing I appreciate about Curvy Fashionista–seeing the hot clothes on someone with the curves to show them off. I don’t really know what the business implications are for hiring plus size models. I just know what it would mean to me as someone who loves to wear nice clothes.

  • This whole list is pretty spot on, but I’m most bothered by no. 10 these days. The segregation and isolation of plus sizes in magazines makes me nuts. It was one of the things I complained about when I wrote my original letter to Lucky. Stop ghettoizing plus sizes! If you’re talking about the best jeans for women with big hips, and you feature a brand that HAPPENS to go up to a size 26, THEN SAY THAT. And maybe include a model wearing the 16s instead of the 0s. You don’t have to do a separate section for plus sizes. Fat isn’t CONTAGIOUS. It really isn’t that hard to include larger sizes. But when I spoke to the editors, they were dumbfounded by this. They were like “How will we know if a brand includes plus sizes?!” Ugh. You have interns, right? You actually work in the fashion industry, right? Well, I don’t, and *I* know what lines include ’em. Have the interns make some phone calls. Magazines and campaigns are still actively ignoring us, and I’m just kinda sick to death of it.

    • Not that it makes it right, but they are continuing a trend that has been around for ages.
      Many stores have had the plus size sections hidden away in a back corner of the store (usually behind the home goods) for years. I think I was NEVER able to look for clothing while my under 14 friends did…we’d always have to go to the top floor behind the sheets and towels and it made the whole experience of shopping with people who wore straight sizes rather awkward and isolating (and to this day, I don’t go clothing shopping with my friends).
      And more and more stores are kicking the 14 and up sections out of the store all together. They will take your money but you must do your shopping from your computer. No clogging up our aisles fatty!
      We take a couple of steps forward but then take several back.
      I’d noticed that shopping on Saks’s online store that the women modeling the 14 and up clothing were SWIMMING in them. How is that any better from just using the picture of the straight sized model in the dress that you want me to buy…I see a woman in an ill-fitting dress or see a body that is so far from me that I can’t even use it to decide to make a purchase.
      And in my area, at least one of the Nordstrom stores (and as they seem to be renovating several of them, I wonder if more will follow), eliminated the plus section all together. I was excited to see it just on the same floor with the women’s clothes and within a few weeks of the new store layout, they had SCRATCHED it off the signs and taken it off the floor.

  • The only real way to get plus size models used in more advertising is for the target market to demand it. As plus size consumers, we must stand up and let designers, brands, stores, media, etc know we find the use of straight size models in advertisements for plus size fashions unacceptable. It makes me crazy to try to guess what a size 22 dress is going to look like on my body when the advertisement shows it on a size 4. While it’s difficult to only put your money behind brands that feature plus size women in their advertisements given the limited number of plus size retail fashion options, it is important that we show those that do extra support and let those that don’t know of our disapproval continuously until they make a change. .

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