Plus Size News Roundup 3/26/12

from Ni
design from Nikki Babie at Vancouver Fashion Week


  • Vancouver fashion week had exactly one collection that featured a plus-size piece, from Nikki Babie. That still puts Vancouver far ahead of London, Paris, New York. This is mainly because it wasn’t done as a stunt, ala Mark Fast or Jean Paul Gaultier.
  • The UK show the Voice holds auditions where the judges literally have only the voice to go on – thus ruling out visual beauty perceptions in their assessment of talent.
  • Australian model Tiah Delaney talks about her own experience with the diseased thinking prevalent in the fashion world, fortunately in the context of reversing that malady.
  • For those of you who like reading sexy stuff, there’s an interview with body-positive erotica writer Hanne Blank about the history of heterosexuality.
  • In Entertainment Weekly, columnist Libby Gelman-Waxner summarizes American body obsession: “Watching stars expand and contract is the great American pastime.” She comments that Jessica Simpson seems smarter at a larger size. IQ/ability to think clearly is connected to adequate nutrition. It’s why cults and Hollywood like to starve people.
  • While the piece is mainly about Gemma Collins in a bikini, the Daily Mail throws in that she’s looking for plus size girls with strong personalities to front her clothing line. Normally I’d be amused at the Daily Mail being itself, but given what’s going on on my side of the pond, all this male gaze stuff is making me tweak. ANGRY tweak. Oh, and they have one of those stupid auto-play videos that does nothing but anger those who click, which does not help.



Gemma Owens in her bikini for the Daily Mail.


  • Miss Piggy has admitted to botox.
  • Healthy is the New Skinny Campaign is now appearing in high schools.
  • Normally I’d put this under international, but it’s too important. Israel has banned the use of underweight models on its runways.
  • Normally I don’t cover plus-size clothing line premieres in a news roundup. But I kind of have to when plus-size retailer Evan’s line appears in the Telegraph UK. I am annoyed they used straight-size models in the article though.
  • Australian talks about the extreme disparities in clothing sizes. As always, I recommend shopping with a measuring tape.
  • Here’s a list of “sexy plus-size women!” that Rediff admires. One of those well-intended problematic things that will happen forever. Mostly I’m chewing on the idea of Mariah Carey as plus-size; sure, she’s gone up and down the scale, but I’ve NEVER seen her fat. The article does also name the very muscular Serena Williams – she might weigh more because of those muscles, but I guess I’d need to see more of her stats than that because I don’t think she takes up more actual space than any other female athlete in her sport.
  • A company in Vermont is now producing bikes for plus size riders. This, I will look into, for the sake of my own butt.


  • Local politicians in the UK are accepting plus-size clothing retail as one way to boost the economy in their districts. Manchester is specifically looking at the house of brands that includes Simply Be.
  • In the US, it’s prom season and in Frankfort, Kentucky, the charity Cinderella’s Closet is helping girls who might not otherwise be able to afford it trick themselves out for prom. If you have a dress and the wherewithal to send it, it can be one small good deed you’ve done this year. While I can’t say I particularly enjoyed my senior prom, I’m glad I went – if nothing else, I had no lingering doubts about it as an adult and it made me want to hug the college experience, even when college got weird.
  • Are you in Myrtle Beach? Someone is looking for a person to sew a plus-size swimsuit.
  • Designer Jessica Biffi is presenting lines for Addition Elle.
  • Actress Maureen Okpoko presents a view of herself I hope more women can assume: “People respect me because of my size.”

Business of Plus

  • Bravada, the parent company of Only Leggings, is reporting record revenues as of March 2012.
  • Bare Necessities will now be carrying British plus size lingerie brand Curvy Kate. They’re also looking for plus size women to model in the US and Oz.
  • Forever Your Lingerie and LUCY clothing are also seeking curvy models.
  • Charming Shoppes has promoted a new senior vice president.
  • Nissen Holdings Co. is opening up a plus-size clothing shop in China. The Chinese are also getting larger, but while choices worldwide are limited, there’s virtually nothing filling the market gap in the most populated country on the planet. Of course, as more and more women around the world are revisiting and reclaiming sewing as a skill, that may also impact the market.

Health Roundup

  • Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Centre believe they may have found the gene that triggers compulsive overeating.
  • The American Heart Association claims: “A sedentary lifestyle that includes watching TV for four hours a day can increase the effects of the genetic tendency to obesity by 50 percent.” I think there are a lot of other activities that need to be explored there – like sitting at desks for hours, or the people that exercise, clean and multitask while they watch TV. It’s not nearly as simple as going home and sitting. This study also still uses the fallacious BMI measurement.
  • Exercise might boost kids’ academic ability. I’d say most likely. I know I write better when I work out regularly.
  • In case you weren’t afraid of your sink: more than 200 common household products were found to contain endocrine disruptors. By themselves, fine, whatever, but since most people use these chemicals over and over for years…it’s a problem.
  • At Tel Aviv university, researchers are finding that having some fat on you after age 85 might improve your changes of longevity.
  • Women are more likely to survive heart failure than men are.
  • For diabetics that exercise to control their symptoms, you can skip a day here or there (but stick with a regular program of some kind) and still benefit.
  • Physically active seniors live longer than ones that are not as active.
  • The Society for Neuroscience explores the possible link between obesity and addiction, noting that certain common foods and permanently alter brain chemistry. I’ve said it many ways, and I’ll say it again: being fat is not and will likely never be reduced to the “fix one thing,” that so much research and social attitude goes towards. Some of us are addicts. Some of us have really weird thyroids. Some of us just burn calories at a much slower rate than others, even in “smaller” bodies. It’s just never going to be an “in and out” solution. The why – and the whether it’s actually a problem or just a condition – will differ from person to person. You CAN’T IGNORE THE INDIVIDUAL FOR THE STEREOTYPE, especially not in the case of a person’s body.



Chinese women posing in their new plus size clothing store in Shanghai


  • French publication Trenditude explores the differences in perception when it comes to “straight” size models and “plus” size models.
  • There’s also an exploration of “the hottest curves in Germany.” That’s on the Audubon, right? Actually it’s a model call for the brand Sheego.
  • Uganda is starting to join in handicapped accessibility design for people that use mass transportation – including for people too large to fit into taxi cabs.




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