No matter what your thoughts are on fat feminism, the words “plus-size,” or the fashion industry, a larger-bodied woman collaborating with a high-end fashion designer is history in the making.
Gossip singer Beth Ditto walked for her friend Jean Paul Gaultier back in 2010, and in September this year, she took the New York Fashion Week by storm when she modeled gorgeous, delicate designs for Marc Jacobs—a line that is often made for much, much smaller bodies.
What’s interesting—and again separate from opinions about what’s a “normal” body size, what’s healthy, what’s fat, what’s thin—is that while no one blinks an eye about models who are underweight (sometimes to the point of having a clinical condition) walking on runways, Ditto doing it made headlines everywhere. And now the announcement of her “plus-size” line and collab with JPG has again rocked the fashion world, as well as our ideals about the female body.
Whereas some are touting the collaboration as “groundbreaking,” other publications are using puns with the word “big” that are cringeworthy, to say the least. But no matter how it’s written about, what’s important is that it is written about (I mean, even I’m doing it). Whenever a woman who is not skinny or underweight makes her name in fashion, she immediately makes the news and everyone gets their knickers in a twist. We got excited about a size 12–14 model being chosen as the new face of Louboutin just yesterday! And I also get why this happens and why we get excited, but don’t you think it’s time that we tipped the scales a bit? (Ok, now I’m the terrible pun-maker.)
Body image is something that fascinates to no end and so does body shaming—something which I really, really despise. I know that thin models in fashion are nothing new. I’m not making any groundbreaking point here. BUT, I’m also not an advocator of something that is completely unbalanced. Women come in all shapes and sizes, so why is one size that could lead to real illness (reports of models starving themselves are rife) addressed nowhere near in the same way that another size, one that could also make you sick and unhealthy, is? This is what’s interesting—well, at least to me. And this is why Ditto and JPG’s collab is history in the making.
Now about the actual shirt. The Beth Ditto ♥ John Paul Gaultier t-shirt features Gaultier’s iconic bullet bra corset (worn famously by Mads) and is available in XL and XXL. Part of the proceeds from sales go towards Girls Rock Camp Foundation. It’s pricey at $165, but I definitely want one.
Main image courtesy of www.wonderlandmagazine.com.