According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average woman weighs in at 70kilos (that’s 11 stone for uk conversion) and looks a little like this.
I guess this calls me average or ‘plus size’ as I look a lot like the woman in the picture, in fact, rather than using a photo of what the media consider a plus size ‘model’ I thought it only fair to post an image of me. (I’m the one in the middle) I’m not shocked to know I fit into this category, I’m not the most health conscious of people. I try to eat at least three portions of fruit or vegetables a day, but as a working woman, sometimes a piece of toast at lunch time enables the work-on-the-go approach. If not toast then a bowl of cereal. I guess I could fit in more exercise, but with the demands of a growing family, a husband, my work (which can sometimes trickle in to the wee small hours) I simply don’t have the time to work out. My life is pretty full and if I did, something would have to give. But, that’s my choice and I accept that. I wouldn’t consider myself fat, chubby or flabby, I may have a bit of a muffin top ( the phenomenon of overhanging skin when it spills over the waistline of pants or skirts) but since the lowering of the trouser waistline, you can’t actually contain anything any longer! The benefit of high- waisters! I can fit in a pair of size 12 jeans and at times can feel pretty good about myself, however, with a BMI of 28, I’m considered overweight!
I’ve just read a letter from a reader in a magazine. She is right when she says wearing correctly fitting clothes in the right size can make your body look slimmer. Trying to squeeze into something that simply does not fit just to say you are wearing a smaller size is madness. Sizing shouldn’t matter. Style and comfort should.
Bigger women are clearly not a priority for a lot of the high street stores, even though they make up the majority of the marketplace and as a designer, it’s impossible to design a ‘one style fits all’ gown. Curvaceous figures demand a different aesthetic and you simply cannot design a gown without considering the major factors which are a) the client’s body shape and b) the cut and style of the gown. This also works for a client who is completely at the other end of the scale, a little like our client Pip who married recently. Petite in height and petite in frame. My client base ranges from sizes 8 through 32. It works both ways!
The amount of clients I’ve had in the studio who tell me. “I loved this gown, but it just did nothing for me when I tried it on.” Or, when they open their beautiful bound folders containing cuttings and images – everything related to their dream gown and say. “It just didn’t look like that on me!”
Women just don’t need this kind of anguish in their lives.
Why are we still seeing size 4 on the catwalk and in the glossies? Is it because us ‘plus size women’ who are more than familiar with our bodies don’t actually want to look at it? Are we all craving to be more like ‘the models’ than the body we actually possess? If this is the case, then we really are setting ourselves up for a fall because each and every client who has passed though my door has a different body shape to the next. A client who is short waisted to one who is long makes ALL the difference to their look. In essence, there is really nothing wrong with the bodies we live in. It’s making sure the cut and the style works for us!