How Plus-Size Fashion is Transforming the Industry

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After countless years of the media showing curvier women like myself that we’ll never be pretty enough to be a model, full-figured women are taking matters into their own hands. The plus-size movement is gaining great momentum, and the gorgeous women behind it are crushing the unrealistic societal standards of beauty.

MORE: What Ashley Graham's Sports Illustrated Cover Means to Me As a Curvy Latina

According to the University of Texas at Austin, the average size for women in the U.S. is between 12 and 14, so how is it that the images of beauty we are shown fall between a size 0-4? We need to call out the fashion industry on this BS, and many models are.

Jennie Runk, who was the first plus-size model to appear in H&M’s summer campaign in 2013, and Tess Holiday, the first model to land a major contract at a size 22, are helping promote body positivity on and off the catwalk.

In 2013, Denise Bidot brought much-needed diversity to a highly recognized fashion event when she strutted her stuff as the first Latina plus-size model to walk during Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. Just last year, Ashley Graham made waves on the catwalk when she led a show filled with beautiful curvy women to showcase her lingerie line at the 2015 NYFW. Throughout the show, viewers were encouraged to use the hashtag #IAmSizeSexy, helping spread body positivity into the fashion world.

What many don’t realize, however, is that this movement goes beyond just inclusion; it is teaching women that they are beautiful no matter their size. At last, the fashion world is finally beginning to catch onto this, and more women and girls of all shapes and sizes are able to see themselves reflected in campaigns they always dreamed of.

Just earlier this year, American Eagle, which has long made it their point to run un-retouched photos of women for their Aerie line, finally embraced a curvier woman: Barbie Ferreira. The size 12 model stood at the forefront of AE’s new swimsuit campaign, showcasing un-retouched photos of the unapologetically curvy beauty.

Victories such as this one serve as a great example for young girls and women across the nation, ultimately leading them to slowly embrace their own figures and join in on the change.

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