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Is size 14 too big for a model?

A designer used size 14 models at London Fashion Week and the stylist walked out in disagreement. Who is right?

Published on September 30th 2009.

Is size 14 too big for a model?
Yes: - 24%
No: - 76%

Last week was London Fashion Week, 'the spectacle that sees 16-year-old Lithuanians galloping down the catwalk' according to our catwalk-side correspondent, Ingrid Jackson. And she does have a point. Gone are the days when five particular models were admired for their slim yet sturdy Amazonian frames. Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington are widely regarded as the original supermodels long before size zero existed.

And then came along a 14-year-old by the name of Katherine Ann Moss, better known as Kate Moss.

Moss ushered in the waif look that was to dominate the 90s and carry through to the size zeros of today. Speaking about the trend, Moss once said: "It was a swing from more buxom girls like Cindy Crawford. People were shocked to see what they called a 'waif'. What can you say? How many times can you say 'I'm not anorexic'?"

Fast forward to this year's London fashion Week and designer Mark Fast who took the size matter into his own hands, vowing to feature size 12 and 14 models in amongst the zeros.

His bold decision caused chaos behind-the-scenes, and resulted in his stylist walking out. His larger sized models, Hayley, Laura and Gwyneth took to the runway to model his knitwear designs, as planned.

Fast's managing director, Amanda May, said she was "so happy we stuck to our guns over the casting". Fast's decision to shake up the skinny world of modelling is part of a bigger revolution whereby some fashion houses, editors and models believe the narrow vision of beauty offered by the fashion world needs to be changed. Vogue magazine reportedly requested larger-sized clothes from designers for some of their photo shoots, earlier this year.

With several incidences of frail and fatigued models collapsing, suffering from anorexia and in the most extreme cases, dying, it's no wonder Fast is being hailed the 'size hero'. But aren't we missing the fundamental rules of advertising which unfortunately don't include getting people to make nice, empathetic rational decisions?

Of course, most women will say they want to see a woman they can identify with on the catwalks and in the magazines, but is a woman with a muffin top really going to sell clothes in the same way as a slimmer girl who has a figure that society (or at least the fashion world) deems more attractive? The proof will be in the figures – the sales figures.

Whilst the original supers ought to be resurrected, it could be argued that Mark Fast has gone too far in tipping the scales the other way, possibly for publicity purposes. Or maybe Fast's actions were drastic for a reason. Often it takes such action and bold statements to make a real difference, and Fast certainly has got people talking....

Do you think size 14 is too big for a model? Vote on the Liverpool Confidential homepage.

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26 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

L. O'TharioSeptember 24th 2009.

I like ladies to have delightfully quivering orbs, not xylophone ribcages reminiscent of Belsen newsreels.

M. BonpointSeptember 24th 2009.

Those girls in the woods have 'lucky legs' - they're lucky that they don't snap in half and stick up their arses.

Billy BunterSeptember 24th 2009.

I went off Sophie Dahl when she unconvincingly pretended to eat a single morsel of her childhood favourite food whilst Nigel 'what a tw*t' Slater sucked up to her on his rubbish television programme last year.Mind you, he puts me off anything.

Nigel SlaterSeptember 24th 2009.

My meat juices are perfect for mopping up with a single little gem lettuce leaf

Angry DinerSeptember 24th 2009.

Nigel Slater's face is perfect for repeatedly punching, whether ot not it produces meat juices.

Furious ReaderSeptember 24th 2009.

It's the way he always slags off his parents as if they were cruel to him when he was young. They gave him a better standard of living than I had or anyone I know had, but they had the temerity to serve him the same food everyone else in a lower middle-class household had in this country at the time. For this he subjects them to a public hate campaign whenever he has the opportunity! I hope they haunt him.

Nik16September 24th 2009.

Size 14 is way too fat if u r modeling. Who wants to see love handles in the magazines. Noooone is gonna buy your clothes. I'm in an 8 and I work hard to stay that way and why shud fat woman laze around and be made to luk gud when it aint true

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 7th 2011.

you cheeky bitch fuck you

AnonymousNovember 4th 2011.

you cheeky fuck im a size 14 and im not a lazy cow u judgemental anrexic shallow fucking bitch get fucked

sue dwyer size 16September 24th 2009.

nik16 , because your a size 14 or 16 doesnt mean your lazy. my day start at 7 am and i dont stop till i go to bed,you have a very negative attitude am am glad am not your mate!! so your saying if your a size 14 you cant look good, well am a 16 and i no i look good!!i bet iv had more compliments than you.v had hot dinners!!

SporticusSeptember 24th 2009.

She's never had a hot dinner by the sound of it.

steve insidejobSeptember 24th 2009.

nik16 buy a dictionary and look up t'ick model

Liverpool wagSeptember 24th 2009.

size 14 is way to fat if u r yodelling

SeanSeptember 24th 2009.

What's wrong with keeping in shape. Clothes don't hang right on overweight women.

Anna RexickSeptember 24th 2009.

Not if they're proper clothes and they fit, that's the point of fashion. And since when has size 14 been 'overweight'?

Throbbing ParsnipSeptember 24th 2009.

The fashion industry is run by misogynists who are happy to see women feeling faint and looking like malnourished children.

Professor ChucklebuttySeptember 24th 2009.

I have no comment to make on this, it's just that the alert function on my mobile goes off like the klaxon on a submarine about to dive anytime somebody types "Yodelling" on the internet. All the bedroom lights are on in the street now. Who was it? But while I am here Mrs C is a size 16 and proud of it. Mind you her other foot is size 9 which is probably why she keeps walking in circles.

sue dwyer size 16September 24th 2009.

i would rather see a size 14 / 16 modeling than a 8/10. i would hate to wake up every morning looking like a lampost.. straight up and down. big girl are beautiful!! and sean clothes just hand on skinny women and look bloody awful!! think you need a real woman somethink to grab hold of. yer can get ribs in the butchers anytime!!

DigSeptember 24th 2009.

Nothing wrong with the larger lady, except when they're wearing a short skirt or leggings.

Stanley StreetSeptember 24th 2009.

"Larger lady" Dig? Surely you mean 'normal' lady? Fashion models are undernourished freaks.

DigSeptember 24th 2009.

Undernourished freaks? I bet you wouldn't say no if one offered to take you to bed.

AnonymousSeptember 24th 2009.

I'd imagine it's a lot like sleeping with a man, going off their proportions anyway, so I can see how you'd be attracted Dig ;)

Stanley StreetSeptember 24th 2009.

Imagine it! It would be like an act of beastliness with a pile of coathangers!

Liverpool wagSeptember 24th 2009.

Who are you calling a hooker?

DigSeptember 24th 2009.

Can't say I've even imagined it, let alone be attracted to it Anonymous. But now Stanley Street has mentioned it I can't stop thinking about rolling around on a pile of coathangers. Ouch.

Channel Four SkinSeptember 24th 2009.

The appallingly dim Sophie Dahl was on Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall’s team on Channel 4’s ‘The Big Food Fight’ last night. She was so terrified of gaining weight she didn’t even taste the mystery food they had to identify, she just pushed a fork around in the bowl for a while hoping people wouldn’t notice.

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