Around us, we always hear about thin-shaming and fat-shaming, we celebrate slim girls and we celebrate plus-size, but what about those in the middle? Have we been forgotten in between two extremes?
You have to admit, it’s contradictory to promote these two movements, and say to be yourself, yet we (used to) shun mid-sized girls completely. So you can come as you are, as long as you’re not a size 10 to 18 basically?
For years, we have been fighting the corners of slim and curvy, without even looking closer to home. More recently, leading British influencers such as Hannah Gale, Helen Anderson and Lily Melrose have been role models for girls between sizes 10 to 16, because oddly enough, we often neglected these sizes, pretending they didn’t exist in fact. It’s a strange thought considering the average UK woman is a size 16 – so why aren’t we seeing this being covered more?
Now body positivity, which had its back turned on us average girls, has started a new movement – that of the mid-sized ladies. Refreshing Instagrammers are now taking over our feeds, showing us how things really look off the editorial-style models we see on sites like Zara and Topshop. Pages have been created to showcase these role models, and also create a whole community of mid-sized fans. People who were internally screaming from frustration at the lack of coverage on their body size are now feeling pretty proud to be themselves – with good reason!
Showing fashion truly has no limit, whether you’re a size 6 or a size 20, the mid-size campaign, like other body positivity movements, reminds us how inspirational, creative and experimental fashion can be when you don’t blink an eyelid on set style rules. “Don’t wear a high-rise midi skirt if you have muffin top”, “Don’t wear a crop top if you haven’t got abs”, are just some of the messages we have heard and we say to ourselves every time we go on a shopping trip, and let’s be honest – put ourselves off the thing we love the most – fashion.
Then there’s the other issue of brands’ sizing – do you remember last year when size 12 ladies couldn’t even fit into a size 20 in H&M? Well, with the gradual arrival of the mid-size movement, brands like H&M have changed their sizing to suit the needs of their customers, and others will follow – it’s only a matter of time before brands have to get with the times.
The one thing that created the hype for the mid-size movement was the creation of the Mid Size Collective Instagram page, created by blogger Anuschka Moore. Last year, she wrote a passionate blog post about how being a “normal” sized influencer almost made her quit blogging – drawing parallels between the beginning of her career and now, she said that before, brands didn’t care what you wore as long as you wore it well. Now in a time of paid advertisements and huge collaborations with big names galore, she wrote, “Brands now want to work with either pin thin “perfect” girls who have their Instagram accounts filled with bikini shots even in the dead of winter, or what they deem as “plus-sized” girls (size 18+)”. But where did this leave her?
It was in the months after this article that she launched her page, with followers soaring within the first 48 hours. Not only does she share photos of herself rocking the latest trends, but also shares photos of other inspirational mid-size girls for you to discover and follow. Plus, she is great at getting a great fashion find – even in Tesco!
So what’s next for this movement? Maybe fashion brands should promote “average sized” girls in their product photos, instead of opting for the usual size 8, maybe we should see more high-end brands working to partner up with mid-sized bloggers who still respect their values. These are all things that the fashion industry can develop over time, considering it’s an ever-evolving industry, it’s all very workable and flexible. Plus, it’s been proven that us customers love to see clothes modelled by people “like us” – which explains the popularity of Instagrammers. So why can’t brands get on the bandwagon? They should have been paving the way for this movement, instead of waiting for frustrated consumers to start it themselves. Instead, we have to tell them what we want.
What do you think the next move should be? What do you think of this movement? What annoys you about the fashion industry at the moment? Because though we love it, boy can it make us feel frustrated at times! Tag us on social media and let us know your thoughts.
Cr: Mid Size Collective, Anushka Moore, Lily Melrose, Hannah Gale, Kristabel Plummer, Emma’s Rectangle, Helen Anderson.