Revisiting Plus+

Plus+Way back in early January (can’t believe how time has simply flown by the year!) I ran across an interesting short movie about the plus size modeling industry called Plus+. In the post back then I wrote about how interested I was in this movie, and after searching around for a while could not manage to find it anywhere.

The power of the Internet (and blogging) is truly great, as sure enough as couple of weeks ago Chris Shirley (the writer and director of Plus+) got in touch with me and was kind enough to send me a copy of Plus+.

As soon as the movie arrive in the post, I eagerly watched it, along with my mom who was very interested in seeing it as well. Plus+ turned out to be a very interesting and thought provoking short movie about the story of a real plus size model, trying to make it in the industry.

What is Plus+ About?
If you missed by earlier post, let me recap really quickly. Plus+ is a short movie about a once top plus size model, Victoria, who is now finding it hard to find gigs. Victoria is a true plus size model, as in she does not pad to be plus size, she IS plus size. On the other hand rival models depicted in this movie simply wear padding suits to appear they are full figured women. This is a cute little story which in the end see Victoria winning over her thin and padded counterparts.

Although a short movie, it is indeed thought provoking. For starters I was not aware that (neither was my mom for that matter) that many ‘plus size models’ actually pad themselves up. Then it got me thinking. But why? If padded women (that sound really funny to be by the way!) are going to fit into bigger sized clothes, why not use real plus size women in the first place?

Magazines, clothing stored, etc who make use of these padded women for their shoots needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Real plus size women need to related to the pictures they see in magazines, so please start using only real plus size women!

Some Thoughts from the Writer of Plus+
Ok now that I got my little rant out of the way, let’s move back to the focus of this post, the movie. Chris, was kind enough to share some insight into what inspired him to create Plus+.

What inspired you to create this film?
Chris ShirleyWhen I first moved to New York in 1990, my first group of friends included several gorgeous plus size models.  (Alexandra, the lead actress in Plus is in fact one of my dearest friends and a Ford model.) I’ve always been drawn to “big girls” and found these models incredibly attractive. But I quickly learned that, although they were called “models,” these women often felt like second-class citizens in Manhattan where you can’t be too thin or too rich.
Still, I didn’t fully grasp their predicament until I learned the plus-size industry’s big secret:  the very top plus models were often size 8 and 10 girls who were padded up to look big.  So, even in the industry where these models should have felt completely accepted, the message they received daily was they were second-class to thinner models. 
As you know, this short only scratches the surface of the life of a plus-size model. Still, I hope it will shed a little light into their world.

Do you have any other plus related films?
I’d enjoy writing Plus as a feature to fully develop the theme of "self-approval" that was only touched on in the short. The story just begs for Victoria to have a love interest or two which will help us chart her course as she grows into the confident, self-approving woman she has every right to be.

For further information on Plus+ visit Chris at Standard Grooming.

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One Response to “Revisiting Plus+”

  1. Nanette says:

    The idea of “padding” a smaller model to pass as a real plus-size woman is insulting to all of us with authentic curves, but then again, typically it’s all about getting the perfect shot. There’s always been a debate about whether women shopping for clothes want to see their ideal fantasy self depicted or the reality of someone shaped just like them, whatever that might be. The truth is that the women who are sized well above a 14/16 are much more likely to be interested in seeing women shaped like them, because they have come to accept themselves and want the truest picture of what that design is really going to do for them. Women who have just recently become a 14, in our 16+ years of experience, have the toughest time with this, and probably much prefer to see a 14 modeled on a 10, because they have not yet accepted themselves at this size.
    At Astarte ( we realized long ago that we WANT to show our designs on real plus-size women of a variety of shapes and sizes because it shows better than anything the integrity of the design. So we use “real” plus-size models who are also our customers. Whether they’ll ever be in the big leagues as plus models is not as important to them as being proud of their individual beautiful shape, and we support that completely.

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