Damned if you do...

Words by

Giulia Brugliera

As the fashion industry increasingly embraces diversity, the term ‘plus-size’ continues to be a source of controversy.

Some embrace the term, shouting their plus-size status from the rooftops, while others reject the label. 

Meanwhile, ASOS champions diversity in fashion more wholly. The retailer stocks a more inclusive size range than many of its online counterparts, and has been lauded for its fashion-forward Curve range. 

But the retailer landed itself in hot water last night. It posted a shot of model and travel film-maker, Naomi Shimada, to Instagram

In the caption, it labelled Naomi “plus-size.” 

Followers were quick to take issue with the term, posting comments calling out the retailer, such as that of @kayliestorms:

“Plus size !?!? How about just a model. Why label her plus size? Just lost a lot of respect for you guys.”

Given the backlash, ASOS made the call to remove the term, which then received backlash in itself. 

Users took to twitter to vent their frustration, with comments such as @Lottie_Lamour’s:

“For actual fucks sake @ASOS, you might be uncomfortable with the plus size term, but plus size women aren’t?”

ASOS tried to respond to user’s comments, agreeing with many who called out the use of the label. At one point it called 'plus size' a "whack term," sparking more anger from users. 

Looking at ASOS' responses, however, it seems it may be taking issue with the term's role in labelling women, rather than the term itself.

Yet perhaps this is an artificial distinction. Many argue the term is outdated (it was originally born out of practicality, to describe clothing that did not fit in the ‘sample size’ umbrella). However others suggest that denying the term 'plus-size' is damaging to both people and brands.

You can check out the post here and let us know how you feel below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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