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Posted at: Jan 12, 2017, 12:34 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2017, 12:34 AM (IST)

Plus point

At the Lakme Fashion Week’s first-ever ‘plus-size model’ auditions, 160 plus-size models from across the country were seen walking the ramp. Plus sure is a sign of positivity...

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  • Fashion designer Priyanka Khosla lists out some recommended styles for plus-size people:
  • Avoid sporting big prints and horizontal stripes.
  • Wear deep necks and cold shoulder style. The idea is to show some skin around the face.
  • Wear one size bigger than your own size.
  • Loose fit will give you slimmer look.

Manika Ahuja

It all started when Emme - widely believed to be the world’s first plus-size super model - went on to unleash a campaign of sorts against the ‘traditional’ standards of beauty that govern the world of fashion; a world of narrow waists and slender thighs. The full-figured woman spoke for all plus-sized females when she highlighted the need to dissipate the love for all things ‘skinny’, with her oft-quoted remark, “Why were 68 million women above a size 12 not finding clothing suitable for their lives, and why was the advertising of those clothes only modelled on women size 0, 2 and 4? It just didn’t make sense to me.”

Emme was soon joined in by other full-figured ladies like Ashley Graham, Tess Holliday and anorexic-turned 24-year old plus-size model Crystal Renn- all proud members of the plus-size campaign. The trend soon hit the Indian runways; the evidence of which was seen when Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive threw its gates open for the first-ever ‘plus-size model’ auditions, not so long ago (July 29, 2016, to be precise). Contrary to the widespread notion that plus-size model is a construct that only exists in the West, the auditions saw a heavy turnout of over 160 plus size models from across India, confidently strutting down the runway to prove that a size 22 can do as good as a ‘classical’ size zero model does!

Curvy & confident

For Neha Parulkar, one of the contestants, inspiration came from international models such as Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday. “A size 22 can do what a size 2 does. Confidence is the key here. An overweight person can look as good as any skinny person, if he or she oozes just as much confidence,” she observes.

Men body-shamed too

While many might think that it is only the women who fall prey to body shaming, Arpit Handa, who also walked the ramp alongside Parulkar, feels otherwise, “Overweight men are equally body-shamed. As I started bulking up there were times I became the butt of all jokes in school and college. I felt depressed. But then I learnt that one must love what one has been blessed with.”

Embrace your skin

Kais Rajabali Sundrani, 20, a student of Mumbai’s Jaihind College, always wanted to become a model, “I always feared being rejected because of my size.” Today, Sundrani wants to change mindsets, “Plus is a sign for positivity. It is not something to be ashamed of! Embrace your body and love yourself”.

What’s in store?

Professional plus-size model Anjana Bapat, reverberates supermodel Emme’s sentiments, “Only a few brands cater to the needs of people falling in the plus bracket.” But she is not oblivious to the ‘slightly better’ indigenous visibility being afforded to the plus sized, “The evolution is snail-paced, but the graph looks promising.”

Nods Sheetal Makhija, who believes that, “It is only size-zero and other small sizes that the garment industry mainly looks at.”

Leave us alone

Neelakshi Singh is yet to come to terms with her own body; courtesy nosey remarks people continue to toss her way, “People need to leave women and their bodies alone — categories like too fat and too thin need to go. Why the rush about creating a clone factory?”

Look beyond size

Every time someone asks Anil Pamnani to introduce himself, he responds, “I am a plus-size model.” The MA Economics student roots for the fuller-framed people who ooze confidence, “That is the best way to show them that good looks are not bound to your body stats.” Agrees Raj Roy, a plus-size model from Mumbai, “Plus stands for body positivists!”

manikaahuja@tribunemail.com

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