Eden Miller's "Plus Size" Show Brings Reality to Fashion Week

It's been a big week for plus-size fashion: for the first time in New York Fashion Week's 70-year history, plus-size models walked down the runway. 

For those of you asking, "What took so long?" one needs only to point to the fashion world's decades-long obsession with all that is tall and slender. 

Eden Miller is the woman behind the plus-size designs on the catwalk this week, and she may be all we need to stop looking back and start looking forward.

Miller maintains optimistic that this will be the first of many New York runways to feature models who wear plus-sizes. For her, part of her responsibility as a designer is to open the door for other plus-size lines.

As society's unrealistic expectations for women and their bodies has increased, so has its criticism of the media for its role in excluding and subversively chastising of women who do not meet its image of "thin." The fashion industry has frequently been criticized for propagating this problem. 

Tyra Banks and her reality TV series America's Next Top Model came under heavy scrutiny for featuring models who represented society's historical preference for tall and slim women. Banks and the show were further slammed for propagating negative stigmas attached to women.

In honor of New York Fashion Week, the New York Times featured an Op-Ed piece by former model Jennifer Sky who shared her experiences and opinions about the modeling industry, specifically concerning its representation of women and clothing. "I learned that this was a world where young women's rights were worth less than the clothing they wore," she wrote.

Though scarce, fashion shows abroad have featured plus sizes in London, Paris, and Milan. If there is an effective way to show the masses there are more sizes and styles available to average-sized women, modeling these realistic sizes in a high-profile event like New York Fashion Week is a way to do it. Let's hope this year's fashion week starts a continued trend of positive change in women's fashion and is a sign of more to come.

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Erica Wadzinski

Hi, I'm Erica. I'm currently an ESL teacher living in Jining, Shandong, China. I've also taught English in the country of Georgia and have been traveling during and in between school and teaching jobs abroad since 2010. I'm an English and Spanish double major who loves languages, travel, writing, and classic literature. A healthy obsession with mixed martial arts (mma) for me pacifies the occasional bout of homesickness.

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