Why It’s Time to Celebrate Average-Size Women

This post was written by our POPSUGAR UK editor and originally appeared on POPSUGAR Fashion UK. Unless otherwise stated, all dress sizes referenced are UK sizes. US sizes are approximately UK minus 4 (e.g., UK 14 = US 10).

Some have suggested that 2014 was “the year of plus-size.” To others, it was nothing more than a token nod in the right direction: a couple of models over a size 10 featured in big campaigns, a couple of celebrity collections that didn’t stop at a size 14 (see Kelly Brook for Simply Be, pictured above), some nice things said about Melissa McCarthy during award season. It’s true that we are a long way from this industry ever truly embracing the breadth of shapes and sizes of modern women, but every step in the right direction is a good one. And 2015 got off to a good start with the news that models Ashley Graham and Robyn Lawley will appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue — even if one of those is an ad, not an editorial.

The real strides toward body acceptance in the world of fashion have come through the blogosphere. Plus-size blogs are thriving, particularly in the US and the UK, where bloggers are collaborating on fashion lines, appearing on TV, and modeling for global brands. The Instagram hashtag #effyourbeautystandards has taken off to the point where the woman behind it, Tess Holliday, has signed to a major modeling agency despite being neither the height nor weight of your “average” plus-size model.