I’ve been a fan of Project Runway for 13 years. I have completely fangirled over Tim Gunn, and if I could have high tea with anyone in the world, it would be him and Mary Berry. Like for real. I want them to adopt me as their long lost niece.
Today PR sent me an article about the new Project Runway which starts on Thursday. Every year I look forward to it and can’t wait to watch it.
So the article is about how Tim Gunn has finally gotten his way to include plus size models. The models are 0-22 now. I checked over the pictures of the models, and they’re all beautiful. I can see the 22 size model and how she fits perfectly in her jeans, no muffin over the top. She looks regal, and I feel a warmth in my chest because now that I have started the journey to lose weight myself I needed it. I wanted to think that one day I will look like that.
Then I read this.
“I think the designers wanted to flee,” Gunn says. “We didn’t tell them in advance.”
And I cried. A silent kind of weep, that came from a dark tiny corner of my heart.
I know he is referencing that it takes more take to design and create for a plus size model and that they only have a certain time frame. I understand it.
But it fucking sucks.
And, the dreaded “real women” episode, a perennial challenge that tasks designers with creating pieces for non-models, took on a different tone.
The average woman is a size 16. What is what the “real quotation marks?”
The article goes on to reference how Leslie Jones was unable to find a designer because of her size. It was during the Ghostbusters red carpet thing. Like she was someone whose name was out there in the spot light, and she couldn’t find someone to dress her.
I know what it’s like to feel singled out in a room full of people because of how you look. How I got used to not finding clothes, so I just stopped searching. Right now off the top of my head, I can think of Lane Bryant (Super expensive clothes for working types.) Torrid, also expensive but more for the 20 something type. Their pants and stuff run small, but I love their shirts. I won’t even fucking go into detail how much I hate Dress Barn WOMEN. As if, I want to buy my jeans in a barn.
Then there is Catherine’s. Tons of clothes hanging barely on coat hangers. Ugly patterns. The sizes are insane. 1x to infinite (I think. I can’t think of the range off the top of my head.) It has been my personal experience that it’s depressing going into Catherine’s looking for jeans because nowhere else has your size. That you’re exhausted wearing the ones you have because they are so tight, you can’t breathe when you sit down.
After my kid was hatched, my body changed. The rolls I had moved. Nothing fit like it used to. It has greatly depressed me.
But to think that Project Runway is going to attempt plus size for this year is beautiful and bittersweet. I doubt that anything will be picked that will be mass produced for someone my size. I can sit and watch and think to myself, well Unicorn, maybe one day you can lose enough to wear that. Maybe one day. One day. Maybe.
I still carry in my head the outfit I wanted so much to wear my first day of Senior year. The fantasy outfit I wanted to wear when I got engaged. The wedding dress I had envisioned for myself my whole life.
I loved what I wore to my wedding, and it was lovely. I will always miss that fantasy.
I’ll get up tomorrow and do my yoga and the other exercises I started. I’ll watch Project Runway just like I have the last 13 years. I’ll try not to feel a pang when the designer acts put out when he gets selected to get the plus size model. I’ll try to send her strength through the tv. But she is brave and strong and probably doesn’t need it.
I hope I am wrong and by the end of Project Runway that I won’t be even more jaded and bitter, because of the treatment, the models will get for their body size. That none of the designers say something that is hurtful with that blank look on their face as if they don’t know they’re a dick.
Hope springs eternal right?
Here is the article I am referencing. Project Runway Plus Size Models