The rumor published in the Sun (an article that has since been removed) that Cara Delevingne didn’t make it down the Victoria’s Secret runway because she was “bloated” is probably just that—a rumor. While the supermodel/actress was noticeably absent from the 2014 show in her hometown of London, let’s talk about the women that have been noticeably absent from the pink extravaganza since its inception: non-straight size models. Because that, nasty women everywhere, is 100 percent true. And it actually matters.
The megabrand has certainly made significant strides in terms of diversity over the years and we at FU are definitely excited about the 18 rookies included in the upcoming Parisian panty party (including curly girls like Alanna Arrington and Dilone). While we’re thrilled about the prospect of VS breaking up the beauty ranks with varying hair textures in lieu of an all-encompassing army of beachy waves, we really thought we’d see some curves on a body outside of a size 2. What is up with that?
Sure, the Hadids and many model bodies before them (Heidi Klum, Helena Christensen, Tyra Banks, Lara Stone, Anna Ewers—we could go on) made a solid and very sexy case for bodacious breasts, hips, and bums on the catwalk, but where is a woman with curves that aren’t sample size? Ashley Graham certainly had a breakout year and her Lane Bryant campaign maybe poses a conflict for Victoria’s Secret, but what about the hundreds of other girls out there who undoubtedly train like an Angel just as hard (if not harder) than straight size models? Don’t they deserve a chance to show off the fact that a healthy—not “bloated”—body bigger than a size 4 (the highest end of the straight size spectrum) looks just as good in a lacy thong?
I think Pat McGrath muse Paloma Elsesser is one of the sexiest women on Instagram at the moment, as is Clémentine Desseaux. And who could forget about Candice Huffine’s Pirelli calendar appearance in 2015, or Philomena Kwao, the latter of whom who was front and center in nothing but a black bra, underwear, and Mardi Gras beads at Alex Lubomirski’s exhibition last night for his new book, Diverse Beauty. While I have to agree with Delevingne that discussing women’s bodies to sell papers is “shameless,” celebrating varying degrees of healthy bodies on a bigger scale—like the Super Bowl of modeling that is the Victoria’s Secret fashion show—is worth talking about and acting on.
As contributing editor Brittany Adams wrote in her latest “Model Musings” column, this television event is the first “formative notion of what modeling is” for little girls (and boys, for that matter) tuning in worldwide. Wouldn’t it be nice to sell not just sex and more polyester underwear, but a message of inclusiveness and positivity at the same time? Let's gossip about that in the media instead of discussing whether or not Delevingne had one too many burritos. I'd like to see a non-straight size model "enthusiastically confirmed" sans casting and strut the runway in the City of Light. That's how you shut up the critics. Not a public apology letter on powder pink stationary.