By SIDNEY STERLING
A few months ago, Ashley Graham, a 28-year-old plus-size model, rocked the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2016 swimsuit edition and forced the fashion world change the perspective regarding the typical model prototype.
Flash forward to this week. Male plus-size models are also revamping the fashion field.
Zach Miko, 26, a male plus-sized model from Stratford, Conn. with a 40-inch waist, signed to IMG’s “brawn” line this past week. IMG is one of the most prestigious modeling agencies in the world and manages models like Lara Stone, Freja Beha and Gigi Hadid.
In his attempt to stray away from words such as “large” or “plus,” Miko likes to be referred to as a “brawn” model. He has also urged IMG to call their plus-size female category “curve.”
In an interview with The Guardian, Miko stated, “I don’t find “plus size” offensive, but I think it’s the same [as fat] in that plus size has grown to have a negative connotation. Plus, means additional, outside; it keeps pushing that label of not being “normal”. If you see the word “brawn”, you think about physical strength and power, just as “curve” suggests sexy and confident, as opposed to “big.”
When taking a look at Zach Miko’s modeling resume, one might notice that he has only modeled for Target. However, Target is a big retailer in the United States and Miko immediately got attention from bloggers and various sites when his work hit the stands.
In an article about Miko, Teen Vogue stated, “As the fashion industry continues to try and diversify the body types, genders, and skin tones of the models it hires, more and more people are finding themselves represented on the runway and in magazines.”
Fashion outlets are calling this shift in the modeling world “genius” and “captivating” because it embodies the average person.
The Toronto Star also stated, “He’s blond, blue-eyed and his size-13 shoes are leaving big footprints on the fashion industry.”
People just cannot get enough of Miko and his brave actions are inspiring others to break the barriers our society self imposes.
However, people will always have negative things to say. Many bloggers and social media consumers are calling Miko “fat” and deeming women plus-size models as “fat chicks.”
Although our society and the fashion world we live in has come a long way, thanks to strong willed people like Miko, there will always be critics to any advancement in culture.
Do you think people should stop using the term plus-size and use names like “brawn” and “curvy?” Because of this revolution, do you think this will change the perception and dynamic of the fashion world?