You know, from time to time, I wonder how in the world fashion became all about the straight sized women who were smaller than a size 12. I mean, it isn’t like there were never bigger women throughout the course of history. And who were the rebels that got us where we are today?
Being somewhat of a history buff, I decided to see if there was something out there that might shed some light on this for me. AND, I found it (the internet can be such an amazing place). Last year, NYU M.A. Costume Studies candidates put together a Symposium and Exhibit called Beyond Measure: Fashion and The Plus-Size* Woman.
The word symposium brings to mind a few things for me. One seminar that I attended, a mock pandemic flu epidemic scenario, was fantastic and opened my eyes to how a pandemic would not only affect population, but health-care in particular. Another symposium I attended, dealt with the after effects of a hurricane, roughly the size and destructive nature of Hurricane Katrina. This particular convention was both educational and gave me real world tools that I would need when the actual Hurricane Katrina hit.
And even though I’ve had very good experiences at symposiums, my first thought on seeing this one was that it was going to be a snoozefest. It definitely isn’t. I watched the exhibition first (find it here). After the exhibition, I wanted to know more and found the symposium. Both of these videos shed light on a lot of the questions I had about the “plus-size” world. I won’t go into detail on in this blog as the best I could do with the information would be to regurgitate their research in a bullet-point fashion. I think that would take away from their project, so I will simply say that I highly recommend watching the videos to find out how we got to the place where we are today. I particularly enjoyed the keynote speech by Professor Leah Sweet, Parsons the New School for Design.
After seeing both, I realized that there wasn’t just one rebel out there hailing the cause. Instead, there were many, many women plugging along just doing what they do and somehow, things began to change.
…what are you waiting for? Go watch!