NEW YORK – Some models want the term “plus-size” hung out to dry.
Former "Australia’s Biggest Loser" host Ajay Rochester began the social media campaign #droptheplus this past February in attempt to abolish the label. The TV personality posted a selfie with the sentence, “I am a woman,” in black marker on her stomach. Rochester issued a statement on her official Instagram about how damaging the label is not only models who are a size 10 and above, but to the average woman.
Since her post, Rochester has seen support from plus-sized model Stefania Ferrario, along with a slew of comments from women encouraging the plus-size signifier be suspended.
Georgina Burke, a plus-size model who has posed for Elle, Vogue Italia, and is represented by JAG Models, said the label typecasts models unfairly.
“Plus-size models are the exact same as the standard model, we are just on grander scale so why pigeon hole us by putting a label on it?!” she told FOX411.
But Robert Casey, president of modeling agency Maggie Inc., who agrees the term ‘plus-size’ is becoming antiquated, says without it there would be a need for a new label to classify models for advertisers.
“I don't think it's necessary to ban the term outright, we've already seen an organic progression in the classification— most agencies have changed the name of their plus divisions to curve divisions, and some leaders in the industry are now not separating their girls into different divisions at all,” he told FOX411. “It will become necessary to create a term to differentiate non-plus size models, and I don't think ‘minus-size models’ will go over well.”
Plus-sized blogger Allison McGevna agrees, saying "banning the term 'plus size' in fashion would be as arbitrary as banning 'petite,' 'tall,' 'juniors' or any other classification of clothing styles or cuts. The bottom line is that if you are wearing a size 14 and up, your clothing sizing is plus size."
Jennie Runk, another JAG model well known for her work with H&M beachwear, doesn’t think the term should be dropped either, but agrees it has a negative connotation.
“Often times, the word "plus" invokes negative stereotypes about plus sized women, and that's what needs to be addressed. There shouldn't be a reason for anyone to feel bad about being called plus or identifying as plus,” she said. “If we change the way people think about and react to the word, we move towards eliminating things like fat-shaming and bullying.”
Iskra Lawrence, a plus-sized model in Aerie’s lingerie REAL campaign, says the label is no big deal.
“I would personally never let a label damage my self-esteem. I see myself as a model and I'm grateful that there is a plus size industry so I can do what I love,” she said. “However I do think the term has developed a negative association and it may be due to the fact it alienates the consumer.”
Fox News.com Reporter and FOX411 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today's top celebrities and newsmakers. You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.