As the fashion industry’s fallen under scrutiny for their unrealistic portrayals of the female body, several brands have taken some heat from various online sources. Calvin Klein became the latest to garner Internet attacks after unveiling their latest “plus-size” model.
In an interview with Elle, Myla Dalbesio discussed being the biggest model featured by Calvin Klein. She said, “I’m not the biggest girl on the market but I’m definitely bigger than all the girls [Calvin Klein] has ever worked with.” Elle and several other interpreted this as meaning the brand hired Dalbesio as a plus-size model, even though she’s only a US size 10. The outrage was swift:
Genuine WTF moment. This woman is described as ‘plus-size’ and 'a bigger girl’. Aaaraagahagaagahahagahahag http://t.co/Z1yb0RgW8V— Isabel Hardman (@IsabelHardman) November 8, 2014
Ah, okay, Calvin Klein. A size 38/10 is today 'plus-sized’ http://t.co/gHgDBLNku4 hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Wake up plis— Lina Nilsson (@linanilssons) November 11, 2014
There’s one problem: Calvin Klein never said Dalbesio was plus-sized. A spokesperson for the company told the New York Times that the line she’s modeling is meant to “celebrate and cater to the needs of different women, and these images are intended to communicate that our new line is more inclusive and available in several silhouettes in an extensive range of sizes.”
So before you start burning all your clothes with a CK label, just know that the Calvin Klein “Plus-Sized” model controversy is pretty much baloney. While the industry certainly needs to re-evaluate the size of the women they use in advertisements, let’s save the outrage for a fashion brand that actually deserves it.
Joseph Misulonas is an intern for Playboy.com. He can be found on Twitter at @jmisulonas.