Sample size is the standard in the fashion industry for models on the runway and in photo shoots, but it is not the standard in real life. Far from it. In the real world, there are bodies of all different shapes and sizes, yet such body types are not widely celebrated in fashion.
That is part of the message behind You Do You's What Is Sample Size? photo shoot. The agender, body positive fashion site aimed to highlight the massive discrepancy between the average woman's body and the fashion industry's norm. To illustrate this, You Do You fashion writer Liz Black modeled different sample size garments with the glamour of a typical high fashion shoot.
You Do You points out that 67 percent of American women wear a size 14 or larger. This is in stark contrast to the fashion industry where a size 0 or 00 is usually considered the norm.
You Do You's Editor-in-Chief Kristiina Wilson told A Plus via email that their intention behind the shoot was to highlight the point that those who are not a size 0 or 00 cannot fit into these standard sample size garments. It's an issue the publication deals with frequently during shoots, but it transcends to the real world.
Wilson writes that she hopes this shoot can help the industry progress for the better, "We hope that this story helps to illustrate this problem, shows how fashion CAN be beautiful on all body types, and helps push the industry forward in terms of body acceptance and inclusivity."
Model and writer Liz Black wrote to A Plus that the What Is Sample Size? photo shoot "isn't a take-down on any specific designers, but a message to the industry as a whole." She adds, "There needs to be more inclusion in the fashion world" — an especially relevant point given this shoot came shortly after Orange is the New Black actress Dascha Polanco spoke out about designers refusing to dress her because she is not sample size.
"We've made some wonderful, exciting movements and things are certainly better than they've ever been, but there is still more work to be done. We cannot stay complacent with how things are, we need to keep pushing for greater representation."
Every movement needs to have a strong voice. The What Is Sample Size shoot helps to further the discussion on body positivity and inclusiveness in the fashion world. And they were able to get their point across while producing stunning images that could be torn from a glossy magazine.