Lizzie Miller is considered too large to model plus-size clothes. Is the reaction that followed the publication of this picture going to change that?
Lizzie Miller photographed by Walter Chin as pictured in the September issue of US Glamour Photograph: Walter Chin/Glamour
'It's a photo that measures all of three by three inches," gushes Cindi Leive, editor of US Glamour in a post on the magazine's blog, "but the letters about it started to flood my inbox literally the day Glamour hit newsstands." The picture in question, illustrating a story about body confidence, has generated more than 700 comments on the site, and featured on the US Today morning TV programme. What does it show? A beautiful, creamy-skinned naked model . . . with a small roll of stomach fat.
Lizzie Miller, the 20-year-old model in question, agrees that it's astonishing that, at 5ft 11in and 12.5 stone she's considered a "plus size" model. "It's sad," she says. "In the industry anything over size six is considered a plus-size." Miller, who is around a US size 12-14 (that is, either average or slightly below average) lost about 60lb when she was 13 but today she is considered too large to model for plus-size lines Marina Rinaldi (she says, "they like girls who are an 8-10") or Elena Miro. She says that the overwhelming reaction to the tiny photograph, buried on page 194 of Glamour magazine "shows that the world is hungry to see pictures of normal women."
One wouldn't have thought this would be news. As Miller says, "pretty much every picture in a magazine or ad is airbrushed . . . I don't think the public understands how much smoke and mirrors are involved in making women look like that."
So does the reaction to this picture mean that the tide is turning? Hardly. Even after the deluge of emails, Leive hasn't made a commitment to using average-sized women in fashion shoots, saying only that the magazine wants to celebrate "all kinds of beauty". The outcome for Miller, though, has been more positive. She has received more offers of work since the picture was published. And her model agency, Wilhelmina, has told her that she mustn't lose any weight.
Too fat to be a model? The picture that caused a storm in the fashion world | Life and style | The Guardian