Now, a Glasgow teenager is the latest ambassador to lead the backlash against super-thin models.
At a healthy size 12, Angelica Gray, 19, is on the verge of becoming Scotland’s first plus-size supermodel.
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Ms Gray is just the latest model to buck the size-zero trend in what many believe is a growing section of the fashion world. The average dress size of a UK woman is 16. The average model is a size six.
It began in the mid-90s when a size 16 Sophie Dahl took the modelling world by storm and proved you didn’t have to be stick-thin to carve out a modelling career. But these days Dahl is more famous for losing those curves and cookery shows.
Recently, plus-size model Crystal Renn, the face of Evans, appeared in US Vogue, while the French version of the fashion magazine devoted an issue to plus-size models.
Ms Gray, whose grandmother was a model in the 1950s, said: “It’s nice to be accepted the way I am, and be considered for big campaigns like Evans. It makes me pleased that I didn’t have to change to fit into this industry.
“I don’t fit into this size zero image that the media has created for us, but I think that it’s important that we stop seeing that image all the time. We should be seeing a kind of normality that young women can identify with, so that they can think, ‘I can be beautiful too’.”
Victoria Allison, model booker at Model Team, Ms Gray’s Glasgow-based agency, said: “The market does seem to be changing. Girls like Angelica are proving that curvier models can be just as beautiful as a slimmer model and can work equally well in high-fashion clothing.”
“As soon as we saw her, we knew our clients were going to absolutely love her.”
Models such as Angelica are welcomed as a refreshing change in a world where young girls are bombarded with images of the likes of super skinny Cheryl Cole.
But Dr Alex Yellowlees, who treats women suffering from eating disorders at the Glasgow Priory, warns of the dangers of referring to size-12 models as plus size. He said: “The fact that a size 12 is seen as plus size when it’s just normal is unhealthy in its own right. We absolutely need more normal-looking women like Angelica out there.”