For too long now they have been lurking in the fashion shadows. We all knew they were there but we never really acknowledged their presence. It was easier to pretend they didn’t exist. Well not any more, step forward real sized women because it is your turn in the fashion spotlight.

Fashion is a strange beast, not since Goldilocks has there been a creature so hard to please. In the industry too big is not good enough, if you want to play the game you have to be fashion sized, which means tiny. Really tiny. Sample sizes would come in a size 6 or 8 at most and dieting just to fit into the latest trends was generally the norm. It didn’t stop with fashion; actresses, pop stars, and generic D list celebrities, everyone wanted to be size zero.

Thankfully, over the last couple of years the tides have started turning. Suddenly famous women started saying they didn’t want to be constantly hungery anymore, they began to stop pretending that they “eat hamburgers all the time” and actually starting eating hamburgers. Stick thin celebrities are no longer plastered all over our TVs and magazines and instead we are starting to see normal sized women on our screens. Thanks in part to the success of Hit TV show Girls, written by and starring the real sized Lena Dunham; Lena doesn’t fit into the normal America TV show mould and nor does she seem to want to. She unapologetically (and constantly) strips off in the show, revealing a figure that has a few lumps and bumps, probably not unlike a large majority of the women who watch the show.

But it’s not all thanks to Lena; the bloggersphere has opened up the fashion world, made it less “industry” and the explosion of street fashion has meant that suddenly real people are calling the shots and the fashion world has to follow. Anybody can now start their own fashion blogs and the most popular ones come in all shapes and sizes but what they have highlighted is the need for fashion that fits all. Many high street stores still only go up to size 16, which when you consider that the UK average is a size 14 this doesn’t give a lot of wiggle room.

The real women invasion isn’t going anywhere, Lena opened the floodgates for “normal” women and there are plenty of them who can show that talent, style and intelligence has nothing to do with your size or body shape. It is important to note that this isn’t about being big or small, it is about being the size that is right and healthy for you, because who wants to be a zero when you can be a hero?

By Samantha Vandersteen

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