What 'plus-size' means to Nia Jax, Christian Siriano, Leslie Jones, and others

Natalie Hage is covering all things curvy for Yahoo Lifestyle, at New York Fashion Week and beyond. Read her articles for an honest take on navigating the world as a plus-size woman, and follow her on Instagram for more. 

The term “plus-size” can mean so many things to different people. A handful of years ago, it seemed to be solely a negative term; you definitely didn’t want to be labeled as such, and fashion clearly reflected that. There was no positive representation of plus-size bodies anywhere, plus-size fashion was basically nonexistent (and if it did exist, it was mediocre at best), and the term itself was almost said in a whisper.

Fast-forward to today, and the term “plus-size” holds such a different meaning. It’s common to find people who are embracing the term and using it to describe not only their size in clothing but also their body. 


I walked around two major events this past week — TheCurvyCon and New York Fashion Week — and asked dozens of people what the one word is that comes to mind when they hear the term “plus-size.” 

I asked everyone from CurvyCon attendees to models to famed designers to actresses, and I found it comforting that there was no shortage of an overwhelmingly positive word association with the term. Clothing designer Christian Siriano’s word was “gorgeous,” professional wrestler and model Nia Jax’s was “positive,” a CurvyCon attendee’s was “vivacious,” and there were so many more notable descriptors. 


Personally, if I were asked this question, I would have a really hard time coming up with a single word that remotely encompassed what “plus-size” is. We know the natural relationships with things like clothing size or body type, but when you dig deeper, plus-size is so much more than that.

We live in a world that far and wide tries to diminish plus-size people. People are constantly trying to tear us down, change us, shrink us, or make us go away. You can be strikingly beautiful and plus-size … and still get endless amounts of hate and negativity thrown your way.

It was electric to share the same space with so many people who embrace and love the plus-size world. I would try to describe it more poignantly, but I wouldn’t do it justice.

So, if I really had to choose just one word that comes to my mind when I hear the term “plus-size,” it would simply be “powerful.”

Watch the video above, and tell us what you think.

More highlights from Yahoo Lifestyle’s exclusive broadcast of TheCurvyCon:

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