BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Women's Health

Discover everything you need to know about women’s nutrition in this section devoted solely to woman’s issues. Topics covered include weight gain during menopause, and tips on how to detect and avoid breast cancer.

What Is Considered Plus Size Now? Why is Size Six the New Plus Size

What size is plus size now? As the fashion industry is casting models as small as a size 6.


What is considered plus size? For many women, being able to fit into a size 6 dress can be a triumphant moment. But, according to a recent article in PLUS magazine, size 6 is now considered to be plus size.

According to the article in PLUS, the fashion industry is starting to cast plus size models who are as small as a size 6.

The alarming issue from the magazine's January issue exposes the reasons behind why the fashion industry is casting models who keep getting thinner and thinner.

It is no secret that both the fashion and entertainment industry have always played off the insecurities of women. This is why you see mainstream celebrities endorsing radical diets that promote unhealthy weight loss in a short period of time. This is also why runway models have gotten smaller.

Most of us know this isn’t healthy, but how can we avoid the pressures of succumbing to this standard when everyone tells us it’s how we should be? Our founding physician explains the science behind why one size is not the best fit for all.

What Does Average Really Mean?

Although "average" is often used as a label to classify certain groups and things, it’s really difficult to use this as an accurate tool for weight loss.

Most people automatically assume that if you are an average weight, you must be healthy, which isn't necessarily true.

BistroMD’s founding physician, Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., emphasizes that you need to forget about the size of your dress. What’s healthy for one woman may not be healthy for another. Variables like height, weight and age play a very important role.

“Let’s not look at what Madison Avenue tells us is right,” says Dr. Cederquist. “The fashion industry and celebrities can't tell you how to be healthy. The truth is, we can all be healthy at different dress sizes. This doesn't matter.”

Overall, the best way to know if you are healthy at your current weight is to consult with a physician who can give you the best diagnosis. They can also give you your target weight based on the most important factors.

What Is Considered Plus Size? Why Such a Change in Size?

According to this article in PLUS magazine, agents are casting models who are smaller and smaller. So, why such a dramatic shift in size?

“Right now, the average American woman is 5’4” and weighs between 140-160 pounds, and is between a size 12-14,” says Dr. Cederquist.

It’s obvious that models are getting smaller while the rest of the country seems to be getting bigger. The question is: why?

According to several major news channels, like CBS, the look more or less has to do with designers and the type of “visual appearance” they want for their shows.

Although some designers want their models to be stick-thin, some major fashion shows have recently started banning models that don’t meet a certain weight criteria. One of these shows was Madrid’s Fashion Week in 2009, where 5 models were banned from the runway because they were deemed "to thin."

Although certain agencies and major fashion players are taking the issues to heart, the desire to have ultra-thin models sends one prominent message to women: insecurity.

“Weight is such an emotional subject for most women, simply because society tells them that they need to be a certain weight in order to feel beautiful and fulfilled,” says Dr. Cederquist. “Instead of focusing on 'dress size' the focus should be on health. If you are healthy, then you are happy, and it shouldn’t matter if you are a size six or a size 12.”

What do you think of size 6 being considered “plus size” by fashion standards? Please feel free to voice your opinion on this sensitive issue on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on September 27, 2018.


Follow @bistroMD

Start Your Diet Today!

Reality Check - Your Free Diet Analysis

Simply answer a few questions so we can figure out your weight loss goals and provide solutions for a lighter, healthier you. Our weight loss meal plans are designed to help real people achieve real and lasting success.

as seen on...   

join our free newsletter

Get free support to help you lose weight and be healthy with our Weekly Dish on Health.

stay connected