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About This Book
For two and a half years, Amanda Czerniawski was asociologist turned plus-size model. Journeying into a world where, as a size10, she was not considered an average body type, but rather, for the fashionindustry, “plus-sized,” Czerniawski studied the standards of work and imageproduction in the plus-sized model industry. Fashioning Fat takes us through a model’s day-to-day activities,first at open calls at modeling agencies and then through the fashion shows andphoto shoots. Czerniawski also interviewed 35 plus-size models about theirlives in the world of fashion, bringing to life the strange contradictions ofbeing an object of non-idealized beauty. Fashioning Fat showsus that the mission of many of these models is to challenge our standards ofbeauty that privilege the thin body; they show us that fat can be sexy. Many plus-sizemodels do often succeed in overcoming years of self-loathing and shame overtheir bodies, yet, as Czerniawski shows, these women are not the ones in chargeof beauty’s construction or dissemination. At the corporate level, the fashionindustry perpetuates their objectification. Plus-size models must conform to animage created by fashion’s tastemakers, as their bodies must fit withinnarrowly defined parameters of size and shape—an experience not too differentfrom that of straight-sized models. Ultimately, plus-size models find that theyare still molding their bodies to fit an image instead of molding an image ofbeauty to fit their bodies. A much-needed behind-the-scenes look at thisgrowing industry, Fashioning Fat is afascinating, unique, and important contribution to our understanding of beauty.