What is petite? Unlike plus-size or size zero, the word petite is used to describe a woman. It’s a complimentary suggesting that the person is smaller and well proportioned.
So does size matter? It certainly does to some. Surely this shouldn’t be used as yet another restriction for models or those wishing to be models, should it? After all, we only notice whether someone is small when we have something large in scale near him, or her as a reference.
As you can see I’ve introduced men into this argument as well. The average height for a man in the UK is 5ft 9in (1.75m) and a woman is 5ft 3in (1.61m) respectively.
However, as we all know the entry and acceptable height for both men and women entering modeling in successful agencies is a lot higher.
Does this matter? I guess it does to some, and in many instances, garments are being designed and made for a taller “Industry Standard” that doesn’t accurately represent women.
The practicalities of which exclude in most instances petite models, because clothing designs are created based on a taller body type despite the fact that the majority of women are “petite.”
I propose that maybe we should think differently in order to change an inaccurate perception facilitated by the fashion industry and by that I mean industry professionals from the; models, photographers, agencies, designers, and retailers that need a fresh dose of reality.
We see no difference in the use of a tall model versus a petite model as long as you avoid a visual comparison and even so, height should never be an issue as long as the person is healthy-looking and good proportionately.
There are plenty of areas in mainstream modeling where height has no consequence, for example; beauty, skincare, dental, eyewear, makeup, and hair products, to name just a few, but with that said petite models don’t usually get those jobs because of the current industry standards.
At Models of Diversity, we champion petite models as we do plus-size, models of color, mature models, and models with a disability within our fashion initiative. To everyone out there who is ‘classed’ as petite (5’6″ and shorter), follow your goals, challenge the perceptions of others, and show them what you have to offer.
It was exciting for us to be introduced to Ann Lauren and Bella Petite Magazine! Finally, the petite model has real recognition and opportunity with Bella Petite Magazine and their professional model search.
Together we believe change will happen!
Slowly, but surely, change will come if enough women rise to the call alongside both Models of Diversity and Bella Petite Magazine! Your support and participation in our efforts are how you can help.
Models Of Diversity and Catwalk4Change will feature two runway shows during London Fashion Week!
Models of Diversity is NOT a modeling agency, so we have partnered with Bella Petite Magazine to find the next great face of the petite model!
Sources: 1 Office for National Statistics (ONS)
Written by: Angel Sinclair
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