February 7, 2023

"But what makes her an unusual star for the high fashion industry... is the fact that Ms. Kortleve is a U.S. size 8 to 10 — or 'midsize'..."

"... as the middle ground between petite and plus size is increasingly known. 'Straight' size, or under a U.S. size 2, remains, overwhelmingly, the fashion industry norm. Plus-size models, typically those above a U.S. size 12, have become better represented in high fashion. 'Curve' models like Paloma Elsesser, Precious Lee and Ashley Graham have thriving careers. For years, however, Ms. Kortleve has been one of the only midsize models of note.... [T]he ordinary has long been rejected by high fashion, a world that loves to shock through visual extremes. Bony ribs (ideally) or ripples of undulating flesh (occasionally) on a runway or campaign shoot somehow seem preferable to highlighting a body that’s reflective of a more 'boring' middle ground...."

Midsize last size they want to show you, and it's the healthiest, most reasonable place to be. People want excitement, but whatever happened to feeling good?

Reminds me of politics: People don't want to hear from the boring middle or to feel balanced and at ease. They want extremes and extreme emotions — glee and anger. 

Or so it looks on line. Maybe in real life, people are serene and midsize or trying to get to serene/midsize.

57 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

As for the "midsize" movement on TikTok, I looked around and the women I saw using the tag were not in the 8 to 10 range but looked more like 14 or 16.

But 16 is reportedly the average size for women.

Big Mike said...

Models that don’t look anorexic? It’s a sign of the apocalypse, i tells you!

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

We see all these fat models now. right? no fat shame... just plump.
The super skinny models look ridiculous. That used to be the normal..Anorexic.
Now it's fat.

8-10 size should be considered healthy. Why not? It's "medium". I have just discovered.. Some girls are bigger than others. some girls mothers bigger than other girls mothers.

Joe Smith said...

Not my cup of tea.

The tattoo (that I can see) doesn't help.

I had a waitress the other night who was a very pretty girl; remarkably so.

But she had weird tattoos all over both arms...not a sleeve, but just randomly placed.

You think you're cool when you're 25 with a perfect body.

Maybe not so great when you're 50 and you've seen better days...

Sebastian said...

Slightly OT, sorry:

"the boring middle"

What is that in politics? What is the "middle" position on the border, on debt, on entitlements, on green energy subsidies, on election integrity, on judicial appointments, on transgenderism, on policing, on war against Russia, on Israel? Mittens?

The MSM are actually eager to hear from Republicans in the "middle," rather than those "extremists."

typingtalker said...

It seems that sizes would depend on the target audience. So ... who is the target audience?

Idea for AI -- Figure out who is viewing, know what size(s) they are interested in and fiddle with the image to match. After that, AI can start working on replacing the human models with AI creations specifically designed to the wants and desires of each and every viewer.

But wait, there's more! AI can replace the designers, test market various ideas and automagically design, manufacture, ship and debit your account. Woo Hoo!

Original Mike said...

'Midsize' sounds like a car.

Wilbur said...

Per Healthline.com:
"As of 2016, the average height for American women 20 years old and up is just under 5 foot 4 inches (about 63.7 inches) tall. The average weight is 170.6 pounds. Body size and shape have changed over the years."

5-4, 170 is average? I guess I need to get out more. Or maybe go to other parts of the country, because I don't think that's average for the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood area.

tim maguire said...

Supposedly clothes hang better on a body built like a hat rack. Which is too bad because midsize is not only the most healthy, it's also the most attractive.

Men like curves. Remember the dad bod of 10 years ago (that was, of course, totally misrepresented by lazy journalists)--a man who's fit and strong, but also looks like he enjoys pizza and beer while watching football? There's an equivalent woman bod--we like women who are fit and slim, but a good appetite is sexy too. We want a woman who will enjoy that pizza and beer with us.

Enigma said...

He he he. What the US calls 'midsize' the Japanese call 'FAT.' What the Japanese call midsize we'd call petite and healthy and slender.

https://japanjunky.com/is-it-illegal-to-be-fat-in-japan/

Yancey Ward said...

Ms. Kortleve is very attractive in the images I found on Google. The three "curve models" are not, so there is no accounting for taste, I suppose. I also don't find attractive the "skin and bone" models- I want to make them a sandwich- but most of the runway models I see today that aren't just fat aren't skin and bones, either.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

So Post Malone rates a pic but not her?

MikeR said...

This all sounds absolutely nuts. But it's been this way as long as I can remember. Remember Twiggy?

Sydney said...

Size 2 is extremely small. That’s the size I most often see on bottom basement price sales racks.

Sydney said...

I don’t believe size 8 to 10 is average, either.

mtp said...

I hear constantly about how men want skinny women. What men? Where? Have you ever heard a man you know talking about one of these emaciated fashion models as if she were a sex symbol?

This industry is run by women and gay men, and it reflects some combination of the tastes of women and gay men.

If you want to see the tastes of actual, real live, straight men, look at cheerleaders, sports, The Rockettes, or pro wrestling.

Look at what men actually want, and you will see women between about 18 and 34, in peak physical condition.

Wa St Blogger said...

One thing people don't think about is how wealth promotes obesity. We have bodies conditioned to deal with scarcity. When that scarcity goes away, we don't easily modify behavior to adapt. It takes work to overcome. In the past curves were more appreciated because it signified wealth.

On fashion, yes it promotes extremes. Extremely emaciated bodies wearing impractical and silly costumes. So now they look toward extremely unemaciated bodies, will they be wearing silly costumes?

Maybe I am conditioned by my upbringing, but I do not prefer much outside the 4-10 size range, but there are a the rare few that appeal that are outside that range, Audrey Hepburn comes to mind. The fashion industry did not get me to like stick-figure gals, I doubt it will get me to like zaftig either.

Still, if the goal is to get women to buy your clothes, it is incumbent on the industry to promote positive images of the women who would buy them. More 6-10 models would suit me just fine. But I think the industry is more interested in social justice and will promote 16+ to make a statement. Dumb.

Achilles said...

Reminds me of politics: People don't want to hear from the boring middle or to feel balanced and at ease. They want extremes and extreme emotions — glee and anger.

This is what people who talk about politics want. You pretend like you are some middle ground non-emotional actor. Your self awareness is really bad. You have been active on an extreme end all your life and your voting history is completely at odds with your self belief that you are somehow not emotional.

People who do not like politics or talking about it, most people, want to be left alone by people who talk about politics.

People who like politics and want to talk about politics are generally bossy know it all's who want to tell other people what to do.

This is why politically active people in both parties hate Trump.

You want Trump to go away so all those little people who don't want to listen to your officious crap will not be represented. Never Trump want Trump to go away so they can get back to their NRO cruises and shipping working class jobs oversees. Democrats want Trump to go away because they want to lord over every aspect of people's lives.

Politically active Republicans and Democrats want to tell everyone what to do, and Trump represents everyone else who wants the government to stop doing things it screws up and just be competent.

If you actually cared about boring competence in government you would support Trump.

You prefer something else.

PM said...

Where I grew up, mid-size girls were called heifers.

Achilles said...

The Standard American Diet does not produce healthy bodies. Yes, the acronym is S.A.D.

We were meant to be in Ketosis almost all of the time. People who consume fat/protein for energy are generally taller and leaner than people who eat vegetables and carbohydrates.

With any kind of reasonable diet it is not hard to be lean and healthy.

The problem is that our corporate food system is built on Americans being unhealthy.

Our healthcare system is designed to manage the symptoms of insulin resistance and help people pay a lot of money to die by slowly poisoning themselves with wheat, grains and sugar.

The last year has been a process of our family decoupling from grocery stores. Over the next decade more and more American people are going to be driving down the road to pick up half a cow and put it in the freezer every couple months and 95% of the grocery store will become completely unused.

Carol said...

"Size 2 is extremely small."

But so appealing to the Industry's latent pedophilia.

Michael said...

"...one of the only midsize models..."

Grr. It's one of the few, or one of only a few. There is no one of the only.

So it's a pet peeve, but I do not consider it pedantic. Only means "no more than." And this is one of the FEW places I feel comfortable saying so.

Narr said...

If she's unusual in the modeling world, that just proves once again the old thesis mtp puts forth: women and gay men generally have NO GUCKING CLUE what most straight men like to look at and guck if they can.

Personally I prefer a little too much meat to a little too little.



n.n said...

But so appealing to the Industry's latent pedophilia.

A casting couch, a friend with "benefits", a "burden" aborted in a sanctuary state, womb banks and sperm donors, conversion therapy for personal affirmation, infiltration and corruption of the Boy Scouts, schools, churches, etc. Pedophiles, transhumanists, and transgender groomers. A war of the worlds.

n.n said...

Personally I prefer a little too much meat to a little too little.

Curves, stores, and the healthy disposition of the fairer sex.

Ann Althouse said...

"Grr. It's one of the few, or one of only a few. There is no one of the only. So it's a pet peeve, but I do not consider it pedantic. Only means "no more than." And this is one of the FEW places I feel comfortable saying so."


I don't think you are right. Read this.

The "only" are a set of thing in the category are being referred to and the "one" is one of the things in the category. In this case the set is "the only midsize models of note" — there are only the ones that there are — and Kortleve is one of them.

I think your imagined rule is premised on the idea that "only" must me "one-ly" — only one. But we say there are only 7 days left before Valentine's Day and only women should go through the door marked "woman" and all sorts of things like that. "Only" doesn't mean "one-ly"!!!

Greg the Class Traitor said...

1: Most "supermodels" are entirely unattractive to heterosexual males. Whether you like boobs, butts, or legs, having nothing there is just not attractive.

2: All "plus size" models are ugly. "Undulating waves of fat" is grotesque. They're being inflicted on us for political reason by people who hate the normal

3: Why dont' we get more of the "in between"? because the freaks who run the fashion industry hate normal. it's the same reason for that hideous MLK statue just released in Boston.

Western "cultural elites" hate Western Civilization, the middle class, and the normal and decent.

That is the real problem, and I dont' see any good fixes for it.

My fix is that I dont' give them any of my money, or attention. See; ignoring the Grammies

Ann Althouse said...

I do get that you're saying the meaning is "no more than" and not that it can only refer to one thing.

Achilles said...

The Lizard people are trying to push this idea that fat people are healthy when they would never be fat themselves.

This is just a way to get more of the little people to be fat.

They are trying to ban meat and push vegetarian movements.

But only for the little people.

They want a billion people on the planet, most of whom serve them in some sort of slave/serf like capacity. This is all just a means to an end.

Ann Althouse said...

Actually, I do see your point.

We say "only child" and we don't say "he was one of the only children in his family."

Greg the Class Traitor said...

Reminds me of politics: People don't want to hear from the boring middle or to feel balanced and at ease. They want extremes and extreme emotions — glee and anger.

No, we want intellectual coherence and principles, not twisting whichever way the wind blows.

What is the "middle ground" between "males can claim they're trans, and then compete in female sports / be sentenced to women's jails / got into women's locker rooms / bath rooms / spas" and "no one with a penic can do any of those things"?

No "they need a doctor's note" is not a "middle ground", because there are thousands of people with MDs in the US who will give them that note, some after 1 one hour "consultation".

Owen said...

Speaking of midsize politics: Martin Gurri just published a great essay in “City Journal” (put out by Manhattan Instutute). It’s “In Search Of A Right Populist Agenda” and IMHO is a brilliant assessment of the mess we’re in politically and culturally.

Ann Althouse said...

"Slightly OT, sorry..."

Not if you read to the end of the post. You should apologize, but not for going OT

Greg the Class Traitor said...

Reminds me of politics: People don't want to hear from the boring middle or to feel balanced and at ease. They want extremes and extreme emotions — glee and anger.

Here is the story of American politics for the last 100 years:
The Right: We want to keep all our rights
The Left: We want to take away A, B, C, D, ..., X, Y, Z
The "Middle": We'll only let them take away A, B, and C

Next year:
The Right: We want to keep all our rights
The Left: We want to take away D, E, F ..., X, Y, Z, a, b, c
The "Middle": We'll only let them take away D, E, and F

If the people in the middle were honest and decent people, who remembered what the Left took last time, and said "If you want to take anything else, you have to give up your previous gains of A, B, and C", then it would be possible to have a valid "middle ground"

But they're not, and we don't

So the only rational position is to never, ever, give the Left anything

Achilles said...

Michael said...
"...one of the only midsize models..."

Grr. It's one of the few, or one of only a few. There is no one of the only.

So it's a pet peeve, but I do not consider it pedantic. Only means "no more than." And this is one of the FEW places I feel comfortable saying so.


One of the great things about social media is that we can ourselves go past the filters of the NYT's and these fashion businesses.

Most female "influencers" are "mid-sized."

Go on Twitch or Instagram and see what the women who post this kind of stuff look like.

Nobody would call Kim Kardassian skinny.

Reading Narr's comment above he would appreciate the average Instagram model to the average very thin very tall runway model.

Ann Althouse said...

""As of 2016, the average height for American women 20 years old and up is just under 5 foot 4 inches (about 63.7 inches) tall. The average weight is 170.6 pounds. Body size and shape have changed over the years." 5-4, 170 is average?"

Notice that's much bigger than the "midsize" referred to in the article. That would clearly be plus size. As I said above the average woman's dress size is 16, which is way larger than 8 or 10, the midsize referred to in the article.

Mason G said...

"Politically active Republicans and Democrats want to tell everyone what to do, and Trump represents everyone else who wants the government to stop doing things it screws up and just be competent."

He's not wrong, you know.

Ann Althouse said...

All my life, I've heard the average height for women was 5'5", which is also my height. I thought people were getting taller and that for younger women the average was more like 5'6". Maybe if they're averaging all women and women are living longer, the shrinking old women are bringing the average down.

Ann Althouse said...

TikTok served me a video the other day of a woman stepping onto a scale and being delighted that she was over 600 pounds. I had to click some of her other videos to figure out that she has been deliberately gaining weight and documenting the process.

She actually did look pretty good, in an extreme and crazy way. She carried it well and, because she radiated joy, was entertaining to watch. Up to a point. Is she killing herself? That's nothing to watch for entertainment.

Original Mike said...

""As of 2016, the average height for American women 20 years old and up is just under 5 foot 4 inches (about 63.7 inches) tall. The average weight is 170.6 pounds. Body size and shape have changed over the years." 5-4, 170 is average?"

'Average' is dragged higher by large numbers, of course. 'Median' would be more instructive.

n.n said...

Excess body fat is good to share with your baby, but extreme body fat is a first-order comorbidity and pathogenic progress.

Michael said...

Women’s clothes sizes have been jiggered with to make the real. Size 12s fit easily in an eight. Presto feel good.

Carol said...

I really admire people who are average healthy weight as teens and stay that way their whole lives.

I mean just right, without a lot of obsessive exercise and dieting. (Some terribly fit women seem a *little* bit frantic.)

It's possible if you don't get fat as a child. Once those fat cells come into being they're always ready to fill up.

But it's easy to start putting on the pounds in adolescence before you realize what's happening. Very sad.

Owen said...

If the average woman is 170 pounds and 5'4" tall, that's a BMI of 29+. Borderline obese.

I am thinking not just a little cute puppy fat here, but major muffin tops. Rolls, indeed collops, of lard. Cellulite city. A full winter's reserve of kilocalories.

How did this become our standard of pulchitrude?

Sebastian said...

"You should apologize, but not for going OT"

Huh? The post was about model sizes. A comment links to politics--no one wants to hear from the boring middle, people want extremes.

My comment addressed neither issue but raises a question about what it it means to be "middle" in American politics--"slightly OT," and hence not kosher under blog rules. If the post did in fact also mean to address the substance of centrism in American politics, I do apologize for misunderstanding.

At the risk of messing up the thread even more, my question is a genuine question, by the way. What is the "middle" of American politics these days? I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but as a political position it's fuzzy to me.

JaimeRoberto said...

'Midsize' sounds like a car.

And these days more and more of them are convertibles.

Charlotte Allen said...

I looked up Jill Kortleve. She is attractive, but she's not "midsize." She's plus-size, which is how fashion journalism in fact describes her. She's 5'8" and we don't know her weight--but unless there's been more size inflation, she looks like at least a size 14, probably a 16. Those are plus-sizes in the modeling world.

I'm a midsize (size 8). And to be frank, when I see clothes online or in catalogues modeled by plus-size models, I don't want to buy them, even when they come in my size. They automatically look cloth-y and unattractive: clothes for cows. I like to look at clothes modeled by gorgeous, slender supermodels of the Gisela Bundchen variety. But I gather that there now aren't enough of us midsize and small-size women left anymore to make it worthwhile to market clothes to us. So my clothing purchases have slid to the cellar. This is good for my bank account but depressing for my spirits, since I love clothes.

Old and slow said...

"Blogger Owen said...
How did this become our standard of pulchitrude?

It didn't. It became our average. Our average is not very attractive. The US is horribly fat. The world is working to catch up in many cases, but we are still quite exceptional.

Narr said...

I don't know much about women, but I know what I like.

LibertarianLeisure said...

I read,(somewhere) where in order to make women more comfortable buying clothes, that the manufacturers fudged on the actual sizes. So, a true size 20 was labeled a size 8. Never knew if this was true but it certainly makes sense in getting a purchaser to somehow believe that they were a second ze 8, instead of a size 10. Ego.

Joanne Jacobs said...

"Petite" refers to length not width. Usually it means designed for someone 5'4" or less. (Me!) I've always worn middle sizes: 170 pounds for someone my height is enormous.

When I shop online for clothes, it's hard to visualize what the clothes really look like because the model is either very tall and very thin or, recently, obese. I want to know what the outfit looks like on an average-sized woman.

traditionalguy said...

The best look of them all is Catherine Princess of Wales (Kate). She is a 5’9” 120 lbs size 4. That said the woman’s personality is still what men find attractive. She wins that one too.

Mason G said...

"I looked up Jill Kortleve. She is attractive..."

I looked her up too, and checked out a page or two of images. Don't know about attractive, I suppose it could be possible but I'm just curious in case anybody knows- when did the "I'm holding a turd in my mouth" look become popular?

mtp said...

LibertarianLeisure,

I buy size 36 pants, and have for 25 years. During that time my measured waist has gone from about 35" to about 42".

I am writing this today, with a 42-inch waist, wearing size 36 pants that are far too loose for me and falling down around my butt.

CStanley said...

So, a true size 20 was labeled a size 8. Never knew if this was true but it certainly makes sense in getting a purchaser to somehow believe that they were a second ze 8, instead of a size 10. Ego.

Yes, vanity sizing.

In my experience it’s more common in some of the higher end clothing lines. The problem is you never know what the hell size will fit.

Readering said...

On a BMI scale Kortleve is a healthy weight. At about the same height, Kate Middleton is underweight, quite something with 3 kids.

LibertarianLeisure said...

MTP: Hilarious 😂