Stella McCartney Wants Size 10 Models Only

Stella_mccartney_peta So, Stella McCartney has refused to allow anyone under a UK size 10 to model for her at Paris Fashion Week. "Good for her!" I hear you all cry. "It’s about time we saw some real women on the catwalks!"

I have a problem with this, though – and it’s not that I want to see waifs on the catwalk, because I don’t. If a model is too thin to be healthy, then she shouldn’t be modeling. It’s bad news for her, it’s bad news for the fashion industry, and it’s bad news for every little girl or young woman who looks at her and thinks "that’s how I should look. That’s the weight I should be aiming for."

So, I have no argument with those who want to see anorexic girls taken off the catwalk. No, my beef is with those who want to bring the debate down to dress sizes and suggest that anyone under size 10 is underweight, and should therefore be banned.

You see, by suggesting that a UK size 10 is the minimum size someone should be before they’re allowed to model, the implication is that women who wear a UK size 8 or even – shock horror! – size 6 are "too thin". And that’s just not true.

A UK size 8 is roughly equivalent to a US size 4. While that’s by no means big, it’s not exceptionally skinny either. It’s perfectly possible for a woman to be a UK size 8 and be perfectly healthy. So why should she be banned from Stella’s catwalk?

I think the danger of bringing everything down to dress sizes – which is the way the so-called "size 0" debate has gone – is that we start to lose sight of what’s important, and what’s important is whether a woman is a healthy weight for her height and frame. Women are not all the same. We come in different heights, different shapes, and, yes, different dress sizes. If you’re very tall, for instance, wearing a UK size 10 may mean you’re underweight. If you’re very short, on the other hand, you may be slightly overweight in a 10 – or you may not be. So it’s wrong to suggest that women shouldn’t be smaller than size 10, just as it’s wrong to suggest that women shouldn’t be bigger than size 0.

My point? The number on your dress label doesn’t matter. As long as your weight is healthy for you, it doesn’t matter what size you wear.


  • April 9, 2007


    This is really unfair. I wear size 1 pants and that number has been going down over the years because girls are getting heavier. I am by no means underweight yet I have trouble finding clothes my size. Anything from Victoria’s secret, for instance, usually hangs on me–even small.

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  • January 28, 2008


    I don’t see what the problem is with slim models, I don’t want to see clothes on someone with lumps and bumps and bulges, I want to see what they are meant to look like.
    Also, it’s good to check if the clothes make the model look fat, if they’re unflattering on a size 4 then they’ll sure be ugly on the consumer!

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  • August 24, 2008


    Actually a UK size 6/8 is a US size 0/2 and for 5ft8-6ft model that is way too skinny and underweight.
    I’m 5ft2 wearing a UK size 10 (US size 6). I’m not overweight at all…you would have to be incredibly short to be overweight at that size, like under 4ft6.
    A size 10 would be more than skinny enough for someone of 5ft8-6ft.

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  • August 24, 2008


    UK Size 10 measurements:
    Bust: 34-35 inches
    Waist: 27-28 inches
    Hips: 36-37 inches
    Some of 5ft10 with those measurement would probably weigh around 135lb-140lb. I can’t imagine a woman that height being healthy under that weight unless she was very small framed.

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  • September 30, 2008


    If a movie maker decide to make a film with all monkeys painted in pink for the female roles could it be a problem for you?
    A brand do what is good for SELL!!!
    Now it’s good to be kind and gentle with weight people like in 90’s was cool show that all world was maked of skin people.
    In 80’s was fashionable to look like a man, do ou remember or not?
    In fashion there’s, there was and there’ll be someone to look like and someone don’t. Do or do not.
    And please relax. There’ll be always the good brand for your type of body, whatever it is.
    If we’re talking of beauty, it’s a different thing. I don’t like skin girls with no boobs or hips but I come from Italy. Here women are “naturally generous”.
    Think about. Fashion is worlwide. And every culture has its own idea of beauty.

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  • January 30, 2009


    Stella McCartney is totally right on with this one. If other designers insist upon repeatedly hiring uncommonly sized women -for example, the trend of hiring 5’10” models who have thighs the size of forearms, than McCartney has the artistic license to want to make clothes for women with healthy body weights for their heights. If you’re 5’10’ and weigh less than 125-130lbs you are REALLY thin for your average tall woman’s frame and your doctor would probably tell you to try to
    gain a little weight.
    There is no shortage of clinically underweight models, and I don’t see any models denying the prevalence of anorexia within the modeling community. I’d like to see a doctor watch several of the 2009 top fashion shows and not be shocked by how underweight and unhealthy many of the models were. Personally I’d rather see models who didn’t remind me of footage of starving people. I’d rather see athletic looking models, but the reality is probably that the audience for high fashion is a well-off one that is very concerned with displaying
    a lifestyle of leisure and vanity.

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