I cringe every time there’s anyone plus size on Project Runway. It just makes me want to curl up in preparation for the inevitable whining and disaster. In the episode I just watched, Ven complains that the “proportions are completely off.” And then keeps complaining about how hard it is to deal with a plus-size woman, how unfair it is he has to deal with a larger model. (He’s complaining because she’s almost [gasp] a 14! OH GOD.)
That’s how it feels. Like we’re constantly being told that it’s impossible for us to have nice things, no one can design anything good for us, we’re all wrong. (And hey, you have to wear black because it’s slimming! Because otherwise you’ll gross people out!)
People wonder why I act like I’m allergic to shopping for clothes. It’s one giant, miserable experience where nothing ever looks right. Obviously, there have to be some people that design for large women. But it always feels like no one’s figured out what the hell we’re supposed to wear to actually look good, so we end up with punishment clothes instead.
So watching Project Runway when there’s a plus-size woman on the show always gives me flashbacks to that personal nightmare. It makes me think well shit, if that’s how designers see us, no wonder clothing is a nightmare.
This episode felt different in one important aspect, and I really appreciated that. In previous seasons it always felt like there was just endless picking from everyone if there was a bigger lady on the show. This time, many of the other designers really attacked Ven for how he was treating his client/model. And when Heidi Klum ripped in to him at the end of the episode (“We like Teri but we don’t love your outfit.”) that made me feel a lot better too. The blame got placed squarely on Ven for designing clothes that didn’t look good, not on the woman for not being shaped like a model.
I didn’t expect that. It was refreshing. (And it’s kind of sad that people speaking out that hey you should treat a plus-size lady like a human being would be unusual and refreshing.)