Diana Di Poce is a fourth year Ryerson University student in the Fashion Communications program. For her final project she decided to launch Dare magazine, targeted to women size 12-plus, but not only about the curvy girl.
"I wanted to keep it more general in the way that any woman can look at the magazine and get inspiration from it," she said.
"[It's] just like how I pick up an issue of Elle or Flare ... even though I won't fit these outfits and I won't look like these models, I still get inspiration from it."
In the last few years, we have seen the body size argument in the fashion industry explode, with some countries banning models for being 'too thin' while some designers have said they don’t want “fat people wearing their clothes.”
More runways and fashion shoots are featuring a variety of women sized 0-14, but normally as a feature model, the majority of models are still size 2.
Dare magazine isn’t a new concept; plus sized magazines have existed for years. But Dare magazine is being developed by a millennial who isn’t trying to single-handily change the industry, what she is striving for is an acknowledgement of the consumer.
Di Poce has said she has been “plus-sized all my life” and is in fact the average North American woman, and yet, except for a few token celebrities, she can’t find herself in any of the marketing found in fashion magazines.
"I think it's an industry that has followed that belief. They think that consumers all aspire to a size 2 without realizing the diversity among consumers and the diverse aspirations and diverse ideas of beauty that consumers hold."
She isn’t alone. More and more fashion lines have added plus-size collections (although perhaps the name should be changed to average-size now) and seen a healthy return on investment.
Lets talk about the elephant in the room: obesity is at epidemic proportions, and the notion that by showcasing models size 12+ in clothing that fits them and looks attractive will somehow say that it is "okay to be fat" … the thing is, it is okay to be fat; it is okay to not be a size small, it is okay to be curvy. It is about being healthy, and a thin model or curvy model isn’t going to change that there are a variety of body types out there.
Di Poce has ambition and drive, I hope her magazine is a success, but she has an uphill battle with an industry that has a reality TV show like Fashion Star airing an episode focusing on plus size design, and the stores still refuse to carry the clothes in anything above a 14.