The reaction to Myla Dalbesio's ad campaign for Calvin Klein was one of the worst moments in plus-size fashion in 2014. The model herself, though, might be one of the best things to emerge in the fashion industry when it comes to body positivity and size inclusion. In a new interview with Yahoo! Style, Dalbesio's opening up even more about what it's like to be an "in-betweener" as a model — plus, there's a gorgeous photo shoot to go along with the interview.
Dalbesio's been doing the opposite of what smaller models do over the course of her nine-year career — she's had to try to look bigger. After revealing that she couldn't shake the 15 pounds that agents wanted her to lose when she was first starting out, she signed with Ford's Plus Size division. From that point on, “You get used to calling yourself a plus-size model when you’re not," she says. She even owns padding to help her fill out some of the plus-size clothes.
The model has been making waves since her Calvin Klein campaign started generating buzz earlier this year. Industry followers and the public alike chastised the underwear brand for considering her plus-size — except, they didn't. "What Calvin did was radical," says Dalbesio. "They didn’t book someone who was so large and didn’t make a huge announcement. They just booked a normal girl.”
Isn't it funny that for such a "normal girl," there was so much discussion about this campaign? God forbid a fashion brand uses a regular-size person in an ad. But it's so rare that it seems like models have to be either "skinny-skinny" or "fat and fabulous," as Dalbesio puts it, to be considered. And that just doesn't mirror reality.
"There’s been a whole public outcry about me not being as big people think I should be. They say, ‘What do you have to complain about? You have a great body.’ But if you’re a size 6 or 10, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to see yourself represented, too.”
Amen. As a lifelong "in-betweener" as well, I would love to start seeing people my size modeling clothes I want to wear. Although every single body is different, shouldn't the fashion and modeling industries at least be trying to represent as many consumers as possible?
Here's to hoping Dalbesio continues to spread change in the new year, and that we get to see more gorgeous images of her soon. Check out the full shoot and interview over at Yahoo! Style.
And in case you forgot about the now-famous Calvin Klein ad:
Images: Instagram/@sinbadrad, @mothermodel