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#DropThePlus fashion campaign protest
Australian model Stefania Ferrario@droptheplus via Instagram

#DropThePlus calls on fashion to stop using ‘plus-size’

‘Let's have models of ALL shapes, sizes and ethnicities, and drop the misleading labels. I am a model FULL STOP.’

Australian model Stefania Ferrario is fed up of being called a plus-size model, and #DropThePlus is her call to arms. Together with Ajay Rochester, the former host of The Biggest Loser, Ferrario is calling on the fashion industry to stop using the term "plus-size" to describe women. They believe that the "misleading label" is "damaging for the minds of young girls" – and judging by the hundreds of women who have tweeted and Instagrammed under the hashtag, it seems like they're not the only ones. 

Ferrario is a UK size 12 and is currently the face of Dita von Teese's lingerie line. She wrote on Instagram: "I am a model FULL STOP. Unfortunately in the modelling industry if you're above a US size 4 you are considered plus size, and so I'm often labelled a 'plus size' model. I do NOT find this empowering."

She continued: "A couple of days ago, Ajay Rochester [@ajayrochester] called the industry to task for its use of the term 'plus size' by making the point that it is 'harmful' to call a model 'plus' and damaging for the minds of young girls."

"I fully support Ajay and agree with her. Let's have models of ALL shapes, sizes and ethnicities, and drop the misleading labels. I'm NOT proud to be called 'plus', but I AM proud to be called a 'model', that is my profession!"

Rochester begun #DropThePlus a month ago and support has been building ever since. She said on Instagram: "I am a woman FULL STOP! We are all women. Many shapes and sizes. It's not us vs them. We are sisters!" The television host also posted the tweet below, which is pretty tough to disagree with:


But some women don't see the problem with the term. Fashion blogger Georgina Grogan told Huffington Post: "I am plus-size, I've always been plus-size, I have no problem with the term at all. I don't find it negative in any way. I'm extremely confident and happy being the size that I am and I'm just happy that more and more people are confident enough in themselves to use this term too."

Whether or not you agree with #DropThePlus, it's clear that the fashion industry – from customers to models and designers alike – are still pretty confused over what the term connotes in the first place. Remember last year's frenzy over Myla Dalbesio's campaign for Calvin Klein lingerie?

One magazine described the slim 27-year-old model as plus-size, sparking an uproar on social media (one Twitter user wrote: "Plus-size??? I must be extra plus plus"). In reality, Dalbesio is 5ft11in and a US size 10, which translates to approximately a UK size 14. 

Her own agency, Jag Models, doesn't have a plus-size board – models are models, regardless of sizing. As Dalbesio puts it, she falls into the "in-betweenie" range for a model – not quite a sample size, but not quite plus-size either. "It’s definitely a strange place to be," Dalbesio told the Cut. "It’s also like, unless you want to go the super-sexy route, there’s really not that much out there."

So what do you think? Is plus-size labelling just an exercise in bodyshaming? Is it even a meaningful distinction anymore?