'Where are the fat b-----s at?' Plus-size models are not happy

Melbourne Fashion Festival accused of deliberately 'ignoring size diversity'.

'Where are the fat b-----s at?' Plus-size models are not happy
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Plus-size "curve" models have slammed the Melbourne Fashion Festival for not featuring enough fat models in its runway shows.

According to Chelsea Bonner, the CEO of modelling agency Bella Management, the Festival board made a clear decision not to cast models above size 12 to 14. Bonner said, "There's just no excuse this year; it was such a deliberate casting direction. They were presented with every single one of our models up to a size 22 multiple times. My director in Melbourne kept asking why they wouldn't cast any models over a size 14, and those emails just went ignored."

Jess Seeto, one of the two plus-size models who walked in the final show, expressed her frustration about the lack of size diversity, stating that she felt "ostracised." Seeto added, "It really sucked and made me feel like I was the token ethnic fat person there and that I was just there to tick a box, which didn't feel right."

Festival organisers responded to the accusations by saying that they engaged models and spokespeople from diverse backgrounds, and ten of its premium runways featured curve talent. However, out of the 30 models who walked in the final show, only five were "models of diversity," including "curve" models and those with disabilities.

The festival also featured the Fabulous and Trendy (F.A.T.) Plus-Size Runway, which was a dedicated runway for models sized 16-24 and a plus-size market. Despite this, the lack of representation throughout the festival forced one model, Maia O'Connor, to take a stand by wearing a shirt with the words "WHERE ARE THE FAT B-----S AT? SIZE 10 DOESN'T COUNT! DO BETTER!" emblazoned on the back.

A Festival spokesperson said that the festival cares deeply about accessibility, diversity, and inclusion and will continue to place great emphasis on this as part of its programming and casting in future events. However, Bonner urged the Festival to take a different direction with their casting in the following years.

"I just hope they really deeply think about their direction for next year because it was insulting to everyone this year," Bonner said.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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