Myla Dalbesio has recently become the source of controversy, when she referred to herself as a plus-size model in an interview. To quote Dalbesio exactly, she says she is “not super skinny.” Since then, people have reacted negatively to the concept of a model as obviously thin as Myla Dalbesio being considered plus-size, regardless of whether or not Calvin Klein’s “Perfectly Fit” underwear ad agrees with Dalbesio’s own assertion of her body.
According to E! Online, Dalbesio is not actually the hefty girl she seems to think she is, but rather a healthy average for women. Myla is a size 10. Interestingly, the Calvin Klein ad that Myla Dalbesio recently appeared in was designed to be “more inclusive” and to cater to the “needs of different women.” Instead, the majority of the ad’s publicity has been a negative response to Dalbesio’s perception of plus-size.
Since the controversy started, Myla Dalbesio has spoken out in defense of her self-description. According to Elle, Dalbesio pointed out that Calvin Klein released the ad with Myla among all the other female models, not intentionally placing a plus-sized model among the group.
“It’s not like [Calvin Klein] released this campaign and were like ‘Whoa, look, there’s this plus size girl in our campaign,'” said Myla. “They released me in this campaign with everyone else; there’s no distinction. It’s not a separate section for plus size girls.”
Dalbesio also commented on what she believes was a trend in the fashion industry to focus on and celebrate larger women, but the trend didn’t last long. Myla might consider herself a part of that movement, but she claims to be right in the middle. She’s not too thin and not too large, which could both work for or against Dalbesio.
“I feel like for a minute, it was starting to feel like this ‘plus size’ thing really was a trend, and that it was over. There was that beautiful Italian Vogue story, and the girls that were in that ended up doing really well. But when that happened, we felt really excited; we thought it was going to open so many doors for all of us, you know? And it felt like it hadn’t. It was dying out… I’m in the middle. I’m not skinny enough to be with the skinny girls and I’m not large enough to be with the large girls and I haven’t been able to find my place. This [campaign] was such a great feeling.”
Despite the controversy Myla Dalbesio caused, she claims the response from her comments have been largely positive. Many young girls have contacted Myla and thanking her for representing a more realistic body type. Dalbesio released the following statement, giving her final opinion on the matter.
“I love that after working in the fashion industry for nine years, I have finally found my place, right in the middle. Neither plus, nor straight size, I love that I can be recognized for what I am, a healthy size 10… I love that I get to be a part of this conversation, about size and body image and that I get to represent a brand like Calvin Klein. They didn’t introduce this campaign for shock value, they simply included what some would refer to as a ‘normal size’ girl in their advertising, right next to other girls of varying sizes and shapes.”
What do you think about Myla Dalbesio’s stance? Do you think Myla is really a plus-size model?