Plus-size models now a permanent fixture on ‘Project Runway’ Season 16

On Season 16 of Project Runway, plus-size models are being used as regulars for the first time in the show’s 13-year run. The show’s models now range from size 2 to size 22. While this was a definite win for body inclusivity, not all of the designers were in their element.

The fashion industry isn’t particularly plus-size friendly, which is surprising because the average American woman is a size 16 and it would certainly seem to make economic sense.

Most of them were wholeheartedly on board, rolling out a variety of synonyms to use instead of the dreaded term “fat.” Plus-size, curvy, bootylicious, full-figured, Rubenesque and hourglass were some of the terms that rolled off their tongues. Designer Ayana said, “I don’t have any personal feelings towards the wording as long as a plus-size model is not seen as a problem-size model.”

Project Runway airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.

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