A new modeling agency in New York is making strides with its groundbreaking policy to not distinguish between sizes.
Founded by Gary Dakin and Jaclyn Sarka, formerly of Ford Models, JAG represents women who fall above a ‘straight sized’ zero or two, and below or at a size 12, which is considered the minimum for plus-sized models.Among the 30 women the agency represents is Jennie Runk, who caught the attention of the media when H&M picked her to star in its swimwear campaign, boldly electing not to point out her size.Miss Runk told the New York Post: ‘I don’t have a problem with the term “plus-size,” but I do have a problem with the stigma and negativity around it.’
It’s this negativity that Mr Dakin and Ms Sarka hope to eliminate with their agency, which was launched on July 1.According to Mr Dakin, there is a high demand at the moment for models of all sizes, especially with the prominence of today’s voluptuous It-girl, Kate Upton.Indeed, Glamour’s editor-in-chief Cindi Leive has apparently been very vocal about wanting to use models of all different shapes in the magazine, without pointing out their sizes.’Just to have them all in the same story, wearing the same fashions,’ explains Mr Dakin.
The models signed by JAG all know that by representing larger, more ‘normal’ women, they are part of a bigger movement of breaking down barriers.One model named Maiysha told the Post: ‘I think there’s this misconception that there’s some sort of advocacy for unhealthiness going on [with plus-size].’The Brooklyn resident, who has put her size 16 curves on show in ads for Target, Kohls and Bon-Ton, added: ‘A healthy body doesn’t necessarily mean a small body.’For 26-year-old model Myla Dalbesio, working at JAG is a chance to change the perception of girls who are plus-sized, a term she says is ‘really outdated.’
Instead of using alternative words like ‘curvy,’ the size 10-12 brunette hopes one day that models of all sizes will simply be called models.McKenzie Raley, 25, echoes that sentiment. The five-foot-ten blonde from Chelsea said she hopes in the future, size will be ‘a non-issue’ in the modelling industry.’A beautiful woman’s a beautiful woman,’ she adds.By proudly displaying their bodies – curves and all – in fashion spreads and clothing ads, these women are sending a message of confidence to girls around the world.
Indeed, 37-year-old Katy Hansz, who has been a plus-size model for over 18 years, said she and her fellow JAG models are ‘responsible’ for these images, and for how people look that them.Not only do these women feel that JAG has the potential to alter the industry, but they also say it fosters a sense of community – unlike the high-stress agencies many straight-sized models work for.Tonya Pittman, 37, who wears a size 12 to 14, explains that because they belong to such a ‘niche part of the industry’, everyone knows each other and it feels like family.And Ms Dalbesio adds that because they are all striving for the same cause, it feels more like they are working as a team.’If one girl gets a job – even if she’s not you, it’s going to be better for all of us,’ she says. – DailyMail