Get an up close and personal look inside the plus size modeling world with A Perfect 14, a new documentary that follows the professional and personal lives of three rising plus size models. Directed by Canadian filmmakers James Early O’Brien and Giovanna Morales Vargas, this film delves into the emotional and physical turmoil that plus size models face today in the modeling industry while still achieving success.
A Perfect 14 follows the lives of three plus size models: Elly Mayday, Laura Wells, and Kerosene Deluxe. These women, all plus size models working in the high fashion industry at a size 14, share what roadblocks they’ve encountered from agencies, industry professionals, and straight-size models while continuing to make a living in one of the most competitive and highly scrutinized jobs on the planet.
Mayday’s journey as a plus size model was put on hold just as she saw work begin to pour in: when Elly was diagnosed with cancer at age 25 and was forced to temporarily abandon her blossoming career. After beating the disease Mayday was signed to a lucrative modeling contract with a New York City agency and has continued modeling despite weight and hair losses. With her striking profile, Elly laments that she often receives the back-handed compliment you’ve got such a pretty face, why not lose weight to be more successful? Her candid interviews reveal the persistence of body image stereotypes not only in the modeling world, but also for women consumers whose own self-views are clouded by unrealistic industry standards.
These plus size models are not the only women interviewed about the fashion industry’s mistreatment of women with curves: photographers, designers, and modeling agents share what kind of standard is set in terms of what is considered beautiful. A Perfect 14 does its job of showing how a size 14 woman—the current average dress size of an American woman—should not be excluded from modeling or the beauty label altogether. Hopefully the fashion and modeling industries will continue to expand their horizons and cast women with pronounced curves into high fashion spreads and campaigns.
Though A Perfect 14 has been completed, it is not yet available in theaters. Click here for a chance to watch the official trailer and see how these plus size models are not only working to make a living, but also change the way the modeling industry has defined the beauty standard.