Fierce Female: Bebe Rexha is Calling Out the Fashion Industry

Bebe Rexha

Award season gives designers the perfect platform to showcase their work. If they’re willing to dress the celebrities, that is. Bebe Rexha recently took to Instagram to call out the fashion world after multiple designers refused to dress her because she was ‘too big’.

Bebe is a size 6/8. According to The List, an estimated 100 million American women are a size 14 or above. Yet you’d be hard pressed to find a size 8 or up in most retailers because designers refuse to dress anyone who does not fall into ‘straight size’ which is typically sizes 0-4.

Being the feisty woman she is, Bebe told off all the designers who refused to dress her stating she didn’t want to wear them if they weren’t going to dress all women. Many other women, including Demi Lovato, praised Bebe for standing up for herself and all women who have experienced sizeism.

As a fashion enthusiast, it’s sad to see designers refuse to dress anyone simply because of their dress size. Fashion is supposed to be an outlet for anyone to express themselves. Everyone deserves to choose from the array of beautiful fabrics, glittering dresses, and any other garment that has for so long been available to women fitting the supermodel mold.

Designers are giving themselves a bad name by refusing to dress someone based simply on their dress size. More than ever before, body positivity is dominating all industries. Women like Ashley Graham and designers like Christian Siriano and Chromat are breaking barriers by advocating for women of all sizes.

If designers continue to refuse dressing all women, they will soon cease to exist. They can’t continue dressing and catering to such a small portion of society and expect to be relevant.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time designers have refused to dress women. From Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, and Ashley Graham, women have long been turned away if they don’t fit the standards society deems beautiful.

When Leslie Jones came forward about her issues to find a designer to dress her for the Ghostbusters premier, stylists and other fashion industry insiders said it came down to pure logistics. There wasn’t enough time to make a dress or they only carried sample sizes. Christian Siriano, yet again, stepped up to create a dress for Leslie.

Designers spend all year creating outfits for fashion week. Most designers work on the spring/summer and fall/winter collections. Add on couture, pre-fall, and resort collections and designers do have a full schedule. But that’s by choice.  To say they didn’t have time is a bit ridiculous. It’d be better to just come out and say it wasn’t worth their time to dress certain celebrities.

There’s still an aura of exclusivity within the fashion industry that needs to stop. Everyone is beautiful no matter their dress size. Everyone deserves the opportunity to choose beautiful clothes in their size.

If designers are as progressive and forward thinking as they pride themselves to be, then they’ll leave this out dated behavior behind. It’s time that they dress all women.

Cover Image courtesy of Elle.

Also published on Medium.