Bebe Rexha has, once again, said her piece about the rejection she experienced at the hands of fashion houses and designers prior to the 2019 Grammys. In an April 6 appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, the singer said, “I like my curves,” and added “I don’t want to be at a place where I’m starving myself to fit into certain clothes.”
Her statements on the show were made in reference to the claims made by several fashion houses and designers that she was “too big” and so they didn’t want to dress her for the Grammys red carpet. Bebe is a size 8.
Before the 2019 Grammys, which was broadcasted live on February 10, Bebe made an emotional video relating her rejection. Her view went viral, unsurprisingly, and several designers offered to dress her in time for her walk down the red carpet.
And when she did, she became the belle of the ball, so to speak, in her stunning Monsoori red, ruffled gown. Many of her fans and supporters, as well as more than a few publications, said that it was the best revenge against the designers who deemed her “too big”.
In her Instagram video, Bebe said that, “I’m sorry, I had to get this off my chest. If you don’t like my fashion style or my music that’s one thing. But don’t say you can’t dress someone that isn’t a runway size. Empower women to love their bodies instead of making girls and women feel less than by their size. We are beautiful any size! Small or large! And my size 8 ass is still going to the Grammys. #LOVEYOURBODY” (Edited for spelling mistakes)
In the interview with Jonathan Ross, Bebe also spoke about her weight struggles and her journey toward finding a healthy balance. She also divulged that she was afraid about putting her video out because of the possible consequences including a black mark against her name.
She need not have worried because the likes of Demi Lovato and Ne-Yo expressed their support, and her fans also did.
Bebe also called for greater inclusivity in the industry. She also gave a shout-out to designers who sent her clothes after her video went viral and string words against designers who rejected her requests.
But it Bebe isn’t the first – and she will likely not be the last either – Hollywood celebrity who have called out designers for their obsession with runway-thin bodies. With the entertainment industry’s increasing demand for body acceptance regardless of the shape and size of one’s body, the conflict will likely increase in the future.
Dascha Polanco, the Dominican-American actress known for her riveting role in Orange Is the New Black, also called out designers who sent dress samples to social media influencers with bodies fitting the sample size mold. She added that her industry friends tell her that, designers “don’t have your size and you’re not at that level yet”.
Megan Mullaly, the Will & Grace star, has had her own struggles with buying clothes. She, too, has complained about designers not sending her dresses due to her size although several designers offered their help, too.
Danielle Brooks, also a star on Orange Is the New Black, doesn’t fit the sample size mold either. In an interview with PeopleStyle, she said that, “It makes you feel like you’re ‘less than’ when you only have four options and three of them are in black or blue. It’s really not fun.” She added that she’s “ready to fight” alongside Leslie Jones, Dascha Polanco, and Gabby Sidibe to tell designers that “we are in the picture, too.”
Melissa McCarthy, an actress who doesn’t need an introduction, created her own clothing line Seven7 because of her frustration with designers rejecting plus-sized women. She said that while she approached five or six high-level designers who make plenty of dresses for people to make her an Oscars dress, she was rejected by all of them.
Beyonce, as surprising it may seem, has also struggled in the past to find designers willing to dress her curvaceous physique. When she was starting out in Destiny’s Child, no high-end labels wanted “to dress black, country, curvy girls” and every showroom in New York rejected her mother, too. Today, designers consider dressing up the music superstar as the best endorsement they can have.
But there’s also another side to the coin.
In a WWD interview, Tom Ford explained that there’s a valid reason fashion models are virtually the same size – size 0, for that matter. He added that it’s the way it has always been, a statement that we take to mean that significant changes aren’t forthcoming.
Ford said that, “There is a practical reason that most models are the same size, and that’s called a sample collection.” He can’t make a custom outfit for a model who isn’t the same size as the other models, especially hours before a runway show.
The bottom line: The fashion and entertainment industry has to work better in the coming years if each one will benefit from the other.