STYLE
01/11/2014 09:46 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Even 'Plus-Size' Models Are Smaller Than Their Target Demographic

It's hard to believe that the very women who are meant to empower plus-size ladies by showcasing body diversity might just be posing yet another impossible standard. But it seems even plus-size models are alienating their target demographic.

Alex LaRosa, a self-proclaimed "plus-size model who's visibly plus-size," stopped by HuffPost Live on Friday to talk about the impossible standards that plague her sector of modeling just as much as the size zero benchmark plagues the straight size industry. She explained:

"In a world where you're telling women that plus-size is sizes 4 and up, you're causing body image issues. You're causing unrealistic expectations that every one -- every woman -- should be a size 4. To bring that into the plus-size community, where you're using sizes 8, 10 and 12, when sometimes the stores don't even start carrying the clothes until size 14, you're telling women, 'You want to look like these models. This is what you should look like, but it's never going to happen.'"

LaRosa herself has seen firsthand how critical people can be when she was the subject of a poll for PLUS Model Magazine last week. Two photos of LaRosa, one featuring her in a tight dress and another where she hides her curves, were placed side by side. Then Facebook users were asked to choose which photo they preferred. Surprisingly, votes were split 50/50 -- an indication that perhaps the standards in the plus-size community are going the way of the skinny-obsessed straight size world.

Watch LaRosa along with PLUS Model Magazine editor Madeline Jones and fellow model Tess Munster discuss the hot button issue in the clip above.

See more of LaRosa's contemporaries:

Curvy Models

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