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Ask Natalie Laughlin

One of a handful of plus size supermodels, Natalie Laughlin has graced billboards in Times Square, appeared oon the cover of Mode, in the pages of glamour and srolled the runways for Lane Bryant. Natalie brings her winning attitude and unsinkable spirit to "Ask Natalie," where she shares her expertise in matters of life and style.

Just "Ask Natalie" and get a fresh perspective on the everyday concerns of "real women," as well as advice on everything from creating a wardrobe that works to creating the life you want.

Ask Natalie

Q: Are plus sized models really plus sized?

A: As a hefty size 14, I often hear people tell me, "You are not plus-size." Everything's relative. If you were to put me next to a standard-size model, I would be at about six sizes bigger than she is. Most of the models you see in advertising and editorial photographs are size 2 to 8, wearing size 8 clothing, which is the sample-size standard. (You should see how the clothes are pinned in the back!)

Welcome to "fashion reality." Just as I, a size 14, represent the "plus-size woman," models who are tall, slim, and small-boned represent the "average American woman." The real average American woman is actually 5'4", about 140 lbs, and size 14.

A letter I received recently from a woman named Myron motivated me to share my thoughts not only with her, but with all of you. Here's the letter and my response, for if Myron is curious about this double standard, she is not alone. Many of you have asked the same question-if not to me, then to one another or to yourself. The fact that I'm addressing it to Myron makes my response no less personally heartfelt to you.

After all, we are in this together.

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