Female Futures

Bebe Rexha just pointed out everything that is wrong with how celebrities are dressed for red-carpet events

The size 12 singer has revealed in an Instagram post that several fashion designers refused to dress her for the Grammys because she’s “too big”.

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Bebe Rexha is a UK size 12 (a US size 8), which by all accounts and purposes puts her in the venerated category of body shapes (you know, lithe, proportionally curvaceous – the Love Island effect) but apparently, fashion designers still think she’s too fat to dress for the Grammys. Yep… we’re at a similar level of wtf over here.

Before we get to the many, many things we have to say about designers referring to a size 12 as “too big”, the basics of this story are this: in a video posted to her Instagram yesterday afternoon Rexha begins by explaining “So I finally get nominated at the Grammys and it’s the coolest thing ever,” and goes on to say that as celebrities are usually made custom dresses to walk the red carpet in, her team contacted a lot of designers to see who would be interested in dressing her. But a lot of them didn’t want to dress Rexha because she was larger than their sample sizes “literally I’m too big,” she fumes. ”If a size 6/8 is too big I don’t know what to tell you, I don’t want to wear your f**king dresses, because that’s crazy.” — we hear you, Bebe.


Rexha isn’t the first celebrity to call out designers for their red-carpet dressing politics, but she is the first perhaps to be so shockingly not anywhere near larger than what sample size should be. A fashion sample size is anything from a 4-8 with the UK national average dress size being well above this margin at a 16. That means that theoretically, the majority of us would never be able to fit into a sample size, but one of the most underhanded ways designers tacitly prevent their designs being modelled by different body shapes is by enforcing it when dressing celebrities for awards.


A range of high profile influencers and celebrities have been whistleblowing this recently. Following the Golden Globes, body positivity influencer and model Tess Holliday, who pioneered the @effyourbeautystandards movement, wrote about her own experience of trying to find a size 22/23 dress to wear to the Golden Globes. In the Instagram post, Holliday explains how her stylist trawled shops for two days trying to find an evening gown that would cater to Tess’s size. There were hardly any high-end options either and she eventually opting for a $200 sequined dress by 14+ brand Eloquii which landed her on the best-dressed list.

“Next time,” Tess vowed in her post – which was liked by over 130,000 people – “I’m showing up naked if designers don’t step it up. I’m not playing in 2019.”

Words: Sofia Tindall
Photos: Shutterstock, Instagram

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