A Perfect 14 explores the fascinating world of plus-size modelling and the women involved who are fighting to reshape fashion and the standards of society.
A Perfect 14 follows the journeys of plus-size models Elly Mayday, Kerosene Deluxe and Laura Wells as they struggle against the distorted perception of body image that is being perpetuated in people's minds. These women share their personal experiences of challenges and successes to help empower themselves and others to eradicate the currently held standards of beauty. In addition to being successful models they are also driven to make a positive impact in the world.
The film explores the controversial term plus-size and the divisive influence it has on society and the fashion industry by interviewing many plus-size models, standard models, designers, photographers, "fatshion" bloggers, modelling agencies, magazine editors from both regular fashion magazines and plus fashion magazines, industry leaders and plus-size pioneers in the meccas of the fashion world. It combines the stories of the main subjects with an exploration of the largely ignored topic of weightism. Interviewing experts in the field of fat studies and body image, the film also exposes the collective unconsciousness of size-based segregation. It also asks the question of the media's responsibility in its single focus portrayal of thin role models and how it takes a heavy toll on the self confidence and body image of women.
Presenting the parallels between society and the fashion industry, the documentary questions and showcases the segregation plus-size women face in their daily lives just as plus-size models face in the modelling world. Weightism, one of the last acceptable forms of discrimination, severely affects both groups by relegating them from opportunities both could have within their worlds. Plus models are limited to special 'plus size' issues of magazines released once a year, hardly make the cover of a mainstream magazine, and rarely walk the runways side by side with standard models. In society, bigger women are not usually considered sexy, hidden in the background they constantly have to look for excuses to justify the size of their bodies. Plus models' possibilities within the fashion industry are limited to advertise mostly online clothing for larger bodies, just as everyday women's options are limited for finding fashionable clothes on stores that are easily available to smaller sizes.
From these frustrations and as a consequence of a visible lack of representation within pop culture, an underground plus-size fashion subculture emerges. Victims of discrimination and judgement because of their body size cause these women to start a revolution using the advent of social media. Plus-size women find a place for themselves away from the rejection of the mainstream where they have always been looked down upon. New plus models emerge confidently because they are able to communicate directly to their fans who admire and respect them. Bloggers become the central hubs of this global community, gathering resources and progressing women's fashion worldwide. Quality level plus fashion magazines are created, showcasing latest trends and giving a place for plus models to present themselves to the community. This subculture created by themselves and for themselves, allows these women to break free from the judgements of society for not having the body that suits the norm. The film gets immersed into this fast growing global community to expose its importance.
A Perfect 14 shows the desperate need for diversity and a true reflection of today's society in the fashion industry, our media and role models. The subjects of the film are determined to eliminate the established perception in society that one size fits all.
Elly Mayday is one of the fastest rising plus-size Canadian models in the world today. At 25, Elly discovers she has an extremely rare form of ovarian cancer but continues to model even through her rapid weight and hair loss. Temporarily set back by her illness, she has to wait until she has recovered to sign her dream contract with one of the largest modelling agencies in New York. With over a hundred thousand fans on social media, Elly has become an inspiration to women who deal with body image issues on a daily basis.