Saturday, January 14, 2012

Plus Size? Or Normal Size?

I'm sure many of you have seen this article already, it's been going viral online the last few days, Plus Model Magazine posted an editorial article in their January issue claiming that many of today's high fashion "straight-models" (as they're called in the industry) meet the BMI for anorexia (while BMI does not have an "anorexic" category, since it is a physical and psychological illness, most BMIs of diagnosed anorexics is less than 17.5 for adults). 

Now this isn't a blog about BMI (I discussed it briefly here) or about anorexia. It's about the distortion of self-image that the fashion industry perpetuates with the unrealistic bodies of fashion models and it's about how Plus Model Magazine is throwing that in the world's face. 

When I first looked at these images I didn't even realize the other model was there. Not because Katya Zharkova's larger body got in the way (because in my opinion GOD DAMN she's gorgeous!). I just didn't see her. It's that "skinny person joke" about turning sideways and disappearing. The model is just so tiny and looks child-like compared to the (what I consider real-sized) other model. I'm all about HAES but that's HEALTH at every size and that tiny model does NOT look healthy. 

A day after I read the article my cousin posted this picture to Facebook and in my opinion it's exactly what my point is. 



Why and how is the malnourished look more appealing, sexy, hot (insert adjective here) than women with breasts and hips and curves? I get that not everyone finds fuller women appealing just like not everyone finds skinny more appealing. But why does there have to be a "culture" norm for what is healthy?

Yes, I am a size 26 but that doesn't make me unhealthy. I do not eat fast food as a regular component to my meals. I do not smoke. I do not drink excessively. I am not a binge eater or a compulsive eater. I can hike and walk a couple miles without huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf. I come from a family of plus-size and "overweight" prone bodies and have never been a "skinny" girl. Doesn't mean I'm not healthy. 

So, yes, I'm a bit bias when it comes to pop culture pushing the idea that women today are "fat" or worse "morbidly obese" compared to "what they should be" WTF is that anyway. Who are they to decide what I "should" or shouldn't look like.  "If we continue to ignore and rely on others to decide what we want to see, change will never happen. We have to be vocal and proactive, patient and realistic."

Plus Model Magazine's article reminds us that "50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller." and "The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14, while the customers continue to express their dissatisfaction."

Size 6!!?? Really?? In what world is a size 6 (or any single-digit dress size) a PLUS SIZE?!

Okay. Back to the point. The point is "What we desire is equality to shop and have fashion options just like smaller women. Small women cannot be marketed to with pictures of plus-size women, why are we expected to respond to pictures of small size 6 and 8 women? We don’t! When the plus size modeling industry began, the models ranged in size from 14 to 18/20, and as customers we long for those days when we identify with the models and feel happy about shopping."


5 comments:

  1. GAH i love your post! i'm a size 18 and i wish i could find better clothes and look at models who can represent them well.

    At least Torrid and Lane Bryant have bigger girls in their ads :)

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  2. Wow I needed to read this today! I am currently a size 18 working towards my goal of being in a 14. I choose 14 because that was the size I was the most comfortable at. It's a shame that society will still consider me fat :(

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  3. Horraayyy for plus size women :) I am a plus size too, and I don't care because I have a family and friends who loves me for who I am and who thinks I am beautiful with my weight!

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  4. Great post!! I love your voice for this side of womanhood!

    I heard a great message the other day for women about finding our "FREEDOM PLACE.".... the place where we are neither neglectful for our health and bodies, nor are we obsessing over everything we eat. The lost art of moderation.

    The place where we are happy, healthy, and in control- no matter what size that is, I say THAT is a beautiful thing:):)

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    1. Excellent post. I agree that the lack of size differentiation in models is really ridiculous/annoying. Although there are some size 14+ "plus size" models out there, most of them have the same body type. This is the main reason I got really into following fashion blogs, and decided to start my own. Fashion bloggers come in all shapes and sizes and are filling in the void left by the industry.

      http://hipsandhangers.blogspot.com/

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