I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the current debate surrounding the health of “plus-size” and “curvy” models that was re-ignited by the recent Sports Illustrated swimsuit parade.
Is it not possible for a person to simply model clothes that are being sold, in the sizes that they are sold in, without us debating their shape and their health based on their appearance?
Those plus-size models, whose well-being people are so concerned about – they are buying and wearing clothes regardless of their cholesterol levels (which are quite frankly none of our business). They are going to work, they are wearing sexy lingerie, they are swimming, they are attending weddings – and they need something to wear for all of those activities.
It makes sense for the discussion to transcend body shape, so I’m not sure why women are constantly categorized. Men don’t have 20 different fruits (apple, pear) and every day household items (hourglass, newspaper, chopsticks) for the classification of their bodies by other people.
Is it ever OK to comment on someone’s weight. We discuss with the Mamamia team. (Post continues after audio.)
So here’s my suggestion; rather than concentrating on names and defining women with labels, let’s start a revolution. Let’s broaden the media coverage to include every shape that’s on the streets – not just the ones we’re meant to aspire to.
Because it seems that’s the real ‘problem’ with plus size models – not whether they are glorifying obesity or not – it’s that they’re actually not as diverse as they may seem. They generally have hour-glass figures. They’re usually in proportion. They still fit an ultimate ideal of ‘sexy’ – just look at the most successful “plus-size” model in the world, Ashley Graham.
If the media truly wants to represent diversity, it needs to include women with obvious tummies and back fat. Smaller breasts and big arms. Shorter statures. The plus-size we see is still only representative of a small portion of women who don’t fit into the supermodel dimensions. There are a lot of people in the middle of the spectrum who’d love to see some representation – like me.
A frenemie once said I’m built like an ‘apple’. Sadly, it took me a couple of years to think of the retort, “I’m more Golden Delicious than Granny Smith.” Man, that would have been so good. #regret. But in any case, I’m actually a combination of labels – and just look around us – most women are.
Scroll through to see more from Ashley Graham – the world’s most successful “plus-size” model. Images via Instagram. (Post continues after gallery.)