A few days ago, an article ran in Plus Model Magazine and I saw loads of comments around various social networks from the ladies in the audience. Here’s the photo:
Quite the difference between a runway model and a plus size model, isn’t it? Most of the comments I read were along the lines of “The plus size model is so much more beautiful!”
Unfortunately, I can’t contribute that kind of comment to the conversation. And not because I don’t know that that’s the thing I should be saying. I know the right, grown-up answer to this question.
But I’m not gonna lie, because I think some other people are and it just continues to do a diservice to another generation of women. It’s time for this say-one-thing-do-another culture to stop.
If I had to choose between looking like the runway model and looking like the plus size model, I’d choose the runway model. Why? Because that is what I was raised to believe was beautiful.
And I’m not the only one who thought this way. The heroin chic model look has been sought after for years, simply because that’s what women see on television, on billboards, and in magazines. And women and children(!) have been starving themselves for decades, trying to be “beautiful.”
I’m one of the lucky ones. I figured out early enough that it wasn’t healthy to be that skinny. I worked on my relationship with food and exercise and weigh a healthy 140 pounds.
But I still fight my brain on an everyday basis. I own a full-length mirror that’s slimming to the point that my husband thinks he looks sick. When I look at it, I see fat. But I know that’s not true.
This culture is crazy-making, and if models continue to get skinnier and we continue to buy those products, watch those television shows and read those magazines, our children will continue to be sold that message, regardless of what we say.
So ladies (and gents), it is up to us. We can talk about about how beautiful the plus size model is but actions speak louder.
- Vote with your dollar: Quit buying celebrity magazines that glorify binge dieting and demonize cellulite. Stop using products that hire unhealthy looking models, whether that product is for air freshener or jeans.
- Examine your habits: “Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children.” Eat well. Exercise regularly. If you’re starving yourself and criticizing your body, chances are your children will do the same to themselves. If you need help, get it.
- Please, for the love of god, no conversations like this:
I’m not sure if the physical and psychological damage to women in the past can be undone. I hope so. But the future is bright! Let’s eat ice cream (throw some fruit on there for extra points) and go on family walks and embrace every healthy body.