Twenty-three percent. That is how much less the
average model weighs than the average woman.
To put this into perspective, imagine you are a 5'7" female and weigh 145 pounds. Your model counterpart would weigh a mere 111 pounds, which is classified as severely underweight. However, apparently plus-sized models are the ones causing a problem in this industry.
If you are one of the people who thinks plus-sized models are a problem, then you are fatphobic.
We, as a country, are placing underweight individuals on a pedestal as if being underweight is the biggest accomplishment you could ever achieve. Newsflash: being underweight puts you at risk for serious health concerns, despite the general population assuming that "skinny" equals "healthy" while "fat" equals "unhealthy."
You cannot tell someone's health based on their size and shape.
Faphobia, despite what many people seem to believe is real. In the news today you will see so many articles regarding stopping transphobia, sexism, agism, racism... but what about fatphobia?
If you go to Dairy Queen and see a fat person buying ice cream, do you assume they are overindulging? If you see on a television show a fat person sitting and watching TV, do you assume they are lazy? Now, what if you replace the fat person with a thin person — would you assume that the thin person is getting a much-needed treat or that the thing person is resting?
Now, how about we have a little talk about this giant misconception that plus-sized models are promoting obesity, OK?
First off, plus-sized models are not strutting around naked. They are pictured in magazines or on television to promote clothing or swimsuits or lingerie. They are strutting their stuff to sell clothes, not to convince the world that their body type is the perfect body type (because there is NO perfect body type. Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. That is why we need models of different shapes and sizes. Pretty elementary, right?).
Secondly, in accordance with my first point, is health. Health, despite the ever-growing criticism against plus-sized models, has nothing to do with fashion. Health is a different journey for every individual person. You could be underweight and be close to heart failure and have your bone density plummeting. You could be at a healthy weight and have a problem such as a thyroid condition or diabetes. You could be fat and have perfect cholesterol and no obvious problems. Pictured above is Ashley Graham, a plus-sized model. She typically models US size 14 to 16. She works out on a regular basis and she eats healthy foods. Ashley Graham is also curvy and fat. Let me reiterate this again — skinny does not equal healthy and fat does not equal unhealthy. You have no idea how the inside of someone's body is functioning just by looking at them, so do not pretend that you do.
Third, genetics. Genetics can play a huge part in someone's weight. If someone has a certain gene present, they are more likely to be overweight or obese. Should they make it their life's mission to "slim down" instead of enjoying their life and embracing who they are?
Plus-sized models are not promoting obesity.
They are helping sell clothes in different sizes and shapes that the media does not often portray. However, I think they are doing much more than that. They are promoting self-love and body-positivity for individuals who do not look like the cookie-cut model who is 23% underweight.
So many young girls and young boys do not feel like they can be confident in themselves because they do not look like the people portrayed in magazines or on the television. By showing plus-sized models in the media, we are showing that other body types are OK and other body types are beautiful.
If you think plus-sized models are promoting obesity, then YOU are part of the problem.