To be considered beautiful in our society is to be skinny, slim, have that endearing little thigh gap. Plus Model Magazine claims, “Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.” How far is pushing the scale to be “pretty” in our society? We are made more aware of the immense prevalence of body image and how they affect females of all age and races in Western societies.
The weight loss industry is so successful because it preys on peoples’ fears; their fears of being undesirable, unwanted, unpopular, and unattractive to others. By fishing out these weaknesses, they promise a questionably more fulfilling life to their customers by convincing them that if they look a certain way, there will be no room for anything but happiness in their lives. Making women feel worthless or insecure about looking a certain way or weighing a particular amount does not only affect an individual, but more half of the female population as a whole. Although most clothing stores only carry up to a size 14, over 50% of females in North America are a size 12 or larger. Those of us who do not fall into the category of “skinny” should not be forced to feel shameful about the bodies that we have lived in and grown into, and instead been taught to pinch at and ridicule and hate for the majority of our lives.
The truth is, not all of us are meant to be “skinny”. Some of us as big-boned while others have smaller frames; forcing your body to be a certain way will only cause health issues and a poor sense of body image. Additionally, skinny is not in any way whatsoever equivalent to being healthy. Some women are naturally skinny, whilst others are naturally more curvaceous or have a larger bone structure. Why should the majority of us be represented by societal conforms and succumb to clothing stores that shame our bodies and don’t carry our sizes? “Smaller” females aren’t expected to be portrayed by full-figured or plus-size models, so why should those of us who don’t squeeze into size 0 skinny jeans every morning be represented by “straight-sized” models?
In no way whatsoever am I trying to say that being skinny is not acceptable. I believe that women of all shapes and sizes should be considered in the commercialized industry and be far more prevalent of them in television and the runway. Women can be healthy, eat right, exercise, and be a size 12 because that is what their body is naturally accustomed to being. Being “skinny” as defined by our society, in fact, would be deemed extremely unhealthy for such an individual, which is why so many of the women on the runway and celebrities are noticeably underweight. Not all of them have bodies that were naturally meant to be in that state, and this need, this desire to please others and look like everyone else, is both toxic and unhealthy. Being a size 12 is not unhealthy.
Luckily, “plus models” are becoming more prevalent in our society today. Ranging from size 6-18, plus models show another size of the “straight sized” model to the public; that it is okay to not have a tiny waist and still be happy with yourself and your body. Editor-in-Chief of Plus Model Magazine, Madeline Jones, claims, “Body shaming is present in our lives. This feature came about as a result of the conversations that we see on our social media sites. We see bigger women being put down for being too big but we also see men and women body shaming smaller models for being too small. While we do believe plus size models should be used to market to plus size women, it’s not right to put anyone down because of what they look like. Many times we are so deep in focus that we forget that we could be hurting someone else.” The human body can range in so many different tones, shapes, and sizes. We as individuals, to truly be happy and healthy, have to learn the embrace ourselves and our bodies and should not by any means limit ourselves to one body type.