Thursday, January 12, 2012

Plus Size or Not?

I thought this article was interesting, just read the article and give me your opinion on what they have to say.

'Most runway models meet the BMI criteria for anorexia', claims plus-size magazine in powerful comment on body image in the fashion industry
By Tamara Abraham
A magazine dedicated to plus-size fashion and models has sparked controversy with a feature claiming that most runway models meet the Body Mass Index criteria for anorexia.

Accompanied by a bold shoot that sees a nude plus-size model posing alongside a skinny 'straight-size' model, PLUS Model Magazine says it aims to encourage plus-size consumers to pressure retailers to better cater to them, and stop promoting a skinny ideal.
Size 12 (U.S.) model Katya Zharkova, 28, stars in the shoot, which has a powerful statistic accompanying each image.

Plus Model Magazine
Size matters: PLUS Model Magazine has shot size 12 Katya Zharkova pose with a 'straight-size' model to demonstrate the difference between them

One, printed alongside a photo of the Russian beauty holding a tape measure across her rear, reads: 'Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.'

Another states: 'Ten years ago plus-size models averaged between size 12 and 18. Today the need for size diversity within the plus-size modeling industry continues to be questioned.
'The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14, while the customers continue to express their dissatisfaction.'

And finally, further highlighting how poorly the fashion world caters to plus-size women, the magazine tells us: '50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.'

Plus Model Magazine
Body image: The Russian beauty poses with a tape measure around her rear alongside a statistic that shows how different models are from real women

In an accompanying editorial, the magazine's editor-in-chief, Madeline Figueroa-Jones, explains that the feature is a response to a fashion and beauty industry which continues to endorse a skinny ideal that is not always healthy and alienates a huge percentage of the market.

She writes: 'We are bombarded with weight-loss ads every single day, multiple times a day because it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that preys on the fear of being fat.

'Not everyone is meant to be skinny, our bodies are beautiful and we are not talking about health here because not every skinny person is healthy.'

Ms Figueroa-Jones says consumers can no longer identify with models; the disparity between real woman and those that grace ad campaigns and the covers of magazines is to wide now.

Plus Model Magazine
Body image: The model proudly bares her U.S. size 12 curves in the magazine shoot

'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?' she asks.
The PLUS Model Magazine feature has generated a mixed response from its readers though.

While some have praised the statements the shoot makes, others believe that positively endorsing a fuller figure is as dangerous as advocating a skinny one. 

Plus Model Magazine
Big deal: The magazine wants to encourage women to embrace their bodies as they are, and not strive to emulate an unrealistic ideal

One reader on the magazine's website comments: 'If this article is saying you should feel pretty at any size, fine. but don’t tell me you’re obese and healthy. We have a twisted sense of what healthy is in this country and an even more twisted sense of what people are allowed to say about it.'

Another adds: 'I don’t think the fashion world should support obesity, just as I don’t think it should support anorexia.'

The article has also generated an equal share of agreement, though. Reader Danae writes: 'We all women are brainwashed to believe that we are ugly and men will never look at us if we are not starving... We need more variety of healthy female body images.'

Read more:


  1. Hmm. I think it would do the plus size agencies good to use more varied and realistic plus-sized models. A size 6 qualifies as plus size? Wow they are really missing the target market. Whew. I totally disagree with the idea that having plus sized models will encourage obesity. Especially if a plus size model is a size 6! What the heck?

    Thanks for sharing this article. Very interesting...

  2. Hi Kellie, I thought that was crazy also, a size 6, so even after I lose all my weight I'm still going to be considered plus size thats discouraging. Your right I can't see that encouraging obesity either especially since must plus size models I've seen are beautiful and just look healthy and normal.

  3. Oh and by the way Kellie your transformation is amazing u don't even look like the same person. Great job.

  4. This is such an interesting and disturbing article. We women are set up for unattainable bodies. Maybe that's why more women are overweight--being fashionably thin just seems impossible, so we don't even try to be a "normal" size--whatever that is these days! Confusion is part of the equation.

  5. This is such a wonderful post Christina, it really makes you think. I personally believe that idealizing the anorexic body shape or obese body shape is detrimental to society either way. Perhaps the answer is to only allow designers to use models who are HEALTHY! who have obtained the correct BMI for their selves and to cut any models that stray either over or under it. I believe that a larger woman will always be more beautiful then a underweight woman but society needs to become healthy we NEED to idealize healthy women!
    PS recently started reading your blog and I LOVE it :)

  6. Gi that would be nice if only healthy women were used as models it would truly help how women like us see ourselves and probably boost our confidence. Thanks so much for reading my blog.

  7. I've always found it frustrating that an article of clothing didn't look the same on me as it did the "plus size" model on the poster, or in the catalog. I just WISH the clothes looked that good on me. I agree with you ladies. We want to see healthy models. Real people. Very interesting article! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Size 6 is considered plus size?? Wow that's shocking news to me. Women need healthier role models. They shouldn't differentiate between regular(skinny) models and plus size models. Instead models should come in all different shapes and sizes because not everyone can be tall and skinny.


  9. Is it a UK size 12 or US size 12? either way she isnt "plus" size, id love to look like that.

  10. Your welcome CathyB.

    Your right Megan Nicole models should come in all different shapes and sizes especially if they want us to buy their clothes.

    Sarah I didn't even think about that and I'm not sure what the difference in sizing is. I would love to look like that to

  11. Thanks for sharing this! Totally agree that most models they use today are just insane. No wonder teen girls are already dieting, geez! What I wouldn't give to see them start using healthy models!