When we often hear the term “plus-size model”, we think of a woman that is heavier or who has extra weight, not necessarily someone who is toned and has a flat stomach. Keep in mind, I am not disrespecting plus-sized women, but pointing out the general body type. We do not think of someone such as Robyn Lawley, (Cosmo AU labeled her “plus-sized”) who is a model that is not thin, but one that is healthy and well-proportioned. While she is healthy and well-proportioned, she is not plus-sized.
Plus-Size Models Are More Popular
And they are. It is becoming more accepted to be plus-sized in many instances; but, there is a problem with it.
As pointed out above, many of the women that are presented as plus-sized by the mainstream media often are not. While it is opening up the world for women that are various sizes, it is also still representing an idea that is off of what is plus-sized, fed by a certain ideal of what women should look like.
SWAK Boutique and PLUS Model Magazine performed an experiment, having model Alex LaRosa pose in a sexy, clinging dress that played up her size in one photo, while she posed in a conservative outfit that hid her size a little in another. They then had people who were followers/fans pick the photo that they favored. To their surprise, it was split down the middle.
This proves the point as stated earlier — plus-sized models are more widely accepted and it is even encouraged. But there are still some problems with it because people have not let go of the idea of what women should look like. This then results in women who are size 10 and size 12 being labeled as plus-sized when they are not.
Often people are uncomfortable thinking of them as plus-sized models and, instead, call them “obese,” “fat,” and many other hate-spewed things to try to tear down women who do not fit the ideal beauty standard according to society. I am also willing to bet that many of the models and even women who are size 10 and size 12 face the same issues.
To change this, a paradigm shift must happen. If you have a preferred body type, that’s fine, but hate is never okay anymore than tearing someone down — even when speaking with love.
Edited by DH.