January 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm 1 comment

Plus Size

There was a very interesting article today that created quite a stir, it seems. ABC News and Fox News in particular had articles commenting on an article Plus Model Magazine did over plus-size models. Apparently, unlike a few years ago, plus size models now range from American size 6 to size 14 (UK sizes 8-16) with the regular models being at sizes (and more importantly, weights) that put them within the category for anorexia. I think it was the comments that really piqued my interest. It is obviously a subject that many feel passionately about. Some were gushing over the article, talking about how hard it is for larger women to be able to have any self-confidence if those who are considered “plus size” are actually what many would consider average, and the average are…quite slender (think “bean-pole”). Others were upset about the article because they felt it suggested we should sign off an okay and endorse obesity. Catering so much to the plus-size girls is saying that it is okay to be unhealthy. Both sides, as I’m sure you can imagine, said it much more colorfully than that, but that was the gist of either sides’ argument (straight-up cat fight might be more appropriate.) But which side is right? In my humble opinion…neither.

The Problem With the Skinny Argument

Those who say that by encouraging models to be larger we are really just encouraging obesity have their views slightly skewed. The “normal” models aren’t normal at all; they (many of them) are underweight. Severe underweight can have just as many, if not more, problems than can overweight. Also, these models are the ones that young girls conclude have the body they should emulate. We are teaching our young girls that to be beautiful they need to be unhealthy. No, plus-size haters, these whistle-blowers most certainly do have a valid point. Our society’s take on what constitutes beauty is messed up. We worship at the altar of far-too-thin-to-be-healthy, and it is causes major problems on our collective self-esteem.

The Problem With the…ahem…Not-So-Skinny Argument.A model.

So is the right answer to go the other way? Many of those who commented talked about how they needed to be happy where they were. They didn’t need these unhealthily small models making them feel like they weren’t pretty enough, and they no one understands how hard it is, etc. I think some think the answer to their self-esteem issues is for magazines to post pictures of models that have sizes that fit their own. The problem with this is that what most people are really looking for is a stamp of approval for the weight they are at now. “Yes, I’ve been told I should lose weight, but the girl in this magazine is the same size as me, and she looks fine.” Then it is easier to continue on with an unhealthy life-style instead of trying to change yourself to be the healthiest you can possibly be.

What Am I Getting At?

Good question. Now that I have offended everyone (I’m sure) let me tell you what I think the answer is. It’s got a good dose of the one thing that makes everything better. I’m talking about moderation. The answer is not that things are fine the way they are; we are encouraging people to be too small. Neither is the answer to make everyone feel good about the way they are now; that would be lying. It isn’t fine to just stay at a weight that could cause health problems for you as well as keeping you from doing things you want to do. But instead of idolizing too small or too large, what if we decided on healthy. Being here at my size 12 on the very cusp of healthy, I have made a decision. When my weight puts me in a healthy bmi (come on 2 lbs!) I will not apologize to anyone (least of all myself) for my size! My goal is to be the healthiest I can be. I don’t care what the pictures of models look like…either way. I don’t want pictures of someone telling me that I should be smaller; I won’t let myself go down that road. But neither will I accept pictures of someone telling me that it’s okay to stay where I am. I’ve been there and I know that‘s not the truth. No, all I want is a picture of me, smiling and waving at the world because finally, I am where I should be. This picture may not be one that will go in a magazine, or even change the world. But it will change my world. I have worked hard to get where I am, and I am proud – very proud – of what I have accomplished. Yes, you can keep your pictures of the models who only make life more confusing. I just want mine. That will be the most beautiful picture…ever.




Entry filed under: Addiction and Help. Tags: , , , , , .

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