Let me start this post by saying that though this may focus on plus size women and how society sees them, women who are super skinny and are naturally that way AND healthy are no less beautiful. I know sometimes, we focus on the outrage over what is considered "fat" and those who are naturally very thin don't want to be labeled any more than large women do. I say as long as you are truly healthy inside and out, size never matters.
Okay, so see that beautiful woman up there? The one with the curves and small arms and beautiful strong legs? The one with a little bit of a "roll" in the second picture that looks like any other regular woman out there? In case you haven't seen this all over the internet, she is the first "PLUS-SIZE" model in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. PLUS SIZE. She's a size 12. Let me tell you, I am a size 8 (granted, not blessed with height and long legs) and I can NOT rock a bathing suit like her. She is gorgeous. And yet, she is considered "plus size". Why couldn't she just be in the magazine as just another model? Why did she have to classified? And WHY in the world is she considered plus size?? This is a perfect example of what is wrong with our society and societies around the world. Let's look at a few other examples.
That is an ad featured in the Swimsuit Edition. She is a size 16 model. Okay, so maybe we can categorize 16 as plus size. BUT, does it have to be the focus of this ad? Why isn't she just a beautiful woman who is modeling? I certainly wouldn't feel the confidence to throw a bikini on and rock it in a published magazine. Why does she have to be labeled?
This next model was in Elle last year. She is a size 10 and YES, considered "plus-size".
And in an article I found (HERE), they actually say this...
"In fact, not so long ago plus size models were around size 10-12, but that number has recently shrunk to an 8," said Cosmopolitan earlier this year, while PLUS Model concurs that models "between size 6 and size 14" are typically considered plus size."
SIZE SIX. COME.ON. And let's not get me started on why there's a "Plus Model" magazine and why all beautiful women can't be featured in just "regular" magazines. Here is some information cited from Plus Model. "Twenty years ago, the average fashion model weighed 8 percent less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23 percent less, it said." Yes, that's what it says. It also says that most models meet the criteria of anorexia. So, our standard is for women to be so thin that they are compromising their health? Hmm… Seems legit.
Last April, I saw an image on Facebook posted by an Italian Magazine, much like the pictures of the "plus size" models are going around now for SI. This is the model.
She is 5'9" and a size 16. Anyone think she looks bad?? I made the BIG mistake of looking at comments people wrote and I literally felt sick to my stomach. It made me sad and angry that people could look at this woman and talk about all of her "fat" and "flaws".
I found a study done with 548 5th-12th grade girls at a school. "Of the girls, 69% reported that magazine pictures influence their idea of the perfect body shape, and 47% reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures." 47% is way too many young girls, going through many changes in their bodies, to be so affected by a magazine. If anyone wants to lose weight, it should be a decision made based on health, but never to be like someone else. These girls should not be comparing themselves to an unrealistic body shape found in a magazine. If magazines had a wide variety of women of all sizes, would that make things different?
Why is this happening? Why do we as a society treat women like this? The most important question is "What are we going to do to change it?". Well, that's part of what we're here to do. We want to help change the way women look at themselves. We want to change the way society looks at women. We want to change the way men see women and help them learn to embrace and empower the women around them. We want to educate young girls BEFORE they start to believe they aren't good enough or pretty enough or skinny enough. We want to catch girls and teens at those awkward ages when they've already been sucked into the standards society is placing on them and change their thinking. We want to teach all females about being the healthiest they can be. We want to teach them to have purpose, dreams, and faith in themselves. We want all of this and more and we're on a mission to make it all happen.
We want to feature all women, all sizes, shapes, ethnicities. We want to show the world what the "regular" (I say, we're all extraordinary) woman is, what the real "standard" should be.
Do you want to be part of it? Go to our participation page to sign up and help us show young girls and women that every woman is beautiful, powerful, and empowered. Sign up your daughters too and give them a positive project to be a part of. Let them show off their uniqueness, style, and amazing personalities. Even if you don't feel that all of the time, you will be surprised how much participating will pull those feelings out in you. And let's be honest, we take great pictures, so you can't go wrong. :)
Do you want to be be a speaker or sponsor or to host an event? We'd love to have you. We do ask that if you want to be one of these that you participate as well. I mean, that's the point, right? ;)
Let's change the world, girls and ladies!