“Promoting an unbiased view of women’s body diversity is even better, but if you’re going to create an unbiased representation there still needs to be size zero women. Because zero is also a size just like any other number.” Pitting against, bringing down, insulting, sluts shaming thin woman isn’t a way to promote acceptance.
Successful models like Cindy Crawford, Gigi Hadid, Hilary Rhoda and Lara Stone had been rejected by various agencies, more than once for being too average-looking, too tall, too short etc. Gisele Bundchen, the highest paid supermodel in the world for the past 14 years, was rejected 42 times for her big nose and small eyes before she was finally cast for Alexander McQueen! Thus, proving that everybody has to face their share of problems and struggle, especially in a field like modelling where you represent the ideal type for the society.
Tess Holliday the size 22 model bravely posed for the cover page of the cosmopolitan magazine and have said to have started a new call for ‘body positivity’. She called the critics to her photo as small -minded people for only accepting thin people as models. However, my question to the world is whether it is a step towards acceptance of every body type or unnecessary glorification of the plus size models and obesity.
Yes, I agree with the statement of Piers Morgan, who called the promotion of the size 22 models as dangerous, because according to a study conducted in California it was observed that through such measures, obese people stop their efforts to lose weight or gain a healthy body. After all, obesity is not just about not being able to match the beauty standards but also quite dangerous from the health perspective. Obesity is a hub of diseases and mal-body functions, with constant blood pressure problem, diabetes and weakened muscles. With the promotion of such models we are catalysing the obesity crisis faced by most of the European countries.
While modelling agencies, brands and fashion houses try their best to advocate body positivity by hiring plus size models, not editing the pictures, normalizing cellulite etc. what they forget is- people aren’t body shamed only for being fat, but for being too thin too. People often associate terms like flat, skinny, and even anorexic with people who are underweight. We show how ignorant we are when we are willing to believe that size 0 is always a choice and not just the genetics. While the world has a good representation of obese men and women in the world of modelling. What we are missing is the representation of every body type. While we are quick to judge thin people and call them out for not meeting the BMI standards for a healthy person, it is still considered offensive to call out a person for being obese. Is this a product of our double standards, or just mere ignorance that we groove to ignorant skinny shaming songs but are all riled up when internet series, movies etc. make jokes regarding overweight people.
What we are unable to acknowledge is that, every field has its criterion and protocols to be followed and they cannot be reprimanded for it. Those who are against this concept of obese models cannot and shall not be mistaken as small-minded people or opposers of body positivity. They just have another outlook to the entire situation, if the plus size models are not acceptable then we must also realize that the underweights are also unrecognized and tagged as unhealthy.
It is not just about beauty standards but according to medical science, there is a standard weight recommend for every human under different age categories and is considered to be the ideal weight because that is capable of keeping one physically active and sound, and fosters normal functioning. Thus, the trend to show the perfect size models and make them the face of the fashion world since decades, has been inspired from the ideology of making such body types as the ideal type and encourage people to attain such a size, in order to promote healthy body structure.
People generally argue that the fashion world lacks reality and plus size models aim at doing so, however, when the fashion magazines cover the size 12 models, they just glorify and present an ideal body type and has nothing to do with availability of sizes in clothing brands for women. the fashion brands had been quite progressive in incorporating a plus size and obese people’s section in their brands and open the variety of clothing options for them.
The organisers of an international fashion event have told a number of models that they cannot take part because they are too thin. Madrid Fashion Week, known as Pasarela Cibeles, will take place from September 18 to 22. However, for this year’s event, the organisers have taken a very thoughtful step and are using the BMI (body mass index) to determine if models can take part. Thus, now it would be wrong to argue that the fashion world is biased and with shallow thoughts and ideas, as through the BMI, it is being ensured that anyone who suffices the healthy body type according to medical science, can actively participate in it. However, it no where says that the women with more or less weight than the demanded size should be prejudiced or body-shamed, it promotes acceptance for all but aims at avoiding unnecessary glorification of the unhealthy.
As we all know that obesity is clearly not just about looks but leads to many psychological, social and health problems and a wide variety of chronic diseases, which makes it mandatory to tackle obesity at any cost. If acceptance to the appearance, seems to be the only criterion to judge the healthy body-type then, I must say we are living under a great misconception with flawed concepts of health and beauty. Promotion of obese models would prevent the obese people from trying to tackle to their problem and gain a healthy body type as their body type would gain the tag of ideal body structure.
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