Friday, January 13, 2012

What ABout Us Average Women?

The Daily Mail’s Tamara Abraham reports on an article in PLUS Model Magazine that claims “Most runway models meet the BMI criteria for anorexia.”

“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.”
I applaud the magazine’s photo shoot that spotlights size 12 model Katya Zharkova, 28, with a “regular” size model to show the discrepancy in their bodies.

The photos are accompanied by remarks made about women and body image, such as “Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.”

The expose does a great job of highlighting what an extreme there is between a “regular” model and a “plus size” model.

What this experiment on body image seems to bring to light for me is that we are missing most in the media is the middle ground.

We need to see more average-size women, not just skinny or curvy—what about the mass majority of women who just fall into that middle zone? What should we be called? “Average” models?

Why can’t we just see a mix of ALL sizes in magazines? Why does it have to be skinny or plump?

We will have achieved success in body image when we open a magazine and see photos of all sizes of women mixed together in a normal fashion magazine rather than women being separated into categories of this and that extreme.

How can we put more pressure onto fashion magazines and media to more accurately represent the full array of women’s beauty?


  1. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Fashion models are supposed to be mobile hangers, because designers want you to look at the clothes, not the model. Anyway, customers want clothes, not the model. Also, there used to be no such thing as Plus size models, but now most US women are fat. So it does not shock me that we see more Plus models, as they reflect society.

  2. Anonymous10:37 PM

    What about looks? Most consumers of fashion mags seem to enjoy looking at women of extraordinary beauty, perhaps the upper 1/10 of 1% of women. Ad execs and mag editorial staff will not risk losing popularity by featuring models who are 45 and dowdy. It's a competitive industry and nobody wants to compete against an image of some hot model with a photo of Jane Normal. I just wish the decision makers were not so in love with stick figure models.