If you’ve read through our magazine before, you know that its managing editor (me) is concerned with women’s issues, including those regarding body image and perception. It’s something that I care about not just as a writer, but as a woman living in a society that prizes smallness, and as a woman who often struggles with her own insecurities about her weight and her perceived failure at being skinny.
This insecurity often colors my interaction with topics like “plus-sized” models, because I get very excited that these women are becoming more popular and representing a greater percentage of the population, but at the same time (if I’m being totally honest) I experience moments where I would give almost anything to be able to fit into a size 0 dress and weigh 115 pounds. In these moments, I don’t “own” my size, like some women can and do; I don’t feel confident about or with my body. I am plagued with self-loathing and feelings of inadequacy.
Even though I have these conflicting feelings, I can usually rely on my brain to talk me down and provide a more accurate picture of reality. And I’m pretty sure it’s my brain and not my emotions that are flabbergasted to find that this woman below, Crystal Renn, is considered “plus-sized.” Seriously? In what world?
I found a list of “Best Plus Size Models: Who Is Dominating the Industry Right Now” on the Huffington Post. The first pictures of women they put up, labeling them as “plus size,” look like they don’t have a pound to lose. And I get that the modeling industry and agencies have placed this label on these women. What I don’t get is why the Huffington Post has to accept these labels. Wouldn’t an article entitled “Best Models: Who Is Dominating the Industry Right Now,” which included pictures of models of all sizes go further in supporting the cause of changing the dominant cultural ideologies of super skinny=good? Relegating these women into a class by themselves, albeit a celebrated one in this case, is still exclusionary; it still reminds us that these harmful ideologies exist and it works to fit into them rather than trying to do away with them all together. It’s a mad world that we live in, and HuffPo is not helping make it any more sane.
Previously from Laura Creel:
♦ Trolls Attack Miss Utah
♦ Life and Death Come Together in Washington, D.C.
♦ This One Goes Out to the Ladies Who Love Men Who Love Sports
♦ Mine Eyes Have Beheld the Monkey-Humans of Ages Past!
♦ Heads Up: Don’t Ask for a Cup of Water on Spirit Airlines. Denied!