Tuesday, September 1, 2009

So When Did a Size 10 Become Plus Sized?

When I saw all the brouhaha about this photo of model Lizzie Miller in Glamour magazine I was a bit torn. On one hand I thought it was great that this photo of a woman who is a size 12-14 (the size of the average American woman) had garnered lots of positive response from readers wanting more. Yet on the other hand, looking at this lovely woman, it made me sad that she was considered "plus sized."
Our expectation of beauty is so far out of whack I don't know if we can ever find a healthy balance. We have designers who create fashion for women built like 12-year-old boys, not the beautiful curvy creatures we are, and a multi-billion a year magazine and beauty industry that preys on our insecurities and makes us feel bad about ourselves.
Lizzie Miller is 5'11" and weighs 180 pounds. She has a little bit of a tummy, and isn't a stick. She looks like a woman, a very beautiful woman.
In doing a little research I discovered that as a woman who is 5' 9 1/2" tall and wears size 8s and 10s I am considered plus-sized in the modeling world. In my life I only know a couple of women who wear sizes as small as the ones models are expected to wear - and both are about 5'2," not over 5'9" like most models.
Due to the overwhelming positive response Glamour received from running this photo, they are planning in November to run nude photos of several plus sized models.
It's a start, but the real success will come when it doesn't take a "special issue" of a magazine to have women of all sizes and shapes in their pages. When that day comes hopefully it will allow girls to grow up loving themselves, just as they are.