Plus Sized Models Confront Body Shaming and Stereotypes
Reaction to fashion and cultural stereotypes that seem to favor thin celebrities and models.
A magazine known as "Plus Model" has come out with an issue that hopes to overcome what it calls "body shaming," or the negative stereotyping of women who are perceived as overweight. Retailers have known for some time that there is quite a bit of money to be made in plus sized clothing and fashions, but there still appears to be a media image that all of the "beautiful" models and newscasters need to be under a certain size range. More recently, a newscaster responded to hateful comments about her weight on the air and addressed the issue up front, which brought a lot of attention to the issues and the "fat stigma" that has has become a part of the national consciousness. While a large population of men and women are seen as overweight, the pattern on television has typically been to have larger male characters paired with thinner females. In the real world, the proliferation of plus-sized clothing is commonplace for men and women, and includes fashions along the lines of pants, dresses, shirts, and lingerie. Some stores, such as Lane Bryant, have actually been around for decades and indicate that above average weight and size is not a new problem.
The editor of Plus Model magazine, Madeline Jones, has created spreads designed to show models wearing jewelry and high heels, but not much more, along with messages showing that nobody is safe from hateful commentary about their body image. When Jennifer Livingston, TV news anchor, was accused of setting a bad example by being an overweight celebrity, she took up the issue right away. Many women are happy to be size 12 and above, and hope to bring an end to the body shaming that they believe is a quiet form of discrimination.
In the past few years, the social justice warrior movement and body acceptance movements have also faced backlashes from individuals and groups that point out the unhealthy aspects of obesity. They argue that promoting an unhealthy body size creates a crisis in the form of type 2 diabetes cases and skyrocketing healthcare costs related to treating the morbidly obese. In any event, using the Internet as a forum for debate has had the predictably disastrous effect of giving the intellectual marketplace over to trolls and anonymous hatemongers who live to fuel outrage on both sides of the equation. The fact of the matter is that shaming people for their weight is not a positive way to encourage a healthier lifestyle, and a working environment where you sit all day is not going to create a race of supermodels. Perhaps people could step away from their computers for just a moment and actually talk to each other.
Notes and Special Information
Special note: Once again, it has become necessary to point out that it isn't nice to pick on people.