Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Whether You're A 10 Or A 2, Size Is A Weighty Issue

This blog originally appeared on AtlantaWomanMag.com.

There have been a lot of comments in the past few weeks regarding " A Perfect 10," an article AW ran about Whitney Thompson, the first plus-sized model to win America's Next Top Model.

It is obvious that AW readers are in disbelief that a woman with Whitney's physique - tall, healthy and fit at an industry size 10 - should be labeled plus-size, especially when she is probably smaller than a large chunk of women today.

After reading the article, our reader Caroline King wrote: "I just about fell out of my chair when I read that a size 10 is a plus size! I am just under 6 feet tall and am very healthy, relatively fit (as much as a full-time working mother of 3 children can be). I wear a size 10 and am proud of it. It is absolutely WARPED that a size 10 is anything but NORMAL. I am thrilled that there is a model out there who is projecting a healthy attitude and body image to my daughters."

And it's not just women in Atlanta who feel this way. In the March issue of Vogue, Jeann Rybinski wrote to the editor: "Your magazine's glossy photographs of glitzy fashions fill me with both delight and despair. The delight is obvious; the despair is too, because, frankly, I couldn't get into the majority of those clothes with a set of burglar tools - and I am in good company. If you look around America, there are a lot of women who are older and shorter and weigh a bit more than your average model."

I have a feeling this issue won't ever truly go away, even if the CFDA tries to issue "guidelines" regarding designers employing models who attain healthy weights.

And as someone who has worn a size 12 down to a size 2, gone through the weighty ups and downs of two pregnancies, and been gently chastised for being too thin, I wonder how I'll explain all this to my daughters.

How do I make them feel comfortable enough in their own bodies to not strive for unrealistic body images? And on the flip side, how do I let them know that being naturally thin is nothing to be ashamed of? They will surely go through the same tall, stick-thin phase I went through as an adolescent (that was actually a nickname of mine - stick.) - a phase that, at the time, had just as much of a negative impact on my self-esteem as I'm sure being overweight would have.

So what's the answer? If you've got them, let me know by leaving a comment below.

No comments:

Post a Comment