In the world of plus-size modeling, there are a lot of first times — the first time on the Pirelli Calendar for someone of the size of stunning Candice Huffine; the first time the term ‘plus’ has been associated to real beauty, back in 2004 by Dove; the first time Crystal Renn publicly went from anorexia nervosa to a healthier size and spoke up against the industry’s beauty standards. This time, everybody is talking about the first plus-size model on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Ashley Graham.
Famous for its unrealistic preference for ‘curvy but slender’, the magazine didn’t reserve Graham a spot on the cover; the model will appear in all her curves in a bikini ad. What’s closer to a breakthrough in Graham’s full figure advancing towards us in the photograph, however, is the fact that she is really plus-size, and she clearly is loving it.
Literal definitions within the modeling world often caused unrest in the public, since in the industry a size 10 is already considered plus-size. Calvin Klein was just recently bitterly attacked due to an ad featuring a model called ‘plus-size’, who actually still looked rather skinny. Issues came from the other side, too: while plus-size fashion bloggers have been taking the internet by storm, gaining thousands of followers, some witnesses actually consider the whole matter unhealthy due to the extreme sizes of some of the best-known bloggers. Many trends, such as #EffYourBeautyStandards, are aimed to celebrate your own body, no matter the size, color, issues.
This is, clearly, a delicate matter. It is important and exciting for magazines to be opening their doors to a fresher and more realistic body image for women to look up to; it is wonderful that so many women are starting to feel empowered by what they see on some media channels rather than inadequate. However, we should remember that health is concerned in the matter just as much as it is when it comes to models who are too skinny.
Loving your own body should be a rule, but loving it also means taking care of it. Still, there are many women who would just feel better seeing their own reality on a billboard, rather than something they have to aim to. Should we then look forward to a realistic fashion world, or rather to a healthy, full-figured but sportier body standard?
If beauty comes in all sizes and shapes, is there a fine line we should be careful not to cross?
photo courtesy: Instagram & Google Images