I recently watched the infamous ‘Victoria Secret Fashion Show’ and I realized that I had a simultaneous love and hate for the show. The outfits were absolutely stunning, and the musical performers were amazing. But, in all of it, I realized that there were no ‘plus-size’ models in the show. I know that Victoria Secret is infamous for their “Angels”, but if Victoria Secret wants to represent every woman, then they need to have models that represent what the majority of women look like.
The term ‘plus-size’ doesn’t properly suit the definition. Being ‘plus-size’ is wearing sizes that are above a large. A new term that has been coming to light in social media is ‘Curvy Women’, which I feel still doesn’t truly describe what it means to be ‘plus size’.
Being ‘plus-size’ to society basically means that you’re above a size 10 in women’s clothing. To me, being ‘plus-size’ means that one is embracing what looking healthy is all about, and not about who can be the skinniest of the bunch.
Victoria Secret, and other clothing stores, seem to only make products for one body type: the girls who model their clothes. Those girls do need to have products that they can wear, they just shouldn’t be the only ones.
I feel that the “Healthy is the New Skinny” campaign is what being a model means. A quote from their blog really stood out to me: “Our mission at Healthy is the New Skinny is to advocate health and beauty in all its forms. We believe that size does not define beauty, yet the fashion industry and media seem to believe that it does.” I believe in their mission because it doesn’t intend to make young girls want to fit into a very narrow category of body shapes–it intends to show them that everyone is beautiful in their own way.
The Victoria Secret models actually scare me; whenever I see them all I can think is, “They would be smiling if they weren’t so hungry.” Whereas in the picture above, I saw normal people, who I would see on the street, or in the mirror. They had a form of every body type, from women who truly are ‘plus size’, women who are ‘normal sized’, and women who are just like the models that we’re used to seeing.
In my experience, being plus size means being a normal size. I’ve noticed that models in media look almost like aliens compared to regular people on the streets. And coming from a Greek-Jewish family, I can only imagine what my family would say if they saw my bones through my skin.
I have noticed a rise in stores that cater specifically to women who don’t have the ‘skinny mini’ body type, but unfortunately, these stores mostly cater to middle aged women and not younger girls in high school and college, who want to wear what’s in style and want to buy the cocktail dresses.
But women aren’t the only ones who are being falsely portrayed . Male models are also alien to what I see on the streets. They all seem to have six-pack abs and large muscular arms and legs. Rarely do I ever see that.
A perfect example of models being unrealistic to what we usually see is Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer Lawrence is an actress in the popular Hunger Games movies — she plays the lead role of Katniss Everdeen. I always thought she was stunningly beautiful, so I was shocked to find out that she is, according to Lawrence herself, a “fat actress”.
I always envied Lawrence for her looks and body figure. She looked healthy, and even in a movie where she was supposed to be starving to death she was still considered a “fat actress”. She gained my respect when she stated in an ABC news article, “I’m never going to starve myself for a part… I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner’”. Showing that one body shape isn’t the only beautiful one isn’t just to make larger women feel better about themselves; it’s also to keep young girls from thinking that because they don’t fit in this narrow margin of beauty that they have to go to extremes such as skipping dinner and perhaps developing an eating disorder.
All in all, celebrities, modeling agencies, and apparel stores need to start catering to all body types for men and women. While scrolling down Instagram, I saw a picture that showed a model strutting down a runway with a caption reading, “When we see bones showing on an animal we call it cruelty, but when it’s on a woman it’s beauty”.
It’s definitely not easy, but society needs to start changing how they view beauty, because it shouldn’t be a competition on who can be the skinniest, it should be who can represent most people in a healthy, beautiful way. I personally don’t feel that it’s the ‘Skinny Mini’ body type.