I turned 40 in 2011 and my goal was to rededicate myself to balance. I’m a size 12 and I decided that I wanted to be strong, really strong. Ironically, I was inspired by watching bad American television and seeing so many buff male bodies. Why I was inspired by the muscular physique of men, I have no idea. Freud might know, but I don’t actually care. Over the past nine and a half months, I have built quite a bit of muscle. I haven’t changed my eating and I haven’t lost any weight. I just wanted to be strong. My trainer says I can lift more weight on a romanian dead lift than most men – even perhaps him and he’s buff like my American actor friends. Part of it is my flexibility. It’s not an easy exercise for the inflexible. But, whatever the reason my progress is great and I’m not focused on external results. I feel strong. I can run 10Km. And, I’m only going forward.
And, this is precisely why I’m so fired up by the response to the recent photo shoot instigated by Plus Model Magazine and featuring Katya Zharkova.
The plus sized modelling industry is relatively new – 1990s. Why there has to be a separate industry for models wearing clothing sizes above 10, I don’t know. Is it new because it’s driven by capitalism and designers are greedy for more clients? Is it new because women are lazy, getting fat and want to assert their completely unhealthy bodies? Or, is it new because the average clothing size and model is 23% smaller than she was 20 years ago, when she was only 8% smaller and not all women are actually this small? Have we forgotten that one of the iconic beauties in West was a size 12? Nobody said that Marilyn was plus sized.
According to Wikipedia plus size modeling has received criticism. Some commentators believe that plus-size models may be setting a bad example to women on how they should look. They believe that promoting large models may lead to women believing that having an unhealthy lifestyle is acceptable. I’m wondering why the general public is jumping to the conclusion that someone who is ‘overweight’ is unhealthy when the wide-spread image of women is represented by models who may very well have the BMI of an Anorexic person. It is possible to have two women side by side, one a size 12 and once a size 0 and both are healthy.
It’s 2012. Let’s start judging health on something other than body shape, size and weight.
And now, I’ll stop my rant because it’s time for my Sunday 10K.
‘Most runway models meet the BMI criteria for anorexia’, claims plus-size magazine in powerful comment on body image in the fashion industry. Mail Online
To see all the photos from this shoot, visit Plus Model Magazine
Plus Model Magazine