What’s wrong with this picture?

by Rebecca A. Watson on January 15, 2012

in advertising, change, food, habits, health

A few days ago, an article ran in Plus Model Magazine and I saw loads of comments around various social networks from the ladies in the audience. Here’s the photo:

plus size model with runway model

Quite the difference between a runway model and a plus size model, isn’t it? Most of the comments I read were along the lines of “The plus size model is so much more beautiful!”

Unfortunately, I can’t contribute that kind of comment to the conversation. And not because I don’t know that that’s the thing I should be saying. I know the right, grown-up answer to this question.

But I’m not gonna lie, because I think some other people are and it just continues to do a diservice to another generation of women. It’s time for this say-one-thing-do-another culture to stop.

If I had to choose between looking like the runway model and looking like the plus size model, I’d choose the runway model. Why? Because that is what I was raised to believe was beautiful.

trish goff role model

And I’m not the only one who thought this way. The heroin chic model look has been sought after for years, simply because that’s what women see on television, on billboards, and in magazines. And women and children(!) have been starving themselves for decades, trying to be “beautiful.”

I’m one of the lucky ones. I figured out early enough that it wasn’t healthy to be that skinny. I worked on my relationship with food and exercise and weigh a healthy 140 pounds.

But I still fight my brain on an everyday basis. I own a full-length mirror that’s slimming to the point that my husband thinks he looks sick. When I look at it, I see fat. But I know that’s not true.

This culture is crazy-making, and if models continue to get skinnier and we continue to buy those products, watch those television shows and read those magazines, our children will continue to be sold that message, regardless of what we say.

So ladies (and gents), it is up to us. We can talk about about how beautiful the plus size model is but actions speak louder.

  • Vote with your dollar: Quit buying celebrity magazines that glorify binge dieting and demonize cellulite. Stop using products that hire unhealthy looking models, whether that product is for air freshener or jeans.
  • Examine your habits: “Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children.” Eat well. Exercise regularly. If you’re starving yourself and criticizing your body, chances are your children will do the same to themselves. If you need help, get it.
  • Please, for the love of god, no conversations like this:

I’m not sure if the physical and psychological damage to women in the past can be undone. I hope so. But the future is bright! Let’s eat ice cream (throw some fruit on there for extra points) and go on family walks and embrace every healthy body.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jande May 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I gotta say it again and again, Becca: I like the way you think –with your heart as well as your brain!

Having lived for years now with Thyroid disease, which as my doctor told me can make you fat no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise, I’ve had a number of times when I simply despair of having my body (shape) back. I’ve never wanted to be skinny like the super models. I wanted their beautiful faces instead. Perhaps because I gave up watching TV in my teens, and was never really into magazines, the whole anorexic female body ideal never got to me. I always wanted *curves*. lol Well I have them now in spades! And I’ve come to terms in a way. Maybe in a sour-grapes kind of way. Having been on the daily little grey pill (synthroid) has given me back my life, my energy, and my drive. Daily exercise is really helpful with that and it seems to be keeping my weight stable. I’m grateful for this, but I can help but long for having a body shape that I feel is beautiful.

I guess I’ll stop now. I have a tendency to ramble.

You finished the book? When’s it to be published? :`D


Ms. Becca May 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

God, don’t we all struggle with self acceptance? I think that’s seriously the heart of the matter, isn’t it?

Funny you should ask. I finished the book Tuesday and sent it off to one publisher. I’m getting a few things together to send off to a few more in the next week or two. Wheeee!!!


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