Why do we promote plus-size models?

I often hear people (mostly women) complain about thin models and the effects it has on young women. It promotes anorexia, bulimia and an unrealistic view of what a womans body should look like. But, I often see people (women mostly) praise plus sized models. So...if thin promotes anorexia, bulimia and the drive to be thin, wouldn't plus sized models only promote obesity?

America already has a problem with weight, in general. And I feel like we have to walk on eggshells to make overweight people feel good about themselves, even going to the length of putting down thin people and using the terms "real women have curves" and "real men love curves." The rest of the world manages to not have a weight problem, but because America does, America has continuously pushed for "plus sized models." I don't meant to digress, but if you look at the "Houses" and brands who use thin models and you see they're demographics, you'd know why thin is used. Thin detracts from the clothing, so you notice the clothing. The "Houses" and brands which use thin models are high end designers aiming at the rich, mainly those residing in the fashion capitals of the world(France, Italy, Spain & Dubai). So of course they won't put an overweight person to model, cause rich, young women are normally obsessed with their appearance(hence why they'd spend so much on tacky clothing).

I mention women specifically cause men tend to not be interested in crap like that, pseudo modeling that is.

So if we're all hyped up about thin women being models, why would we even encourage fat women to model? Fat may be common in America, but it isn't common to the rest of the world & it isn't healthy. Yes, yes, I know, every overweight person on the interweb is healthy; they exercise, eat like birds yadda yadda.

I just don't see why our society continues to push this idea of "thin is in" or "real women have curves (rolls of fat)" Why can't we promote being in a healthy weight range, eating healthy and exercising?

Updates:
Houses= House of Versace, House of Dior, House of Gucci...high end designers refer to their "empires" as House
So what makes it any better to promote overweight? People get all bent out of shape for promoting underweight women but not overweight women.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I partly agree. Encouraging obesity and unhealthy diets and lifestyles isn't positive. However, empowering women to feel confident and beautiful no matter what size they are definitely is. Plus sized models are still not actually obese, sometimes not even truly overweight. So I don't feel that using them will let people off the hook as far as trying to be healthy. But I DO think that eliminating the whole "plus-sized model" term and movement and instead just using normal, healthy people without making a huge ruckus and labeling them would be good.

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What Guys Said 7

  • I think the fact that you refer to the shape of women as binary says a lot about your outlook on life. You're either skinny or fat.

    I am one of those guys who likes curves. Curves does not have to refer to morbidly obese or even obese women. Obesity is a serious health issue in contemporary western society, but the fashion industry could hardly be considered to be glorifying obesity, to blame them is to redirect blame from ourselves. The reality is, due to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, combined with increasingly rich foods, has led to the obesity issue, we are no longer hunter gatherers, and because we no longer rely on brawn we are forced to rely on our brains. Fat used to be a way of storing energy, only accessible in moments of ketosis, which is basically, starvation (i.e. energy intake does not meet energy requirement). We don't enter these states very often nowadays, so excess nutrients, just becomes fat... which just stays there.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to food choice, many people either choose to ignore the simple calculation of nutrients going in vs. energy expended, or, have little choice but to eat nutritionally poor, but fattening foods (I make that distinction very clear because often the only foods the working poor can afford are highly subsidised, which are also the foods which tend to be highly processed (gives food processing companies a cut), and nutritionally poor (because nutrition dense foodstuffs are expensive to produce and difficult to process)). What it comes down to is education and proper governmental action. Not that I mean everyone needs to know the makeup of every food, but that people have a general idea of what foodstuffs are beneficial and what foodstuffs are best taken in small quantities (nothing wrong with a bit of chocolate... You should question whole pounds of it though), and not that I mean the government should ban all unhealthy foods, but that the government needs to provide the correct incentives for farmers and growers in order to balance primary foodstuffs output (not so heavily weighted on corn), and require the places where consumers purchase foodstuffs or eat them, to display prominently and in easy to discern language what it is the consumer is purchasing. At that point the responsibility lies with us, as people who eat.

    To point the finger at the fashion industry and say they are promoting obesity (or, even to an extent, to say that it promotes anorexia, although the prevalence is much more profound - I understand impressionable people are likely to take this on board but this applies to anything (hyperdermic media consumption)) is:

    1. Redirecting responsibility for your own body to something else i.e. they made me do it.

    2. Promoting an ideology that models should be clothes hangers, and that is what the rich and powerful want (and aspire to).

    Whether or not you choose to follow is up to you, as control of your body is a fundamental human right. Those models have already made theirs

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  • Plus-size models are rarely "obese."

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    • It's still overweight though. Promoting overweight isn't any better than promoting those who are underweight.

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    • U tell them! "plus size" models are little

    • Plus sized models aren't little lmao

      A size 12 isn't small

  • For the most part, the days of underweight models are long gone. There are the thinner (but still healthy) models who are chosen because they are very attractive so clothes always look good on them, and there are the plus-size (but again, still healthy) models who are chosen because they more closely resemble an average consumer.

    However, I think I do get what you're saying. There are certainly a lot mixed messages being sent out.

    On the one hand, we have people telling us what we *need* to hear - that we should be slim in order to be healthy (eg. Scientists / doctors / politicians) and attractive (eg. Movie stars / pop stars / models).

    On the other hand, we have people telling us (or at least the overweight among us) what we *want* to hear - that it's okay to obese - that we should be fat and proud, and not let anyone else convince us otherwise (eg. The stereotypical strong, independent fat woman - such as Mercedes from Glee, Beyoncé, etc). And I don't think that does anyone any favours...

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  • You couldn't agree with me more (that should scare ya!). Models should be normally proportioned, and everyone else should be ridiculed.

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  • yeah people that try and pretend she-mammoths are hot are pathetic.

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  • Plus size models are hot. Skinny minis are not much to look at. Literally.

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    • To people on the internet, chubby is in. But chubby girls often come on here asking "do any guys like chubby girls" and they do so for a reason

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    • So anyone who isn't chubby is anorexic? See how it works. In reality thin is praised and preferred, but people on the internet worship chubby. I mean, whatever helps y'all sleep at night.

    • Oh yeah she's snuggly like a pillow. That's hot.

      That does help me sleep at night.

  • Supermodels are too skinny and plus-sizes are too fat. Regular models are typically hot though. They're just trying to promote acceptance of the fatties.

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What Girls Said 14

  • Well most plus size models aren't really overweight, they're like 6's and 8's not 16's and 18's. I had to turn off a Dior runway show a few years ago because the models just looked sickly. I get your point about not promoting being overweight and praising it and making fat people feel good about themselves but most plus size models arent' that big. Like that girl who won America's Next Top model (I stopped watching it but she was the first plus size girl to win) she was a normal size, no one would look at her and think that she's fat.

    I've always been thing (0/2) and I hate hearing people say thing like if you wear clothes my size you should eat a sandwich or that curvy is better and that if you don't have curves you look like a boy (and God knows I'd love to tell overweight people to go to the gym or use the stairs instead of an escalator but of course I can't). I'm perfectly healthy, I wear small sizes but I'm also only 5'0 so for me it's unhealthy if I wear an 8 or a 10. But people don't promote being in a healthy weight range because most people are too lazy to do the work and don't have the self control to eat smaller portions or to not live off fast food.

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  • Maybe we just need to redo how labeling is done. Because they start considering you a "plus size" at a size 10. In juniors, its a size 6. I've been 5'11'' for the past 3 years of my life and that means I was a teenager and still meant to shop in the juniors section. Problem is, I had to go to the women's section because they didn't have anything for someone my height. I was considered "plus sized". But at that time I was a size 8. I was 15 and couldn't shop in the same section as my friends because they didn't make clothes for girls as "fat" as I was. Problem is, I don't want to be a size 2. Someone 5'11' isn't suppose to be that skinny. its not healthy. so are you saying I'm promoting obesity? maybe they should change the size they consider plus sized before you start critiquing it. I for one am glad when they have plus sizes at stores because it means people like me can buy clothes at the same places my friends do. We are not promoting obesity because the plus sized models are not really fat.

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  • I don't see it as them promoting an extreme over the other.

    I don't think its wrong, it could just be a change in the norm.

    I do think that we should educate our children about food and provide legitimate food to those in in poverty because most of what we eat is food that is highly processed or has more preservatives in them than it does nutrition, because its so damn cheap.

    Fashion is a reflection of society. You can't sell a size 0 to a size 20 society unless you're selling undies and bras :P

    But to make healthy food more affordable, we would need to have more people willing to farm and harvest for low amounts of money, probably. but that's a whole other issue.

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  • Well, usually within the Fashion world a 'Plus size' model is anything from a size 8 up. So not all are necessarily overweight or obese. This is Kimberly, she won America's Next Top Model ( I can't remember which cycle) and she is considered Plus size, but she is only a size 10 link

    Yes there are some plus size models who are overweight or obese. But I think society shames those people enough. Shame doesn't create change, as we know people are only getting fatter. We all know it's unhealthy to be fat, but it is also unhealthy to fixate on one body type as the ideal.

    I think the best way to get everyone to be healthy, is by not promoting one body type over another. We need to start showing everyone what is real. Many think something is wrong with themselves, when really they are just a normal person. Some people have scars, and they think that there is something completely wrong with themselves because they never see otherwise. I think to see real people would be a better help to society as a whole. We need to see what a real 100lb, 160lb woman looks like, and even a 200lb woman, etc... We wouldn't be obsessed with dieting, which actually makes you gain more weight in the long run. Dieting is not a permanent solution for weight loss, a healthy lifestyle is. Many diets are not healthy. But we are being pushed to diet instead of being pushed to want to be healthier.

    Plus you can't deny that there are lots of girls, really young ones who are seeing the models and admiring the bodies and not the clothes. It's not even just the fact that they are thin, but the fact that these images are often photo shopped to ridiculous standards. It gets into these young girls minds that what they are seeing is the norm. It really does, that is why you see so many questions on here about girls who are fixated on their weight and think they have to be 100 pounds to be healthy. They say all their friends are a size 5 and they are 100lbs, but this girl is 120 and she thinks she is fat. Meanwhile her body type is average and her friends all are petite. No one is showing us that different weights are acceptable on different people. Its just a one size fits all standard, because no one talks about it.

    I think it's good to promote plus size models, because there are people who are bigger. It's not necessarily because they are fat, its just they are bigger people. I am fuller figured myself, big boobs, wider hips, shoulders, etc... Even if I was to lose weight, I would still be seen as big by society. Because society has a warped view on what is normal. So I think it's a good idea to show some of these 'plus sized' ladies because they are real people and we should see some different body types out there.

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  • I think really by promoting the over weight ones were not saying you should look like this but that you should be comfortable with yourself no matter how you look...and it's not so much that people don't like really thin models..it's that were also trying to get girls to see you don't have to be a stick to be beautiful...and just a small dis agreement..not all women with curves are overweight or have rolls of fat..lot's of women have nice curves but at the same time maintain a genuine weight that is indeed healthy..that's just my opinion thought so no one shoot me for it...

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  • Why not give them equal opportunity in their career choice? It isn't actually hurting anyone. If someone else is 'fat' because they saw an ad with a plus size model and thought 'Oh, that gives me permission to stay unhealthy' then they are a fool. And you don't have to be in the middle range to be healthy :/

    Frick, I'm 'fat', but because I cook for myself rather than going out for fast food and putting sh*t in my body, because I actually like veggies and fruit, I'm rather healthy. I can walk great distances, no problem, and when it isn't so cold out, I can run for a short while.

    As long as I'm fine with the way I look, it isn't anyone else's business.

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  • Maybe it's just me but I don't see that we promote plus-size models in any way. I do see businesses that cater to the bigger woman's needs, like clothing, and that's fine. There are some women who are big boned and they are not unhealthy by any means, that's just the way their bodies function. They are beautiful! It's a lifestyle just like any other. I'm short and petite but I got little curves and frankly I even get tired of seeing stick thin models like this link all the time. I have been guilty of thinking "they need to eat a cheeseburger!" It's not because I envy them or anything it's just plain, boring, and unattractive. Lets face it the average woman has curves and it gets annoying to see something that is not reality. I think there needs to be an in between model.

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    • She isn't stick thin. And in other parts of the world, that's average.

      Also, curves does not equal fat. It bothers me that I can't refer to myself as curvy (i'm an hourglass) because it comes off as me saying I'm fat, when I'm not. I'm 5'3, 118 lbs. Far from fat in the eyes of others, but I can't even describe myself as curvy because that term has been ruined.

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    • OMG did you not read my comment?

    • That was for Emma.

  • Promoting more plus size models aren't necessarily promoting overweight. It's just saying "it's okay if you're not a size 0." And in my eyes there is nothing wrong with that. I do see your point because many people are over weight. I have seen many big women say they are "curvy" but there not, there fat. But don't talk bad about plus size models because it is a very hard business to be in. To be in a world where everyone is judging you all the time.

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  • I think its OK to promote plus size but calling skinny models "sticks" and stuff is just as mean as calling people fat and everyone forgets that. also today's skinny models are kept under very strict watch when it comes to weight because an underweight model will cause problems for the agency. If your BMI is a bit under you could get fired. I think people should just continue to promote healthy models of all shapes and remember that some people are naturally skinny and they can't help it just like those who are naturally curvy :)

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  • Honestly, I also really dislike the image of 'plus sized models'. I feel that since we have come to recognize some supermodels/models as 'too thin' we are trying to over correct by creating glamour to someone who IS overweight. Anyone buying things in any plus size should take a look at their body and really consider doing something about it. I could talk all day on how much I hate the ideal of plus sized models- but I shall instead talk on why I do. Firstly, it is encouraging unhealthy eating no matter what way you look at it. Why should thin girls be shamed while fat girls worshipped? Eating, around the overall westernised globe is causing severe health risks for everyone involved particularly in the case of eating too much, or being overweight or obese. According to the government- run information network, "More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese". So why are we encouraging it through use of own fashion lines and plus sized models?
    Secondly, I know I may be a bit jilted because I have eating problems, I suppose- not eating enough, etc but I know that everyone, unless you suffer a diagnosed, severe condition and your GP or specialist has told you otherwise has the power to lose weight and keep it off and no one has the power to say otherwise. Yes, it's hard- trust me, i know but we need to promote healthy body image instead of liking the extremes, which promotes unhealthy eating habits and an unhealthy nation.

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  • skinny models promote unhealthy weight limits and unrealistic body weight for body types. plus size women promote being beautiful in whatever size you are and its OK to be bigger than a size 4 and still be gorgeous

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  • THe plus models I have seen are not fat, they just have curves, so they are not promoting being overweight.

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  • "Plus-size" almost always means "heavier than the stick thin, but overweight".

    How on earth do plus-size models promote obesity when most of them are at a healthy weight?

    Its disgusting that you would regard women who are a little heavier than than the stick-thin ideal as promoting obesity.

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    • Just because a woman isn't a size 12, doesn't mean she's stick thin. 12 isn't small and most plus sized models are a 12+, because being between a 5-10 is regarded as too big to do regular modeling, but too small to do plus sized modeling

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    • lmao

      I don't now why you're still commenting

    • Because its mildly entertaining to see you reply.

  • I think there's a distinct difference between "curvy" and "overweight."

    People like curves, not obesity. That's what they're promoting. Although I don't like lines like "Real women have curves" - I think those are ridiculous. It's such a narrow, simplistic view of what a "real" woman should be like, and it only serves to alienate more women (just like promoting "thinness" alienates some women).

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