The modeling industry is one of the strongest and most profitable fashion industries in the world. Millions of dollars go into backing the perfect faces and the perfect bodies. Somewhere along the line we let someone else tell us what the perfect woman should look like. We let them do this over and over and over and over again. We let them and in most cases we have agreed. We continue to buy the magazines after all and why else would the diet industry be so popular.
What does it really mean to be perfect? What's the first image that comes into your mind? Now that you have this person in your head, decide what makes them perfect to you? Which of these traits are traits you really believe make a person perfect? Are they traits you look for in your friends, spouses, family? Probably not. If these images are so perfect to us then why don't we surround ourselves with these perfect images all the time? Because very few people actually look like these perfect images we've come to rely on and then throw in photo retouching on top of that... So would it then be fair to say that perhaps they really aren't perfect and it is the rest of the world that is? A majority rules kinda thing? Wow. Now I'm perfect. Hey, you're perfect too.
I don't want to be too hard on the modeling industry, like everything it is trying its best to evolve. We had "Mode". We had "Grace". We had Figure. We almost had "Beautiful". And every now and then one of the major magazines features a curvy spread of luscious models. Even though they aren't perfect (they don't show a complete range of women) they have tried to be different in a sea of skinny mini's. However slight, it is still progress. They have given us a new face (and body) to consider over the pre-anorexic women most of us have grown up with. We should support them because if we don't who will. Mode was one of the best magazines on the market but in went under. Why? Because we couldn't think for ourselves to determine what was perfect. We were embarrassed to be seen buying a real woman magazine even though the majority of the population looks like that. We live in the fantasy world of Vogue and Flare but it's a fantasy world that's tearing apart our psyches because we compare ourselves to these extra thin women with hair (even if it's subconsciously it happens, at ALL ages). There's a new face on the horizon and we have to support them whole-heartedly.
Can you name five female super models? Of those how many of them are fat? MMMM probably none. Ok now name five full-figured models that have made a living out of modeling. Emme is a given. Here are ten more: Crystal Renn, Kate Dillon, Fluvia Lacerda, Mia Amber, Ashley Graham, Liis Windischmann, Mia Tyler, Toccara Jones, Whitney Thompson and Natalie Laughlin. Search them out and make some new favorites!
Does this mean you should not be fond of your favorite thin super models? No, of course not. It just means we need to make room in our hearts (and minds) for more diversity. There's nothing wrong with being a thin model, but there is nothing wrong with being a full-figured or plus size model either. Both ends of the spectrum need to be given a break.
In fact, give them all a break. These women are not icons for plus-size women to be adored when they are fat and shunned when they lose weight. If that was the way we behaved in the real world we wouldn't have any friends or family. If they choose to lose weight it's their choice. Same for celebrities like Rosie O'Donnell, Queen Latifah, Camryn Manheim, Jennifer Hudson etc. It doesn't make them any less of role models because they decide to shed a few pounds. They are in the same boat we are. Their bodies their choice. Your body your choice. But I digress.
The face of things to come is what we make of it, not the fashion/modeling industry. We have a choice. Refuse to be embarrassed buying a plus-woman magazine. Write your favorite magazines and tell them what you want to see. More diversity in their models all the time not once a year! If you don't tell them they will continue to think they are doing nothing wrong.
And you now have the names of ten models to write them about (but there are more than a few modeling agencies that showcase plus models for them to choose from). You can say something as simple as: "Hi, I'm a fan of your magazine but I'd really like to see a representation of women from different size categories all the time, not just some of the time. How about including models like..." You get the idea.
The more women who speak their minds at what they want to see, the more likely a change is to occur. What have you got to lose for the price of a stamp and a little paper or an email? Here is to a new year full of diversity.
Curvy Chics and Role Models