The unrealistic body ideals
So, yesterday I saw a facebook post that had been shared with the above image displayed, as Calvin Klein were proud to announce their use of a 'plus size' model. You may be thinking that I have clearly attached the wrong image to this post, but you would be wrong. The model above is a size 10, yes a UK and Australia size 10, US size 6 and european size 38.
Looking online it appears that the campaign was shot in 2014 and it seems the image has been floating around a while but has been thrust back into the spotlight thanks to the powers of social media, and rightly so. I think we need to discuss images that have been labelled this way, I think that to consider this woman as 'plus size' is to condemn the majority of women to a label of obese. Size 10 is by no stretch of the imagination, a 'plus' size.
Seeing models such as the one above, branded as plus size, makes me worry for my children and the world they are growing up in. My 10 year old son already has difficulties at school because other children call him fat, he is within his normal weight range and by no means overweight or 'fat'. The reason he says he is teased is because his tummy has creases when he sits down, I have explained to him that everyone has creases in their tummy when they sit down or bend over. Does my reassurance take away the cruel things the other children have said? No, they do not because those cruel jibes cannot be unsaid, erased or forgotten. The issue of bullying because of weight is one that affects boys/men/girls and women and even though I have used the above image of a female model to stress my point, there are surely male counterparts that I am yet unaware of.
The unrealistic ideal of needing to be stick thin and no larger than a size 8 is starting in our primary schools, our children are already aware of it and as they progress into their adolescence the added influence of social media and magazines fuel the issue. I wonder how many girls that are size 10 or even 12 or 14 have seen the above image floating around Facebook or Twitter and now consider themselves to be plus-size?
Quite frankly, stupid images like this with the label of plus size are fuelling eating disorders and encouraging people of all ages to have negative body image.