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The Size Issue--An Editorial

By HERWriter
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Beauty related image Photo: Getty Images

Women and men both have size issues. For a woman, it is about the size of her body and for a man, it is about the size of his "body part."

Our country is obsessed with physical perfection and it is unhealthy.

But more importantly, the fat-phobia debate and fat bashing of women has gone too far.

Clearly, there is prejudice towards women of a larger size. For example, in the March issue of the journal Elsevier's Economics and Human Biology, a study revealed that overweight women get passed over for jobs and earn less.

Also, supermodel Tyra Banks once went "undercover" and dressed in a fat
suit. Banks was heartbroken by the insensitive and nauseating comments made about her "new weight."

Ironically size 14--yes 14!--is the most frequent size worn by a woman.

Here is some additional information about the size of women’s bodies in the U.S. The information was published in the New York Times and provided by a 2008 survey conducted by a market research company called Mintel:
• More than 41 percent of women in the U.S. are a size 14 or larger
• The weight of an average woman is 164.7 pounds
• 64 percent of American women are overweight
• More than one-third of women in the U.S. are obese

In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Queen Latifah said, "Plus-size is a word we need to bury at this point." Latifah
believes, as consumers, "larger girls" are disrespected.

The word plus-size needs to be removed from our vocabulary.

We do not analyze men’s bodies like this. Is he curvy or is he a
plus-size guy? This never happens.

Being overweight is an important health issue. However, shaming an overweight person is cruel. Using words like plus-size and fat is disrespectful.

Emme, former plus-size model and founder of the Body Image Council, said it best: "when addressing weight issues, we must be sensitive and compassionate."

Perceptions about larger women are changing very slowly. International magazines and runways are now hiring larger sized models.

In 2004, Dove launched the campaign called Real Beauty. The campaign featured and celebrated real women of different sizes and shapes.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I absoutley agree that we need to lose the term 'plus-size' when referrring to fashion ranges and models. As the director of BGM Models I have for 15 years advocated that we need to see more representation of all shapes and sizes and that when we do see a gorgeous girl advertising clothes she is just that a model not a skinny model or a plus size model she is just 'a model'.
In response to Queen Latifah saying that we need to bury the work 'plus size' please review the video below.


Darrianne Donnelly
Director BGM Models Sydney Australia

May 25, 2011 - 3:16am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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