This weekend there was a bit of a furore on social media about something that Elle US tweeted, in case you missed it:
Plus Size?!!! What? On what planet is Myla Dalbesio a plus size model? You can see her ribs for crying out loud.
Planet fashion industry, that’s who, and it drives me mad. But more importantly than that, I think it is dangerous. Myla is, by her own admission, a US size 10, that equates to a 14 here. Now I find that hard to believe, she looks little more than a 12 to me but I am not one to split hairs and will go with her idea that she is a size 14 in the UK.
The average woman in the UK is a size 16 so she is smaller than the majority of the population, or look at the other way round, the majority of the population, myself well and truly included, are bigger than her. So if she is a plus size model, what does that make us?
What really worries me is that this photograph and tweet were sent the same weekend as the results from a major survey of 30,000 teenage girls (published in the Guardian) and how they feel about themselves was released. It suggests:
From a peak in 2007, when 41% of 14- and 15-year-old girls reported high self-esteem, that figure has fallen to 33%.
Dr David Regus who conducted the survey is tying it to the economic downturn and to their parent’s possible financial worries. I would be very interested to see his questions to gauge whether or not the drop in these teenager’s self esteem is linked to being told on almost daily basis that the image above is of a plus size (read fat) model. I wonder if those questions were heavily weighted towards an already decided conclusion of “we are all worrying about a lack of money”.
Surely there must be a correlation between a teenager’s self esteem and the constant barrage of this kind of thing, telling them a size 14 is “plus sized”. And that if they themselves are anything over that they are fat and need to diet. Media is telling them they NEED to be thin from an early age. That HAS to affect self esteem, surely?
As long as the fashion industry and the media are going to keep pedalling this tripe we are going to have teenagers who think they are fat when they are not. We are going to have bullying along the lines of calling people fat. Believe me I know a lot of people who have developed eating disorders off the back of one bullying comment. We are going to have websites that promote “anorexia is beautiful”. We are going to have a society that judges people on a person’s size.
Why can’t the fashion industry see that? There is no denying that this young lady is beautiful, and quite rightly a model. And no doubt deserves to be the new
arse face of Calvin Klein pants by why can’t she just be a model?
I have no idea how tall this lady is so I can’t work out her BMI but to me she looks as though her BMI is lower than the suggested figure for a healthy person. According to medical experts this is the figure upon which we judge how healthy we are, and if her BMI is lower (again, I am guessing) does that make her healthy? I don’t think so.
Why the label of “Plus Size”? Are Calvin Klein trying to make me think “oh look she is just like me, I must rush out and buy a new pair of pants so I can look like her”? Can you imagine if I tried to strike that pose? Actually I did try to do it and for a split second thought about posting it on here but for the sake of my family’s breakfast and not wanting to make them lose it, I have refrained.
Few things make me swear on Twitter but I dropped the f bomb when I saw this tweeted onto my timeline this weekend, and no doubt will continue to do so until this sort of thing is stopped and the fashion industry wake up to the damage they are causing millions of people.