In honor of our class’ discussion about sex and body image in the media, I’d like to address one aspect that I personally feel strongly about.
Plus-size. What exactly does that mean? Right now it means that you are a size 12 or larger. Unfortunately, many people like to interchange the word “plus-size” with “fat.” And those girls who aren’t stick-thin but also aren’t full of curves? Let’s put them in the awkward category of “in-betweens.”
Honestly, who came up with these classifications? Plus-size is a category that I take personal offense to. I myself am a size 12 (that’s right, I just told the whole Internet). But do I identify myself as being plus-size? Absolutely not. I’d call it more, I don’t know, normal. I may not have an impressive thigh gap, but I’m not in dire need of Jenny Craig either. We are supposed to buck the unfortunate traditions of the media industry, right? So let me say here that I am bucking this categorization and calling it out for what it is: an egregious miscalculation. I am not plus-size. I am healthy, happy, normal. And I refuse to be labeled something that I’m not.
We see this error time and time again. Calvin Klein’s “plus-size” model. Meghan Trainor. Last year’s Miss Indiana. We label these women as plus-size and then talk about how great it is to see women embrace their curves as they do. But no, I won’t accept that. It’s wonderful to celebrate your body as it is, but these women should not even be in the plus-size category. I find that insulting and just plain wrong. Instead of labeling them as such and glorifying them as examples of plus-size, we need to face the reality that these women aren’t plus-size at all. It’s sad that we feel the need to target otherwise normal-size women and paint them in a picture that isn’t accurate.
Every body is beautiful, and there is nothing wrong with being plus-size. But let’s not kid ourselves and perpetuate the falsehoods. Let women define ourselves as we wish. Besides, I think we know best.