The battle over the increasing appearance of “plus-size” or “normal-size” models, rages on. LOVE magazine kick-started the discussion when Gossip lead singer, Beth Ditto consumed the cover of the March 2009 issue. Spark flew over whether promoting not just larger figures, but obese bodies such as Dittos were the “right thing to do.” Style photographer and blogger Garance Dore received mixed reviews for her comments to SkyNews in which she expressed, “It's not such a good thing to show plus-size because it's not really physically healthy and not always flattering to fashion."
But if Ditto is too big, where is the line drawn for too small?
Model Magdalena Frackowiak’s frail figure has walked the runway for years. There is no doubt in my mind- the girl doesn’t eat. And yet, she is booked for runway shows and ad campaigns year after year. Louis Vuitton doesn’t appear to take exception to Frackowiak’s barely-there body; she’s the face of their SS campaign. Yet, leave it to less expense brand J.Crew to send sparks flying. Salon and BlackBook took exception for her too-skinny figure being flaunted in J.Crew’s, “average woman,” SS10 catalogue.
Ditto is too big. Frackowiak is too small, sometimes. Is there a balance between too big and too small? It doesn’t appear so.
Just look at plus-size model, as in size 10-14, Crystal Renn, who recently walked in Chanel’s resort cruise show. Renn came under fire for dropping a few pounds. Renn’s agent defended her weight loss in People, claiming the weight loss is due to increased activity. “She went hiking in Patagonia for three weeks over the holidays and she firmed up and got a little smaller.”
And then there is Lara Stone. We praised her for her voluptuous figure, a.k.a Lara has breasts. Yet there is no arguing the Lara has slimmed down, and there is nothing average about her 24” waist.
So where does this leave you and me, those of us being bombarded by advertising every day, searching and striving for something achievable and realistic? Yes, the average American woman is a size 14. According to the Center for Disease Control, she is 5”3 and weighs 164.7lb. But Garance does have a valid point. Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
From all of this back and forth, I’ve distilled one idea-- throw “ideal” out the window. What matters most can’t be measured solely by a scale, our waist line, or pant size. Health extends far beyond the size of your body. Start focusing on what you put inside your body. From food to foul thoughts, from crappy relationships to stressfully work lives, the toxins we allow inside severely impact our outside. As the saying goes, you are what you eat, in more ways than one.