Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Plus Sized Model? Maybe. Naked? Yep. . . .
I totally get that for Glamour magazine this might be something significant. Long a bastion of "normalcy" for idiot-stick-figures (I mean that in the most affectionate way possible) and fashionistas (and those hoping to just take a really good sex quiz), I understand that it is controversial to allow a woman with a belly to show it off to the readers, advertisers and the masses but . . . hold on, I'm getting my soap box out and dusting it of . . .
This woman is NOT a plus sized model. She is NOT fat. She is not even pleasantly plump, rotund, "more to love" or an example of what the typical American woman looks like these days.
I get that to a girl (or impressionable woman) who might be choking on a celery stick or her finger right now in the pursuit of a size 0 body that she might be a more comfortable standard to set in terms of how a body might look and still be considered beautiful but - for those of us that have seen the heavy side of the scale . . . uh, how do I even say this . . . I would give my eye teeth if I looked that good naked when I was SIX (to dream that my boobs could hide neatly behind my upper arm (smile)).
I appreciate the publicity stunt and the buzz and I DO appreciate that we are moving more in the direction of accepting that we are getting heavier and that there is unquestionable beauty in the world of people with some extra weight on their bodies (don't even get me started on that front) but let's NOT mistake this 180-pound, 20 year-old woman for some example of a bold "fat" woman that dares to push through years of pain and strip down and start a conversation about obesity and beauty or anything else on that path. Lizzie Miller is brave, make no mistake, but she's not exactly what I would consider to be a big beautiful woman (or BBW as said woman is categorized in the Craig's List personal ads (smile)).
I double checked and I don't see a drop of cellulite on her (perhaps it is retouched). I only count one chin. I don't mistake her arms for bat wings. I don't see stretch marks around the belly. I don't confuse her wrists for toddler waists. I don't get the impression that she is hiding cankles just out of frame here. And yet if she HAD all those things she would still likely be very beautiful.
In Lizzie's defense she doesn't seem to think she is some champion of the obesity cause (she seemed, frankly, to have the right perspective on all of it on the Today show)) and Glamour magazine seems to have the right perspective on it too (they acknowledge the fact that she is only "plus sized" in the context of modeling standards and that they are amazed at some of the conversation as well).
Perhaps the whole point of the picture and the chatter is to sort of continue the conversation around obesity and self image and beauty and maybe it is just a few in the fringe that want to paint this woman as "plus sized" or "big" or whatever but I just want to make sure that we don't give too much credit and too much attention to this picture of "big" . . . it might do more harm to the truly obese that struggle with their self image in the defense of the women out there that might have a cute little belly to showcase (when doing photo shoots for fashion magazines (smile)).
Stay proud, stay beautiful ladies (no matter what size you are)!