As evidenced by last year’s Vogue Italia spread, naked plus size models tend to get people talking. Katya Zharkova is the latest girl to shed her clothes, and she’s making quite a statement.
Zharkova snagged an 8-page editorial for PLUS Model Magazine, in which she appears totally naked…and surrounded by captions with controversial statistics. For example: “Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today she weighs 23% less.” And also: “Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia.”
Of course, these stats can’t totally be taken for face value. There’s no mention of the weight of the average woman 20 years ago as compared to now, just that of models. In addition, the criteria for anorexia involves more than just a specific BMI. That said, these numbers are still jarring. The photos are also jarring — not because of the nakedness or Zharkova’s body, but because of the use of an anonymous (we never see her face) straight size model that Zharkova holds and lies on.
What’s the point of the editorial? The mag explains:
The answer to the question is this, there is nothing wrong with our bodies. We are bombarded with weight-loss ads every single day, multiple times a day because it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that preys on the fear of being fat. Not everyone is meant to be skinny, our bodies are beautiful and we are not talking about health here because not every skinny person is healthy.
What we desire is equality to shop and have fashion options just like smaller women. Small women cannot be marketed to with pictures of plus-size women, why are we expected to respond to pictures of small size 6 and 8 women? We don’t! When the plus size modeling industry began, the models ranged in size from 14 to 18/20, and as customers we long for those days when we identify with the models and feel happy about shopping.
What I wanted to add, but was to tired to, was that while I don’t really like the photoset, I like the text. I really don’t like the images with the thinner girl in them, where she is shown like an invalid. People come in all shapes and sizes, and of course there should be a market for sizes above size 8, but there should also be a market for sizes below it. I really hate it when people take the other extreme, of saying thing people look unnatural or ugly. A lot of the time it is their natural size, or they stay thin due to some kind of illness etc. They should still be allowed and encouraged to feel beautiful, just as larger people should be allowed and encouraged to feel beautiful. So stop fat shaming, stop thin shaming, stop the body shaming altogether!
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