The model pictured below has, without doubt, a very pretty face. Neither do I want to “snark” upon her body. Thin is one of many variations of beauty, after all. However, if the fashion industry needs the Average Jane to look like this to wear their clothes and be attractive, then I call shenanigans.
Pretty or not, she looks thin to the point of starvation. Not that she is necessarily starving. While there is a real problem with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia in modeling, some women are just that thin, vis-a-vis their DNA. Nevertheless, if that is our only version of beauty, or the “ideal” beauty”, then we are basically asking woman who are not this thin naturally to starve themselves into compliance or they are ugly. And the media DOES send out the message, over and over, that you are either as rail-skinny and fat-free as a supermodel or you are a disgusting pig and no one will ever want to knock boots with you, let alone love you.
According to WebMD, “over the past twenty years, fashion model sizes have dropped from a size 8 to 0 … The average starlet is wearing a size 2 or 4 which is the sample size designers are making presently. Today, the average American woman is 5′4″, has a waist size of 34-35 inches and weighs between 140-150 lbs, with a dress size of 12-14.” Hmmm. As women gained more freedoms in the public sphere, our patriarchal culture started asking them to look weak and emaciated and fragile. Golly, I see no connection there at all! Not that anyone set down and thought, “Let’s starve the bitches!”. Nope. It just that weaker women started to be more “appealing” every year and no fashion editor (women are influenced by and complicit with the patriarchy too, y’all) ever stopped to wonder why they suddenly saw heroin-chic models as so desirable.
At any rate, if the average model is size 0, and the average woman is size 12-14, then according to the fashion industry unspoken visual message the average woman is a vile mass of quivering fat who can never be pretty, ever.
The only deviation form the size 0-4 standard are so-called “plus size” models. In contrast to the hideously large 12-14 average woman, we have a size 16 fatty she-beast, Ashley Graham:
Yeah, it would just suck to be as fat as she is. I bet she has all kinds of problems finding men willing to date her.
Anyway, the point is she is another version of beauty. Beauty does not REQUIRE as willowy/skeletal body. Furthermore, there is not such as strict dividing line in appearance, marking either ugly OR beauty; there are a million shades of pretty down toward homely all the way into ugly. on a scale of 1-10, people who are not on the 3-7 continuum are rare. And if someone loves you, then they will see you as pretty/handsome whether you are or not.
I am currently restricting my calories (although if I feel really, truly hungry then I eat, dammit) because I had a sudden an rapid weight gain, probably form lack of sleep, and I want to get back to my normal. I am not aiming at a size 0. I would just like to go back to what seems a healthy sustainable weight for me, a size 14/16. I still won’t look like Ashley Graham, though. I am not beautiful. That does NOT mean I am ugly and valueless. I also refuse to let culture tell me that I am “too fat” to be worth anything at ANY weight. Fokk that noise.
Now, go forth and remember you are pretty just as you are, no matter what size your jeans may be.