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Is Big Beautiful or Biased?

Updated on May 19, 2017
Ariyah Elrith profile image

Ariyah Elrith labels herself as a mother, writer and seeker. In that order. She has been writing most of her life.

Body confidence has always been a subject of discussion within the fashion industry. 20th century catwalk models set the bar for teenagers about what was too fat, what was too thin and what was acceptable. However, that bar has shifted over time and the motto of ‘love the skin you’re in’ has fast become one that the younger generations live by.

When Tess Holliday, 29 year old plus size model, was splashed across front pages from the US to Italy as the fresh and fabulous face of the plus size domain, it got the world talking about how ‘brave’ her actions were. She was painted as a hero who taught others the meaning of accepting and loving yourself.

A positive message? Definitely. Self-acceptance is something everyone should practice, though it’s debatable as to whether or not this is the only message that Tess Holliday is sending out

If we look at the other extreme, a recent Yves Saint Laurent ad has been giving the seal of disapproval due to the use of an ‘unhealthily skinny model’. Wait. What?

Tess Holliday stands at 1.65m tall. She is, at 280lbs, heavier than a baby elephant and is morbidly obese. Yet she is dubbed a hero, offered modelling jobs and is allowed to become a role model for young women simply because she is an overweight woman who has no reservations about being photographed in her underwear.

Yet at the slightest sign of a rib showing through a sheer garment as in the Yves Saint Laurent ad, scandal arises and we are forced to bear witness to the uproar surrounding this ‘abominable image’ as it promotes deficiency in her health.

Hypocrisy much?

We are in an age where everyone understands the importance of self-acceptance, where a person’s choice to eat or starve themselves into their graves lies with that person and where we are able to determine what is or is not a healthy way of living.

If we are going to promote body confidence then it is high time we start promoting body maintenance along with it. Putting a finger up at anyone who says you’re too fat or skinny doesn’t make you a hero. It’s just another way of saying, ‘I am who I am so deal with it.’

And haven’t we all been saying that for years now?


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