The discussion of weight and body image seems a constant in the fashion industry. That model is too skinny, whilst the other is too fat. Often not only does this criticism come from within the industry itself, but also from the general public as consumers of advertising.
Recently I found myself reading a comment thread that discussed the appearance of Montana Cox in Lover’s new lingerie campaign (pictured above). I liked this image because it is a really feminine way to portray lingerie. It encompasses the sensuality and confidence lingerie can give a woman, as opposed to presenting an overtly sexualised advertisement that seems more directed at men than the actual women who choose to wear it. As a female consumer, this is the way I want to be sold lingerie. However when I began reading this particular comment thread I was startled by some commenters concentration on Montana’s weight. This gorgeous girl was compared to a stick insect and called “disgustingly thin”.
Now I believe that yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion – this very feature I’m writing is an opinion piece. However, I do not believe that just because you have the ability to make your opinion known that you should be able to demean others to this extent. I question why we as a society have such a large preoccupation with weight and body image. Why must we judge others purely on their dress size or the shape of their body? The construction of the concept of “fat” and “skinny” is just that – a societal construction that has created prejudices towards certain body types.
In this same comment thread there was a call for advertisers to use more “real women” in their imagery, claiming that Montana wasn’t an appropriate representation of real women. Now I want to know what the term real woman actually refers to because if Montana isn’t included than that in itself is narrow-minded. Real women come in all shapes and sizes, and Montana is a reflection of this. To deem a slender body shape as being fake or unreal is more a demonstration of how the concept of the ideal body image has been constructed by society.
There is so much drama built up around the political correctness of calling someone fat that I don’t think is afforded in the same way to that of calling someone too skinny. Expression of this is merely a reflection of society’s engrained perception of body image. People may argue that it is the advertisers, the magazines that continue to cause this way of thinking. I disagree and say that it is the consumers of this media that overanalyse these images and narrow their focus on the model alone that might be to blame.
Either way, we can not continue to have this preoccupation with body weight. There are so many factors that go into constructing someone’s body shape, be it genetics, lifestyle, health and so on. We can’t shame others based purely on these factors that we are oblivious to. You will get nothing from calling someone else too skinny or too fat. And regardless of your opinion, it is just that, your single opinion that many others may agree or disagree with. Let’s celebrate people for who they are, no matter their shape. There’s nothing more empowering than dressing for your shape and looking banging as a result.
Until next time,
P.S. I understand the delicate nature of this topic. If you wish to address any comment I have made, I’d love to have a further discussion about it with you. Comment below or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image source: vogue.com.au