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Linda Misleh Wagner: Future Former Fatty

Plus Sized Models Speaking Out Is Creating Mixed Messages – FFF # 252

There have been a number of articles in the last few years featuring plus sized models speaking out against the modeling industry’s ideas of what defines a beautiful woman. This began in Europe when a model from Spain became very ill while trying to maintain the modeling profession’s expectations that the models should be super skinny. Since the illness of this model, Spain has now passed laws that models are to be at healthy weights and are not to be pressured to do unrealistic diets and exercise. Other countries are following suit.

Many bloggers have addressed this issue with zealousness. Some have cheered these plus sized models. They have been praised for standing up to the unrealistic expectations from a profession that seduces the public into thinking that only thin is in, and if we’re fat, we are undisciplined and do not love ourselves. Three cheers to women who have the moxie to stand up and say, “I am beautiful no matter what!” Then they stand before a camera and have pictures taken of them scantily clad in lingerie and bathing suits as if they are a size 2 instead of a 12 or a 22.

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Other bloggers write with ferociousness that the plus size models are setting a bad example for women because the models seem to be saying it is okay to be overweight. These bloggers feel that in our politically correct world, acceptance of plus-size models will make people think it is acceptable to be obese.

I think both are right, but I don’t think they are putting the whole picture together.

I don’t think plus size models are saying it is okay to be overweight and unhealthy. Rather, they are conveying that no matter our size, we should embrace ourselves and love our bodies no matter our size and the number on a scale.

One could argue that if we truly loved ourselves, and our bodies, we would not allow ourselves to gain weight and set ourselves up for health problems. If you believe that, you have probably never had a real weight problem.

There is a misconception that if one is fat, then one must have low self-esteem. This is not true. I have tremendous self-esteem. I know my strengths, and I embrace those strengths and try to make the most of them. I also know my weaknesses, and I embrace them as well. It is in acceptance of our weaknesses that we learn the most about ourselves and make real change in our lives. Our strengths help others. Our weaknesses teach us. We learn we are imperfect beings, and if we are wise, we will embrace these weaknesses and change them into strengths.

We all know that being overweight leads to health risks and burdens our society. With that said, the plus sized models, I feel, are trying to keep it real. The fact is most of us are not the media’s idea of six foot one hundred and seventeen pounds of perfection. But, we should be our own idea of perfection, not the media’s.

Plus sized models remind us that we are all beautiful no matter our size, and the truth is we are. We each have something to bring to the table. These ladies are large women who recognize that despite their size, they are beautiful and sexy. You may agree or disagree. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, I think I am a beautiful woman who happens to have a seriously bad relationship with food. I am a food addict. I am working at trying to control the impulses within me that seek food for reasons other than nutrition. I do not allow the world to define my beauty. I define beauty by who I am as a person and what I contribute to those I love and care about. If you think I am beautiful by features, then thank you. I have heard throughout my life, “You have such a pretty face. If only you would lose some weight”. This is more offensive to me than plus sized models embracing their size and speaking out.

Why do we focus on the things that are the most meaningless? I have met many people in my life that by definition by most standards would not be considered attractive. Yet, once I got to know them and could saw who they were as people, I noticed things about them that made them beautiful to me. Eyes that sparkle when they laugh, and really pretty hair I wish I had.

We all have something to offer. The offerings that should be appreciated most is what comes from the inside of us from the parts we cannot see, but the parts that make us feel loved, and comforted, safe, and warm, kind and not judgmental.

Until we meet again, this is Linda Misleh Wagner, Future Former Fatty.

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