Plus-size magazine slams skinny models

Nicola Heath

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PLUS Model Magazine’s editorial calls for its readers to demand retailers cater to plus-size women, and to stop promoting the skinny trend.

The magazine backs up its argument with an attention-grabbing photo shoot featuring a plus-size model, 28-year old Katya Zarkhova, and a series of statistics about body size and the fashion industry.

On one photograph is printed: “20 years ago the average fashion model weighed 8 per cent less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23 per cent less.”

To drive home the point, in the shoot Zarkhova is also pictured with a ‘skinny’ model.

The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Madeline Figueroa-Jones, writes in the editorial that the skinny ideal employed by the fashion industry alienates many women.

“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,” she writes.

“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.”

Critics have used the ‘obesity epidemic’ to condemn the magazine’s call for acceptance of body shapes that don’t fit the skinny ideal.

Other online comments dispute the use of the word ‘anorexic’, which denotes mental illness, instead of ‘underweight’.

The issue of body shape and health has been in the headlines this week in Australia. Masterchef-winner Julie Goodwin was told by social columnist Ros Reines that she needed to lose weight after she appeared in a swimsuit on the cover of New Idea.

Goodwin hit back by saying that without any medical data Reines’ claims were baseless.

“It is well and truly time that we stopped approaching health with a cookie-cutter mentality as in, thinner equals healthier, larger equals unhealthier,” Goodwin wrote at her blog.

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