Starring on a reality show, designing clothes for Kohl’s, and being a Pinterest queen aren’t revolutionary, but Lauren Conrad - shockingly enough - might be doing something that’s just that.
On her website, laurenconrad.com, a “front-row VIP pass to all things lovely and chic,” the editor-in-chief (yes, that’s actually her title) in collaboration with her editorial staff has decided to ban the word “skinny.”
“When we’ve talked about getting in shape in the past, words like “skinny,” “slim,” and “thin” have often come up,” the newlywed wrote in a blog post. “Starting this month, we’ll be banning any body shaming terms from the site, and replacing them with words like “fit” “toned,” and “healthy.””
During the month of June, the site’s theme is going to be swimsuit season themed and focus on getting into shape and eating healthy.
But, as Conrad points out, the word skinny will strictly be reserved for skinny jeans. “We want to make sure that the focus is on being fit as opposed to a number on the scale.”
It’s a bold move to make, especially for someone whose boss at Teen Vogue once told her she’d always be known as “the girl who didn’t go to Paris.”
While her site is mostly fluff - it’s a “destination where fashion and beauty meet crafting, cooking, and more” - the move still packs a punch, especially because of Conrad’s influence.
“She has millions of followers in a demographic that’s particularly vulnerable,” Claire Mysko, director of programs at the National Eating Disorder Association, tells Yahoo Style. She says it’s “really exciting” to see someone that’s tuned into fitness, fashion, beauty, and health so articulately and explicitly put such a powerful idea into practice.
Mysko notes that the line, “the focus is on being fit as opposed to a number on the scale,” is the most important takeaway. “To me that’s the win of this,” she says. “For her to explicitly say that health is not about a number on a scale I think is a really positive move.”
The fact that Conrad calls out body shaming, instead of burying it, is also significant. “I think it’s important to set a tone that body shaming across the board is not acceptable and that if you are specifically striving for a thin ideal and using the excuse, ‘Well I just want to be healthy,’ that’s not necessarily OK,” she says.
Reaction to the “skinny” rebuke has been mostly positive.
“Choosing to focus on health and not size has changed how I see food and exercise,” Mel Thomas wrote in reaction. “Focusing on positive additions rather than restrictions makes it actually fun.”
Kate commented that she also likes the decision. “It’s a small difference but it really does impact a lot of people and changes like this can really boost confidence and happiness.”
But, it’s also interesting to note that this announcement was triggered by bikini season in the US.
At a time when body acceptance is on the rise, no matter what size one wears, slimming down in time to put a skimpy bathing suit on shouldn’t be a priority.
RELATED: Lauren Conrad's Style Evolution
It’s kind of contradictory that while she’s promoting healthiness, fitting into a bikini well is still the priority - and shouldn’t be.
Additionally, she’s made strides on laurenconrad.com, but her clothing line hasn’t caught up.
Dresses for her Paper Crown collection only go up to a size 8, which is smaller than the women’s national average, and her Kohl’s collection offer pants to a size 16, and the XL runs a little too small on most.
But, despite the hypocrisies, it’s still a step in a healthier direction.