67% of American women are size 14 or over, and only 2% of the world’s collective media features plus-sized women.
Most American women are plus-sized, yet make up less than 2% of the images we see. A 2014 Dove study found that women wrote over 5 million disparaging tweets about beauty, most of which were about themselves.
What we need is a total makeover of how women are shown in media. So what does that look like?
In a recent interview, Demi Lovato confessed the real problem with Taylor Swifts “squad” and other groups of celebs.
“To be honest, and this will probably get me in trouble, I don’t see anybody in any sort of squad that has a normal body,” Lovato said. “It’s kind of this false image of what people should look like. And what they should be like, and it’s not real.”
And no, not just as the awkward or “funny” friend. But as a strong female lead. Take the “Stranger Things” character Barb, who became an internet sensation after the show was released on Netflix.
And while, yes we all love Barb, let’s face it, her “sidekick” part in the show was far from what we wanted. We wanted badass Bard taking lead in the show and repping real women.
Even researching this piece, I spent a good chunk of time google “Plus-Size Women Featured in Film” and found little resources, or women featured. This needs to change.
Social Media Needs A Makeover
How many times a day do we scroll through our feed, looking at images of thin models in your Instagram, or only the best most glamorous shots of friends on Facebook? The reality is, not everyone looks that way.
In a survey done by Dove, with women between the ages of 18 and 64, results showed that women are more than twice as likely to say that their conception of beauty is shaped by “women in the public domain” and social media (29 percent and 25 percent, respectively) than they were before they entered high school (11 percent and 10 percent, respectively).
Some of the best and beautiful beauty and fashion bloggers are plus-sized women. Why aren’t they adorning our feeds with their sensational talent and rockin’ bods? Think about what your feed looks like and how you can rep women that actually look like our nation. Anybody who thinks that being thin is the only way to be beautiful needs to jump in their time machine and head back to 1994, because it’s 2017—because we NEED to be celebrating gorgeous bodies of all shapes and sizes.
There are a couple of plus-size models who have trailblazed their way into the mainstream to thank for the change, but curvy bloggers also deserve some credit for helping along the transition.
Before we had these women as examples, it wasn’t uncommon for full-figured women to shy away from trends like crop tops, bold patterns, and bodycon dresses, but now we’re seeing these types of styles work for a huge variety of shapes—and they all look fabulous.
All of these things will truly help change how women perceive their bodies, and how we represent real women in the U.S.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles:
Organizations applaud Los Angeles officials for charging a Playboy Playmate with posting a photo on social media that she secretly took at her gym.
In early November, Dani Mathers was charged with one misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy for taking a picture of a naked 70-year-old woman at her gym.
No one would have probably known about the secret photo, except the former Playboy Playmate posted the image on her Snapchat account.
“If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either,”
the 29-year-old Mathers wrote over the image that she sent out on social media this past summer. The post went viral. A few months later Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer decided to file criminal charges.
It’s an unusual move, according to legal experts. Feuer was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying the charges were necessary in order to send a message.
Body shaming is humiliating, with often painful, long-term consequences,” he said. “It mocks and stigmatizes its victims, tearing down self-respect and perpetuating the harmful idea that our unique physical appearances should be compared to air-brushed notions of ‘perfect.’ What really matters is our character and humanity. While body shaming, in itself, is not a crime, there are circumstances in which invading one’s privacy to accomplish it can be. And we shouldn’t tolerate that.”
Mathers has since apologized for the incident. She is scheduled for arraignment on Nov. 28. If found guilty she could face up to six months behind bars and a $1,000 fine.