Content Editor Katie Hayward discusses the new wave of social media influencers and what that means for body role models.
“As someone who has been a size 16 for the majority of my adult life, I am finally witnessing my size being reflected on models in the fashion industry. Being above a size 12 has always had its complications within the fashion industry but as Social Media has become the crux of our daily interactions and news sources, it seems a stage has been made to present more ‘plus size’ bloggers and influencers, all with the mantra of promoting ‘body positivity’.
Social Media has had a huge impact on how people view their bodies; where we once compared ourselves to models, bloggers have become the new normal, standardising everyday shapes and sizes and moving size zero to one side. From getting motivation to go to the gym by looking at quotes on Pinterest or searching your favourite blogger on Instagram to see what healthy meal they had for breakfast that morning to inspire you, everyone has at one point in their time on instagram related to a post, seeing it an as achievable result they can mimic in real life.
Of course, you get the odd internet troll commenting plus size models photos with captions of how being overweight is unhealthy and they should stop promoting obesity – but is it really about this? These people may have a big platform of engagement but they are still regular people, reflecting the diversity of sizes as in daily life. I for one do not see the problem with promoting body positivity, to as long as they are doing no harm. These bloggers and vloggers are showing girls and women of all ages that you can be confident and still have a chubby tummy or wider waistline but is there anything really wrong with that?
Growing up a bigger girl myself, I have always been self conscious of my weight, especially when all my friends were much slimmer. I found it was hard to wear clothes I really wanted to and struggled to find inspiration in the fashion world. Of course, with age comes maturity and I soon learned to look at my body in a different way and decided to wear clothes I loved, rather than clothes I thought others wouldn’t judge me for. I would say there is a constant battle with young girls (and boys) to look a certain way vs the ‘body positivity’ campaign, this is exact the same for me though too, some days I want to spend hours at the gym and others I wear a nice dress and embrace my curves – but isn’t that what it is all about?
Social Media hashtags have a huge library of quotes and images of girls taking full-length photos of themselves as well confidently displayed selfies. Looking up the hashtags ‘effyourbeautystandards’ and ‘mybodyisabikinibody’ its clear to see this body confidence campaign is really getting out to young girls across the world, proving that you can be over a size 12 and wear fashionable clothes. Quite a backlash to previous media campaigns encouraging women to strive for the idealised ‘bikini body’.
Bloggers like Danielle Vanier (@VanierDanielle), Callie Thorpe (@CallieThorpe) and Grace Victory (@GraceFVictory) are additionally showing ladies that you can be over a certain size, wear whatever you want and still feel good. Just as smaller sized females have body ambassadors, I for one welcome the fact these girls are standing up and making the case for the ‘curvy model’. To me a normalised body image for the average girl can come in all shapes and sizes, slim or curvy, as long as you are comfortable in your own skin it’s nobody’s business but your own.”
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