Promoting Obesity: Plus-Size Models on Magazine Covers & Music Videos
Let’s talk about the Tess Holliday & Angelina Duplisea drama. Tess Holliday is being slammed for being on the cover of cosmopolitan as a plus-size model. Angelina Duplisea is being slammed for being a plus-size model in Miley Cyrus’s new music video. Joe Rogan & Piers Morgan have publicly spoken out against this in a confrontational manner. And you know what everyone has a right to state their opinions but we do live in a world where it literally pays to be mean & uncensored to people. So those people with strong opinions end up being loud in an online world easily. While what happens to the rest of us? We aren’t heard or told to stop being so sensitive. Both these women have built their brands & income around their plus size image regardless of whether they are at risk or unacceptable in your eyes. Who are you to force-feed someone your opinion? Do you live in their skin 24/7? Do you make every single decision they do or have every single thought they have? The same way they don’t live in you. So yes, you have strong opinions about someone living an unhealthy lifestyle but even if it’s your passion in life, it’s fleeting. Because again you do not live in that person’s body & mind. Yes they can get help, yes they can seek guidance & consume all the research on the planet as well as feel ashamed to your comments but at the end of a day only they wake up in that same body with that same mind every day, only they make their decisions. Even if that decision is to follow your guilt-inducing comments to change, it is still their decision, not yours. So if they decide to continue staying obese to be that model or work every day to live healthier or to altogether become a fitness person, that’s their decision and their brand will evolve with them.
Now to the essence of this statement “it’s promoting obesity.” In everything there are extremes just like size 2/0 models convince women to starve themselves to look like that sure there might be cases of women letting go to look more like a plus-size model but I believe that’s highly unlikely or an immaterial thing to focus on. The majority of us, those without loud voices aren’t looking at this thinking wow I want to look like that but rather, that is me. I can see and relate in myself with this representation. Representation matters. For example with me, it’s always been so hard to follow along videos of fitness trainers who beat through the workout program like beasts even though this video is for beginners & I’m there huffing through the whole thing barely able to get it done. However, when I finally found the youtube videos on TEAMBODYPROJECT, it was incredible. Daniel had an overweight couple from the states to train with him. Just seeing the guy, who was around my weight class, go through & get through the workout had such a huge difference in my motivation & interest in working out. Just seeing him struggle almost as I do through a workout was enough to keep me doing the workout. And that feeling, that feeling of seeing myself being represented not just shown a guy with six packs & muscles fly through the workout was a game-changer for me. Cigarette companies still exist, coca-cola still exists, drug companies still exist are you going to stop all of them from advertising too? All of these products are bad for you if consumed in large quantities. Or continue shaming people for just existing?
Fat people exist, obese people exist, we don’t go anywhere, do can’t be unseen and we still have to live with ourselves after you say what you say & go home while already being fit. We can’t just become fit & healthy overnight or just by being shamed into it. It’s a long and grueling process, you aren’t there to make every decision with us, you aren’t there to decide to eat smaller portions or to find a workaround & build-up to smaller portions each time. It’s a tough & grueling, time-consuming journey which I guarantee the majority of obese people have an underlining mental illness issue they also need to work on. So be mindful of that journey & be patient with their efforts. No one but that person is there for that all so before everyone comes out saying it’s wrong to put that person on cover or music video because it reaches millions of people remember you aren’t the million people, you don’t decide for them. You are your opinion. If those two ladies decide point of fact that they are okay being unhealthy for the rest of their lives then that’s their decision. You can point out the health factors you can scream till you’re blue in the face because a bunch of you got together as a community to decides it’s just wrong but you cannot live that person’s life for them. Have the humility to introduce your opinion without verdicts like they are facts.
We’re asking for acceptance, respect & understanding but by outright criticizing you’re only further validating our internal shame to appease your own personal opinions instead of empathizing this incredible journey we have to embark on.