Friday, July 28, 2017

Yes... this is "normal"...

This morning, I stumbled across another "body positive" post by The Today Show.  This time, it was about how Sports Illustrated used plus sized models to model swimwear.  Apparently, the fleshier models were well received and hailed as "body positive".  Some people reportedly "burst into tears" over the sight of the curvy women wearing Sports Illustrated's own brand of swimwear.

I looked at the swimsuits and didn't like them.  It wasn't because of the models, though.  I thought the models were beautiful and normal looking, for the most part.  I just didn't like the styles of swimsuits they were wearing.  I don't find them flattering.  Too many of them appeared to be giving the models wedgies, which is neither an attractive or comfortable look at any size.  Moreover, I think swimsuits should be functional and the ones advertised in this article did not appear to be.

That being said, I was taken aback by this comment...

Might have to play the bad guy here... We're not showing these models off in an attempt to show them as "normal" are we? Almost no one that looks like that was born to look that way. It's not normal. Of course we're all beautiful in our own way, especially on the inside. But I'm kind of over women (and men) looking like this and asking me to think it's okay. I'm about 50 pounds overweight right now and do you know why? Because I eat a crappy diet and don't work out at all lately. I would definitely never go out in the streets and be like "hey, you should accept me this way, it's normal and it's okay I'm still beautiful."

Uh...  I hate to break it to you, dude, but those women are certainly "normal".  The vast majority of women do not look like stereotypical fashion models.  Most successful fashion models are abnormal in their appearance, which is why they get paid the big bucks.  Most women are not almost six feet tall, weighing 120 pounds with striking features that translate in a photograph or on the runway.  Most women are shorter and heavier, especially as they get older.  Those women need swimwear, too.  Therefore, I'd say the women used in Sports Illustrated's fashion show are very normal, even if they aren't what some people would define as "model material".    

What is the definition of normal? defines it thusly:

This is actually just a partial definition.  I left off the ones that aren't pertinent to this discussion.

If the majority of people in a particular group look a certain way, we could say that was common, standard, usual, or regular, right?  So while people who are considered overweight may or may not be "healthy" (which is another rather abstract and relative term), if they are like most of the other people within a group, we could call them normal.  

I, for one, don't understand why the fashion industry prefers models who aren't like regular women.  Isn't the purpose of having fashion models to sell clothes?  Perhaps it's easier to make fashions look good on tall, thin women, but those women aren't the norm.  Show me a designer who can make a short, dumpy woman with flabby arms look beautiful and I'll show you a huge success.  

Ah... but people who design haute couture clothes are artists and have a vision.  Fine.  So the designs that are intended to be "art" that won't ever be worn by regular people may call for freakishly tall and thin models.  But clothes sold by mainstream retailers are intended for the masses.  Therefore, to me, it makes much more sense to see those clothes modeled by people who would actually be wearing them.  Moreover, it's not a bad thing to see a plus sized woman wearing a swimsuit.  Who knows?  Maybe that woman will be getting in the water to swim and, I don't know, get in better shape or even lose weight (if she wants to).

I get so tired of reading comments, particularly by visually oriented males who are only concerned with what makes them horny, lamenting about how "unhealthy" so-called "plus sized" women are.  The truth is, not a one of them could ever know someone's health status simply by looking at them.  Moreover, it's none of their damned business.  I could be wrong, but it seems to me that, generally speaking, men are usually much more interested in sex than women are.  So a fat woman doesn't turn a lot of men on.  That doesn't mean they won't take the opportunity to have sex with a fat woman if the mood strikes.  And yet they often have the attitude that women should look "hot" for them.  Have they heard the expression that "beggars can't be choosers"?

In any case... yes, the women in the Sports Illustrated swimwear are totally normal.  They have bodies that are much more normal compared to most models' bodies.  They look the way a lot of us American women look.  That's what "normal" means, Bub.  Now, I do think the swimsuits are pretty horrible-- especially the Sports Illustrated "lifeguard" bikini.  They aren't particularly flattering.  However, the models are normal, beautiful, big, strong, and yes, probably pretty healthy.  Don't like the way they look?  That's your prerogative.  They probably don't want to fuck you, either. 



  1. My dad got that issue. He leads a very healthful lifestyle(except for drinking more than is recommended) and my mo is small-boned and thin, but he said the SI plus-sized models are the normal-looking women in th magazine. To look good in ohotos weraring many of the popular styles of today, a woman has to be unhealthily thin.

    1. I tend to be a stickler about words, as you may have noticed. Nowadays, it is normal to have some padding. Maybe it's not "healthy", but it is normal.

  2. Cardiologists have one standard for weight, orthopedists have another, and nephrologists have still another. Those are just three particular medical specialties whose weight tables I happen to know well. It's probably true of all specialties. The bottom line is that what may be best for heart health (not that the experts in this area or any other won't change their minds next week) isn't necessarily best for bone health, and kidneys have still another set of needs. When medical science gets its act together concerning weight, I might start to take what any of them say a bit more seriously, but even then, I probably won't. According to one internal medicine specialist whose lecture I sat through recently, the keys to long and health life are threefold: moderation, a happy life as much as is possible (there are circumstances under which no one can be happy, he conceded), and avoiding falls once one reaches sixty-five or so. The rest is all a matter of luck, the internist told us. Weight didn't fit into his equation unless you consider it to be under the broader umbrella of moderation. Even then, I would take that to mean that a woman of 5'2" height and a small fram shouldn't weight three hundred pounds rather than that she needed to weight one-hundred-fifteen exactly.


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