Happy New Year! Yeah, I know I am a little over two weeks late with that, but life has been crazy for me!
It has been quite a while since I’ve written this column, but with a new year, new career (sort of), and new motivation, I am ready to take on Lipgloss & Lace in 2012 and take it to new heights!
In the months since my last column (I don’t even want to know how many that has been), I have resigned my position as an educator to focus on modeling and makeup artistry. I have also developed into somewhat of a fitness professional as a beachbody coach.
This is particularly relevant at this time of year, where many people make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, whether it is by dieting, exercise, or a combination of both. And since we’re two weeks into the new year, I am willing to bet that many people are already struggling to keep that resolution.
Meanwhile, very interesting things are happening in the fashion and lingerie industry in regards to size and body image. On January 6, 2012, Plus Model Magazine came out with an article that shook the industry, with statistics about how the dimensions of models have changed over time, and how they relate to the average consumer. According to the article, the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average person 20 years ago, but that now the average model weighs 23% less. It states that ten years ago, a plus size model wore between a size 12-18, and that now it is between a size six and fourteen. Size six is plus?! I guess that isn’t too shocking when most runway models’ body mass indexes meet the requirements to be labeled anorexic.
The rest of the article, found here goes on to say that while 50% of women are size 14 or above, the vast majority of clothing stores cater to smaller women, and gives tips on how to tip the scales (pun not intended) in the favor of a more balanced retail environment. It talks about how women can no longer identify with models in ads, because the disparity between models and reality has become too large.
Well, for the lingerie industry, I beg to differ! Kudos, lingerie professionals! In the clothes that many people feel most self-conscious in, I feel that it is this industry that is leading the way in showing that beauty comes in all sizes. If you’ve ever paged through a Shirley of Hollywood catalogue, you know that our industry is not afraid to show someone larger than a size six! Recent evidence of the lingerie industry leading the way in showing that everyone should be able to feel sexy can also be found in a recent competition hosted by Ann Summers in the UK, where real women (i.e., not models) were competing to win the ad campaign for the underwear company. Although the auditions were underrepresented by plus-size women, it was a plus model who won the competition! See her photos and story here
As a model who doesn’t have a typical fashion runway body, and who has always joked that my only curves are my butt and biceps, I was particularly relieved that the “real women” campaign included more athletic-looking and healthy people, in addition to the standard skinny minnies and plus models. A while back, Dove made a campaign for real women that made me wonder if I was, for some reason, not real. I felt like I had to choose between trying to live up to unrealistic standards, or that I wasn’t big enough to be special. I think it is important to be careful not to alienate anyone based on size, whether it is the size someone naturally is, or a size they’ve worked hard to achieve. That feeling has been echoed in many people’s reactions to the articles I’ve mentioned above – that perhaps promoting larger sizes is just as dangerous as glamorizing anorexic-looking models.
That’s where moderation and being healthy comes into play. It isn’t about a number on a scale or on the tag of your panties, but about how you feel, both mentally and physically, and that should always be SEXY. Embrace your curves, if you have them. If you don’t embrace what you do have! Stay healthy!
If you’re happy with your health and fitness, find the right clothes and lingerie for you and work it. If you feel like you need a little help or guidance, I’m here to help! You can either use my contact info that is with the byline of all of my articles, or check out www.honeybadgerfit.com for more info!
Once again, three cheers to the lingerie industry for being ahead of the curve in regards to women with curves!
Amanda Mutchie began her professional modeling career nearly ten years ago, and has appeared in many national and international publications, and commercials. Over the course of her modelingcareer, she worked with many acclaimed makeup artists, learning from them along the way. She eventually became a makeup artist herself and started her FaceScape Artistry. Now she works with incredible photographers, models, brides, and other clients to create glamorous as well as natural makeup looks. By day, she is also a middle school Math and English teacher, and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
For more information on Mandie go towww.mandelicious.com, www.facescapeartistry.com, email Mandie at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @mandelicious
*Photo by Rafal Krolik of Seville Media