Social problem with labeling girls as ‘plus size’

May 12, 2016

Information graphic by Mikayla Erf

Size. A word that brings fear into the eyes of students and others around the world, is a major controversy in the world today. Women everyday, students especially, are being criticized for being too big or too small, being too pretty or too ugly, and it is not right.

Amy Schumer, a renowned comedian, was a victim of this criticism. She was called plus size in an article published online by Glamour Magazine. She, along with countless other women of all ages have been called out in national magazines, social media and in high schools for being plus size.

The definition of plus size is hard to find, different people consider different sizes plus size. One may consider a plus size to be size 12, while other may consider size 6 a plus size.

Melissa McCarthy told Refinery29, “Seventy percent of women in the United States are a size 14 or above, and that’s technically ‘plus-size,’ so you’re taking your biggest category of people and telling them, ‘You’re not really worthy.’ I find that very strange.”

Glamour Magazine did a special edition on plus size fashion, which featured Ashley Graham as the cover model. Glamour also mentioned Melissa McCarthy, Adele and Amy Schumer as ‘women who inspire us’ for their plus size edition.

Schumer posted a photo on instagram, fighting back at Glamour with the following caption, “@glamourmag put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn’t feel right to me. I think there’s nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women. Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size 6 and an 8.”

The media does not have the right to associate people, as plus size or not without their consent. Glamour Magazine did not respect Schumer’s opinion or well being when publishing the article.

Seventy percent of women in the United States are a size 14 or above, and that’s technically ‘plus-size,’ so you’re taking your biggest category of people and telling them, ‘You’re not really worthy.’ I find that very strange.”

— Melissa McCarthy

A Glamour spokesperson told  PEOPLE, “First off, we love Amy, and our readers do too – which is why we featured her on the cover of Glamour last year. The cover line on this special edition – which is aimed at women size 12 and up – simply says “Women Who Inspire Us,” since we believe her passionate and vocal message of body positivity IS inspiring, as is the message of the many other women, of all sizes, featured. The edition did not describe her as plus-size. We are sorry if we offended her in any way.”

While celebrities have had national attention for being called out as plus size, millions of teenagers everyday are bullied, harassed, and tormented for being ‘too fat’.  Much has to do with the advertising of models by social media, students see the ‘perfect’ woman or man and set them as their expectation.

Schumer wrote on her Instagram post, “Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool glamour not glamourous.”

Plus size is something that no one wants to be characterized by, and the media has advertised the perfect body which we should all strive for, but is nearly impossible to attain. Social media is fueling the fire of self image problems among women, especially among the average American teen.

McCarthy wrote on an Instagram caption, “We have to stop categorizing and judging women based on their bodies. We are teaching young girls to strive for unattainable perfection instead of feeling healthy and happy in their own skin.”

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