Beauty in the Media: How should we define “plus-size?”

We’ve seen countless pictures of stick-thin models in magazines and on TV.

While many will say they hate these models, I won’t. I actually love them – and you’ll find me watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show every year. That being said, I have always wished that they would show more body types in the media.

I’ve never paid attention to “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit edition (or “Sports Illustrated” in general, to be honest). However, this year the buzz around the models caught my eye – and I’m glad it did.

For the first time ever, a plus-size model will be featured in the magazine.

Robyn Lawley, an Australian model, is a size 12. Here’s the thing, the average American women is size 14. Lawley may be considered plus-size in the model world, but in reality, she is average (and I mean that in the best possible way).

We know that girls are surrounded by pressure from the media to be thin. I think it’s great that the media is finally telling girls a secret we knew all along – every shape and size is beautiful.

Of course, this is something we’ve all heard. We’ve heard it from family members and friends, but it’s typically been from a woman’s perspective. Considering that “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit edition is targeted toward a male audience, I think it’s safe to say we’re gaining ground when it comes to tackling the issue of body image among women.

Lawley is the first of many to begin opening doors for women and encouraging them to accept their bodies. Men have had many positive remarks about her, proving that you don’t have to be incredibly skinny as the media typically reinforces.

It’s a huge step for “Sports Illustrated” to include a plus-size model. The next step, though, is to include more women of all different shapes and sizes, all of whom are beautiful.