Despite pressure from the media, it is possible to be body-confident
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see someone who is too short, too wide, too… something? First of all, stop! Everyone is different, that’s what makes you unique! You can’t be “too” anything, you can only be you.
Second, this kind of self-scrutinization is not new to anyone, but it shouldn’t happen. Unfortunately, the media is partly to blame. When they put out labels such as “plus size,” “petite,” or “rectangle,” it makes it hard to look at yourself and not put on a label of some sort. It’s fortunate that there are influential people now fighting back against this.
On Tuesday, Glamour magazine released a special edition which was aimed at women considered “plus size.” The cover of the edition featured the headlines of stories related to fashion ideas for “curvy women,” but it also featured a headline that read “Women Who Inspire Us: Melissa McCarthy, Adele, Amy Schumer, & Ashley Graham.” To a normal person, this may be nothing. But this is something.
Amy Schumer is a recognized body positive actress, comedian, and writer. However, she is not plus size, and I’m not basing this off of opinion; it’s based off of the fact that Schumer is not plus size, not by America’s definitions. Schumer took to Instagram and posted the magazine cover. She then wrote under it that she supports plus size women, but those who have this label are a U.S. dress size 16 and up. Schumer then wrote that she is a U.S. dress size 6/8!
She’s nowhere close to being considered plus size! She then wrote that Glamour featured her without asking and that she doesn’t want young women looking at her body type and thinking that it’s plus size, most likely for fear that this will add to the pressure young women in the U.S. already have when it comes to their body size. She took her Instagram post, put it up on Twitter, and quickly got support from tons of people, who all commended her on calling out how ridiculous these labels are, and that instead the media should put their focus on health, not body or dress sizes.
The editor of Glamour, Cindi Leive, quickly took to Twitter to do damage control. She said that the magazine simply recycled their article about Schumer when she was on the cover, but featured her name on the cover because of Schumer’s constant message of body positivity and self-love. The editor also noted that the magazine never called her plus size.
I can understand why the editor at Glamour would want to feature her article in the special edition of the magazine, and I completely agree that nowhere on the magazine cover does it call Schumer plus size. However… the issue here is not who was called what, or what is printed on the cover. It’s about the association made when young girls and women see the name “Amy Schumer” and the label “plus size.” In a way, the magazine cover is setting up future situations where young women will look at someone close to Schumer’s size and immediately think, “plus size,” rather than understanding that that particular body size is actually healthy and normal, or actually getting to know the person.
We all have our insecurities. Maybe our skin isn’t silky smooth, maybe our legs feel too short, but why does that matter when it comes to who you are as a person? Do your short legs make your accomplishments invalid? Do your glasses make you less qualified to earn a good grade? The answer is simple: No.
I commend Schumer for calling out the magazine for their unapproved use of her name on a magazine that would make you think she’s plus size, but I also commend Glamour magazine. Why? Well, at least they’re trying to feature women who are not the stereotypical supermodel in the U.S. That’s better than not trying at all, and sticking with a system that is clearly corrupt and detrimental to the self-esteem of young girls and women all over the world.
Photo: (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by eventphotosnyc