A few weeks ago Calvin Klein released an underwear campaign and it created quite a stir.
What caused the ruckus?
The above model Myla Dalbesio was categorized as a “Plus Sized” model (Note this wasn’t by the brand). Maya is a US size 10, which is about a South African size 12/36. I think she owns this advert, she looks amazing. Calvin Klein is synonymous for their waif thin models aka Kate Moss so I am assuming this is the reason for the uproar. The campaign labelled as “Perfect Fit” was designed to appeal to women of all shapes and sizes, hence the use of a curvier model.
Okay so the brand doesn’t label Myla as plus-sized but society does. It is generally rare to find curvier models in high end brand campaigns as society doesn’t deem it appropriate. The world has evolved but we are still labelled, be it skinny or fat. This is where eating disorders and low self-esteem arise from.
I was diagnosed with asthma when I was about 9 years old, and the skinny me just ended up expanding because of the cortisone medication. Thankfully it was childhood asthma and I grew out of it, but the weight stayed. I was about a size 34. As a teenager I couldn’t wear the tiny t-shirts and hipster jeans like my friends. I stuck to tomboyish ensembles. So I was basically a size smaller than Myla is now, so did that make me borderline plus sized?! When I left school I was a lot more conscious of my appearance as there was no uniform to hide under anymore. During the course of my first year at campus I lost about 5 kg and I dropped two dress sizes. I could then fit into the skinny fit jeans, but then I was seen as too thin! I felt a lot more confident and I felt that I fitted in amongst my peers. But that is the problem we easily conform to society norms and a lot of the time it is detrimental. I did not inflict pain upon myself and neither did I resort to an eating disorder to lose the weight but many do.
The Myla debacle has reiterated how backward we are as a society. Being curvier but healthier does not constitute one being “plus-sized” or “fat” for that matter. I don’t condone obesity if it is related to one eating badly as that is self-inflicted.
Nine years later my body has changed. I am no longer the petite girl with the flat derriere (at the time I thought it was flattering, now not so much). I am now a size 32. Last year a colleague told me I am gone fat since she remembered the ‘derriere-less’ me. The old me would have been insanely affected by the comment, but I know I am not fat. So I just let it slide and I told myself if I was fat my favorite jeans wouldn’t fit.
Oh well the way the world is heading I am probably a plus sized 32…