For anyone who’s been lucky enough to avoid the internet drama that spawned from Tess Holliday’s cover shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine, thank your lucky stars. The photo of the American plus-size model, who is a UK dress size 26, sparked backlash with many claiming that her being cover star promoted obesity.
However, the backlash over the cover was met with equal passion, by those who claimed that Cosmo featuring a plus-sized model as their cover star was a huge step forward for body positivity and a more-whole representation of different body types in the media.
I really resonated with this tweet, because I truly do believe beauty comes in all shapes and sizes! There is much we need to unlearn about beauty standards and the definition of beauty itself.
However, I also understand and emphasise with the ideas behind this tweet. While I don’t believe Tess looked in any way cringe worthy or that she’s an eyesore, I do realise that the media shouldn’t publish content featuring unhealthy ideals. So, my only solution is to ban unhealthily thin models and unhealthily overweight models, as well as any advertisements for alcohol etc. Fair’s fair, right?
Diversity in the media is a hot topic at the moment. I definitely agree that we need greater diversity and representation. There are loads of ways that we can show diversity without glorifying unhealthy lifestyles, and simply featuring a plus-size model doesn’t promote obesity in my eyes.
So, body positivity or glorifiying obesity?
Fat people exist. Obese people exist. So I personally feel that it’s important that plus-size models are represented by main stream media. However, I do agree that obesity is a danger to health, and obesity and unhealthy lifestyles should never be promoted, especially in magazines that are aimed primarily at young women.
That being said, is having a plus-size cover model really any worse than having dangerously thin model? Is it any worse than reality TV stars advertising ‘skinny’ teas or weight-loss lollipops?
The truth is, there’s no easy answer to this debate. Yes, obesity is unhealthy and shouldn’t be glamorised. However, fat people exist and fat people and plus-size models are no less deserving of media attention than “normal” models.
What are your thoughts on Tess Holliday’s cover?
Until next time, Dani x
8 thoughts on “*That* Cosmopolitan Cover”
Dani you have pretty much summed up my thoughts in this post. As a plus size gal myself I think it’s fabulous to see some diversity in the media as people come in all shapes and sizes so why don’t we see that represented more?
Great post thanks for sharing your opinion
Melanie | http://www.frasersfunhouse.com
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I’m so glad you liked it Melanie!
I think you’re right, there’s no right answer to this debate. I think my general thoughts are similar to yours, we shouldn’t be presenting unhealthy body types on either end of the weight spectrum because unhealthy lifestyles are a bad idea for everyone. However at the same time I wouldn’t want to exclude anyone from the fashion world because of their body type. It’s a hard one to judge.
Megan // https://pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com/
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It really is! Both sides of the debate have good points.
I think it is so important to show someone like Tess who defies the way that the mainstream views plussize. Like with any beauty standard, there is a way to be plusize now. Skinny waist, big hips, thick thighes. Tess defies the convention of “thicc” girls being the only plussize girls that are beautiful and I think that that is super important! Grate post hunny! Keep em coming!
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That’s so true – there’s beauty conventions within beauty conventions now!
Thank you so much for your lovely comment x
I guess I’ve never thought of Cosmo as a health promoting magazine? When I think of Cosmo my impressions are beauty, makeup, beauty, clothing, beauty, jewelry, beauty, sex with, for and by beautiful people, beauty as the end all be all etc… Maybe that’s a false impression, but it’s the one I have of them. Therefore, I don’t expect them to promote anything based on health value and I don’t think of anything they have in their magazine and expect it to be healthy? I don’t pay a lot of attention to models in general, she is beautiful as depicted on this cover. I’ve met a lot of models in my life but have yet to meet a healthy one. I even rode in an ambulance with a body building, health magazine model who had nearly achieved her dreams of “zero body fat” only to discover that zero body fat diet she was on, caused her to have a heart attack. She said her doctor told her the human body requires some fat in order to survive. Go figure? I believe in the idea of a “healthy” model but have never actually met one. LOL I also believe in the idea of unicorns, faeries and magic. I don’t really have a dog in this fight though, so I stayed out of the internet wars over the cover.
I totally agree with your description of Cosmo, it’s a good point!