Posted at 2:13 PM Sep 17, 2009
By Andrea Grimes
Now that a beautiful lady with a belly roll has appeared in Glamour, we can all stop worrying about media portrayals of women and weight and go dance in flowery fields with butterflies and champagne and celebrate the end of body issues forever, right? Nah. For some folks, it seems like the Lizzie Miller photo and the existence of More To Love (shudder) have signaled some kind of magic turn in our culture toward not glorifying unattainable bodies. I'm sure I don't have to tell you Dolls that I, ah, don't agree.
But what about average bodies? Almost all models are either a size 0-4 or a 12 or above. To illustrate: when St. Louis teen Jennie Runk, a lovely size 8 gal, got a modeling contract, she opted to gain, rather than lose, weight. Apparently there's no room for middle-sizes in the world of modeling. Runk is profiled in the St. Louis Post Dispatch today:
Runk has long auburn hair that falls in a thick mass of curls, ocean blue eyes that can mist over into a sea green, a statuesque figure and a wry, charming smile. The combination is often stunning, so she got used to hearing strangers remark, "You should be a model." She'd heard the refrain since she was a small child. Runk never took the suggestions seriously. She was 14 years old and called herself a "book nerd." She wore a size 8, had an hourglass figure and loved Dr. Pepper and Doritos. At the time, she thought model meant super-skinny.Runk put on around 20 lbs so she could wear a size 12 and therefore be a "plus size" model, though she still exercises every day to maintain her figure. Still, she says she has trouble shopping at plus size stores because she's at the smallest end of the plus curve.
Then one day she got a very real offer from a local model scouting duo, Mary and Jeff Clarke of Mother Model Management. For the first time, she had to make a very real decision about her weight.
As the reader who tipped me off to this article said, "sizes 2-8 are invisible, ten and beyond is controversial, and 0 is the norm." I would love to see some more middle-range ladies in magazines and advertisements. It doesn't help curvy girls to see a rail-thin model walking around in no-pants leggings, because they can't get a good idea of what styles work on their own bodies. I'd love to see some size 8 and 10 ladies modeling clothes so that I can say, "Oh, she's got thighs like me. But those jeans look fantastic. I'll take 'em!"