Over the last week the news has been full of stories about women who are slamming the likes of Ashley Graham for being overweight, with lunatics such as Edwina Curry even labelling her as 'obese'. Likewise fitness model Ashy Bines (no I'd not heard of her either) has come out saying that Tess Holliday is very unhealthy and 'not a good role model' for young girls.
Although I don't appreciate Bines' delivery, I can't deny that Tess Holliday IS overweight, but Ashley Graham? I don't think so, I think she looks incredibly healthy and refreshingly normal, well actually, a bit better than normal because she is drop dead bloody gorgeous, but you know what I mean.
The plus size movement is seemingly still going from strength to strength, with more and more companies taking on 'curvier' models, but it feels that every time I think that we're getting somewhere, someone comes in to say 'hang on a sec, this woman is unhealthy and therefore NOT a positive role model...'
And I think we need to take a step back. For the last however many years, every model out there has been stick thin, it was something that was very much accepted and considered the norm. There simply wasn't the opportunity for 'normal' women in that industry.
But then? Then something wonderful happened. Someone, somewhere, thought 'wait a second, maybe, just maybe, we could find a bigger girl to advertise clothes FOR bigger girls', and just like magic, the plus size movement was born.
Initially it was met with overwhelming success, people applauded the 'brave' decision of both the fashion houses and the models alike, the trend spread like wild fire and everywhere you looked on Twitter, fuller-figured women were embracing their natural beauty and flaunting what their mothers gave them - with pride. It was excellent.
But because we love to be miserable, someone decided to speak out against it, and then someone else, and then someone else, until the whole world suddenly turned against this movement, branding it 'unhealthy' and shouting about what terrible obese monsters it was going to turn us all into.
And I have to say, I've had enough. Ashy bloody Bines was the final straw.
No. Tess Holliday might not be the healthiest role model, in fact, she probably isn't even that healthy. But do you think she doesn't know that? Do you think that the girls who look up to her, don't already know that they might not be the healthiest person on the planet?
It's not like you get to a size 16 and all of a sudden you only seem to see plus-size models. The Cara Delevignes of the world are still very much a part of your life, but, for the first time in your life there is someone in the public eye who looks like you. They know, deep down, how they 'should' look, they know what is healthy, but sometimes? Sometimes life gets in the way, and we do end up a little bit larger than we'd have liked. The fact that, for the first time ever, there is a beautiful 'fat' woman making a raging success out of her life, is wonderful.
THAT should serve as the inspiration for girls. The fact that, despite all the odds, Tess Holliday has made a successful career in an industry that we'd all expected to shun her.
And in terms of plus size models in general? Seeing photos of Ashley Graham genuinely makes me feel better about myself, because I am reminded that you can have stomach rolls and be beautiful. I have spent my entire life absolutely terrified of bikini season, until now, because for the first time I can walk onto a beach knowing that the rest of the world have also seen photos of Ashley in her pants and thought exactly the same thing as me: 'you don't need to be thin to be beautiful'.
Yes, this is something that we've been told forever, but God it feels good to be SHOWN that.
We are a country full of young girls with insecurities, I have seen countless friends battle horrible eating disorders, I don't know a single woman without an insecurity. And do you think this stems from the fear that they're not as fat as their role models? Nine times out of ten, no.
So am I the only one who thinks maybe, just maybe, plus size models are the best role models that there are?