According to the University of Texas at Austin, the average size woman in the United States falls between 12 and 14; size has been a major topic within the modeling industry because women want to see models that empower the varying, natural body shapes and sizes that real people experience. As plus-sized modeling has gained traction, more and more girls and women are able to see reflections of themselves in the campaigns represented.

Latina Magazine states that body positivity helps women fight for self-love and body acceptance. This ring true, because a new study published in the National Communication Association’s journal, Communication Monographs, reports that women who view images of other women with similar and larger body types as their own report higher body satisfaction and fewer social comparisons. After all, comparing ourselves to others can easily lead to distorted self-image, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and unhealthy eating and behavioral habits.

The Huffington Post states that what most women forget when comparing themselves to celebrities are that the magazines they view are heavily edited, and celebrities have teams of people to help them look their best. When plus-sized models are featured, more room for diversity is enabled. Society’s perspectives towards curves and weight have changed, and fat-shaming is no longer tolerated on social media sites.  

Although there are many positive effects that plus-sized models have had on the industry, there are still improvements that need to be made. For example, the term “plus-sized” still places a negative connotation and labels women that are actually an average size in America. Furthermore, many plus-sized models are only booked for “plus-sized” campaigns, rather than having a mixture of sized models together. The more mainstream different races and body sizes become, the more inclusive our society is able to become.

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