The Year of Curves


Maria Elena Perez, Managing Editor

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that this year is all about that bass.

Plus sized models are becoming more of a social norm, causing women around the world who aren’t considered to be size 2 models to embrace and love their bodies. In January, Sports Illustrated announced that they were featuring two plus sized models in their 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Robyn Lawley and Ashley Graham, who have both been modeling for quite some time now, will appear in the magazine, which hit newsstands everywhere on February 10.

I’m sorry but if the word FIERCE doesn’t cross your mind as you look at these women, there is a serious problem with you. Young girls and women around the world need some kind of empowerment when it comes to feeling beautiful and loving their bodies. Not many of us can feel ugly one day and shake it off the next.

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), in a survey with 185 college female students, 58% felt pressure to be a certain weight. Out of the 83% that dieted for weight loss, only 44% were of normal weight.

Another woman making headlines recently about self-love is Tess Holliday, a size 22 plus-sized model who is the first of her size and height to be signed to a major modeling agency. Holliday, whose real name is Tess Munster, isn’t a traditional plus-sized model. At 5-foot-5, she doesn’t fit the typical 5’7-5’11” height range or the standard 8-16 sizes. To spread self-love, Holliday started the #EffYourBeautyStandards movement, in an effort to encourage other women to love their bodies no matter their size.

tess-munster-tess-holliday Although Holliday is trying to spread a positive message to women everywhere, she’s getting a lot of backlash and negative comments about her message, as a lot of people believe she’s celebrating obesity.

“I understand not everyone understands what I’m about. But to me it’s such a simple concept. It’s all about loving your body regardless of your size and chasing your dreams,” she said in an interview with Buzzfeed.

The #effyourbeautystandards movement has trended worldwide and has helped millions of people around the world embrace their bodies. As a woman who has been considered to be plus sized her entire life, it’s really empowering to finally see models who look like me and aren’t afraid to be themselves.

I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t bullied or criticized constantly by my appearance and weight. Whenever someone brought up my weight or told me I was too ‘heavy,’ it was extremely hurtful.

When you’re 16 years old and your first boyfriend tells you he doesn’t love you anymore because you’re too ‘fat’, it can do some serious damage to your self-esteem. My family members were no better. It’s one thing being bullied at school, but getting comments from some of your family members is just another type of bullying no young woman should ever experience.

I would spend hours pointing out the things I didn’t like about myself and just spent every day being ashamed of who I was. At school, I would sometimes compare myself to my friends and ask myself why I didn’t look like them.

One day, I just got really tired of trying to become someone I knew I was never going to be. With love and support from my family and friends, I learned to love myself for who I really was. Once I started to learn how to love myself, I became a more confident woman. My family, friends and boyfriend love me for who I really am.

To those who didn’t, I kicked them out of my life.

We as women will always have constant battles about our bodies because of the way society believes we should look. We’re never going to escape that. To have these women to look up to and say “I’m not a size 2 and I’m beautiful,” is something we all need.

I’ve seen so many women and a lot of my friends break down in front of me because they felt they weren’t beautiful. I remember crying with my best friend on her bedroom floor after she told me her doctor diagnosed her with anorexia nervosa in 7th grade. I remember having a screaming match with another one of my friends after finding the diet pills under her bed, forcing her to explain herself. A few months later, she was diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder, a body image disorder where someone is preoccupied by an imagined or slight physical defect that no one can see.

I will never be a size 2. I will never look like Kendall Jenner or Miranda Kerr, and I am more than okay with that. These women that are plus sized models are giving women like me a chance to love their bodies, no matter what size they are. They’re breaking society’s perception of beauty and that’s exactly what society needs.

I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’m beautiful and I love being a size 12. #effyourbeautystandards