This poster from the project depicts Jes “The Militant Baker” herself, with the Google autocomplete bar over her own mouth. Credit: The Militant Baker
Essentially, Jes and her contributors took photos of themselves with the well-known Google search bar pasted over their mouths, with autocompleted search terms that people have searched for in regards to fat people. Statements like “fat people are lazy,” “fat people are gross,” and “fat people are annoying” were prominently featured in many of the posters.
The fashion industry is really struggling with that whole “plus-size” label thing for their models. I feel like almost every week, there is a new scandal to discuss in the media. Many models have also spoken out about the label and seem generally unimpressed with how their bodies are being categorized by both fashion companies and fashion magazines alike. Essentially, it appears that models fall into two different categories: very thin and slightly less thin – the slightly less thin being the plus-size model obviously.
Rebecca Adams of the Huffington Post said it best in a recent article about the criticism H&M faced after labeling size “medium” models as plus-size:
“While it’s refreshing to see more and more body types in the pages of our magazines, many people have become frustrated with the classification system that divides straight and plus-size models,” writes Adams. “When you can’t tell the difference between the two, the ‘plus-size’ designation seems particularly arbitrary.”
This most-recent plus-size scandal hit the Internet hard and many people took to Twitter to express their outrage over the svelte looking H&M models showing the Swedish retailer’s plus-size offerings in their new catalogue.
Twitter was inundated with frustrated comments accompanied by screen caps of H&M’s most recent catalogue after the latest edition was delivered to homes of loyal H&M customers around the world. Credit: Twitter/@disney_frump
It’s basically common knowledge now that you absolutely cannot trust the images of the perfect waifish, models plastered all over fashion magazines. We have indisputable evidence that almost every single one of those images has been photoshopped to such a point that the photo editors are essentially photoshopping away the humanity of these women, and then telling regular women on the street to aspire to this completely unattainable beauty standard. If the models themselves do not even look like that, how dare you tell the average woman reading Vogue at the nail salon that they should aspire to that level of “beauty.”
However, Leah Hardy, a former editor at Cosmpolitan, recently wrote a shocking expose for the Daily Mail about how many fashion magazines do not just photoshop models to make them look thinner, but they also photoshop models to sometimes hide extreme (and potentially unhealthy) thinness. The process is called “reverse retouching.”
This image of Karlie Kloss that originally appeared in Numero Magazine is one such example of “reverse retouching.” Credit: About-Face via Fabulous Fashionista
There are many artists who focus on the body and body politics. There are also a lot of great plus-size, body-positive artists. However, three of my favorite projects in recent memory are projects shot by plus-size photographers concerning their own plus-size bodies and the roles that those bodies take on when occupying space.
Jen Davis, a photographer based in Brooklyn, New York, has been working on a series of self-portraits for the past eleven years concerning issues relating to beauty, identity, and body image.
Tyra Banks is sort of a polarizing figure. Some people love her, some people hate her. Personally, I’m just fascinated by her. The supermodel has been criticized for her fluctuating weight over the years and the tabloids have been quick to jump on her whenever a picture surfaces of her looking less than Victoria’s Secret-runway-ready.
What I do respect Tyra for, however, is her unapologetic “girl power” vibe that she tries to exude via her different media outlets. In fact, her very memorable “Kiss my fat a**!” speech that she gave in a 2006 episode of “The Tyra Show” was named as one of TV Guide’s 60 Greatest Talk Show Moments. In my humble opinion, the honor was well deserved (you can view the entire monologue below).
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