Commenters Think Plus-Size Model Leah Kelley Is Not ‘Plus Enough’
Posted by Jane Janeczko on December 20, 2013
Plus-size model Leah Kelley recently did an interview with ELLE where she talked about the modeling industry and the somewhat silly, and very arbitrary, plus-size moniker. It was a great interview; however, the response that the interview got – or rather, the response that the pictures accompanying the interview received – was rather negative.
In the process of promoting the interview, ELLE tweeted an image of Kelley (above) with a link to the interview, and their followers were not impressed with her “plus-size” title.
Some of the responses from angry followers included comments like: “SHE is regarded as PLUS-SIZE? That’s ridiculous, and shame on you for having this headline,” and “She’s gorgeous! I don’t get it,” and “That’s a surefire way to make every young woman feel fat!”
Technically, Kelley’s measurements put her in a US size 12, which makes her plus-size, but she is tall, statuesque, and toned, so it’s easy to see why the average viewer would not categorize her as plus-size. Especially since the picture accompanying the article shows Kelley in a skimpy bikini looking particularly fit and thin.
The response to this really just adds fuel to the whole “get rid of the term ‘plus-size’” fire. It’s time to have just models of all different sizes, shapes, and colors.
Now, Kelley is not offended at all by the term “plus-size,” because it is simply a descriptor. In her interview, Kelley said, “I’ve heard that I’m not ‘plus enough.’ I’m tall, so my size 12 is stretched out, but it is my size, it is considered plus-size, and I have no qualms about that.”
However, what everyone seems to be forgetting or missing is that there’s nothing wrong with being “plus-size” or fat. It’s perfectly okay to be plus-size and it’s perfectly okay to be straight-size because all bodies are good bodies. Having a six-pack does not make you superior and having a muffin-top does not make you less worthy. The only things that are really important are the attitude with which you face the world, the relationships you cultivate, the people you help, and the legacy that you leave.
As Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling once famously said in an interview:
“Fat is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her. I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…”
People were offended for Kelley, assuming that she would be resentful of being called “plus-size.” What those reactions really revealed, however, were the various insecurities of the commenters. There is too much of an “Oh, if she’s fat what am I?” syndrome going around, and it hurts all women – both plus-size and straight-size alike.
If Kelley is not bothered with being called plus-size, why do other people even care? It appears that ELLE didn’t even quite believe her, because they ended the interview with this insulting question: “If you could snap your fingers and be a size 0, would you do it?”
Kelley responded to it with her same good attitude and spunk: “God, no…I would die,” said Kelley. “My body could never maintain. At my skinniest point, I was a size 8. I could see my ribs, and it just did not fit my body. I think I would look horrible at a size 0.”
Size acceptance is so important when it comes to body positivity. How do you feel about Kelley’s “plus-size” classification? Tell me in the comments.
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