Two days ago Sports Illustrated announced that their swimsuit issue will feature the magazine’s first ever plus-size model, Ashley Graham. This lady will be a part of an ad for Swimsuits For All. The magazine will be on newsstands on February 9th, and it has already attracted a lot of media attention.
Everybody is talking and writing about this. Even though some say that she is actually pretty “average”, being size 14 or 16, still, Graham is a long distance away from models that are usually featured in fashion magazines. In the commercial, that has gone viral during the last couple of days, we can see that she really has… much more than the skinny models we usually see. Still, no one can argue that she looks really sexy and attracts the looks of every male around. This new trend brings the light back to the problem of “perfection” that women these days are demanded to have, and that is so hard to achieve. It also brings light to a perfectly simple solution – just be perfect the way you are, and the key is to be proud of it.
It is well known that the ideal body type for women has been changing through time and also that it varied from culture to culture. In ancient Egypt, for example, the perfect woman was the slender one, with a high waist and narrow shoulders, while in ancient Greece she was supposed to be plump and full-bodied. During the Renaissance era rounded stomachs and full hips were cherished. In the twenties, men liked flat-chested girls with boyish figures, and Marilyn Monroe started a new era in Hollywood, along with the new body type: hourglass type, with lots of curves and large breasts. Twiggy was willowy and thin, with an adolescent figure and her style was considered perfect at the time, until the supermodel era in the eighties, when tall, athletic and curvy girls became the synonym of beauty. Today, it seems like curves, combined with a flat stomach and “healthy skinny” are what most women want to have. Still, as we can see from the example of Ashley Graham, the world is starting to acknowledge the freedom of women to wear the “plus” sizes and still look sexy.
“I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too. There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt. The world is ready for more curves in bikinis”, Graham said in her press release. She is obviously the new promoter of women’s body and everything good on it. She sends out the message that you do not have to be size zero in order to look good and that more can be better if you know how to wear it.
Like we said, this trend has already appeared in earlier times, when it was considered beautiful to resemble the statue of Venus of Willendorf, which was made between 28.000 and 25.000 BC and discovered by Josef Veram in 1908. The statue represents women’s fertility and childbearing, and it has, well let’s say, very prominent curves. It is believed to have represented the goddess of fertility, which is what every woman actually is. The comeback of this trend signifies the return of our society to the values that are really important, instead of forcing women to go to unimaginable distances just to be “model-like”.