Katya Zharkova Models Body Acceptance in the Buff

Katya Zharkova isn’t the first plus-size model to pose naked but the way she interacts with a nameless, faceless, straight size model in a spread in the latest issue of Plus Model Magazine, definitely makes a bold statement.

And that’s the point. The eight-page editorial asks, “what’s wrong with our bodies anyway?” as Katya displays the beauty and femininity of her body that’s now considered “plus” but at one time was average. The magazine says the answer to the question is this, there is nothing wrong with our bodies.

“We are bombarded with weight-loss ads every single day, multiple times a day because it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that preys on the fear of being fat. Not everyone is meant to be skinny, our bodies are beautiful and we are not talking about health here because not every skinny person is healthy,” the magazine states.

“What we desire is equality to shop and have fashion options just like smaller women. Small women cannot be marketed to with pictures of plus-size women, why are we expected to respond to pictures of small size 6 and 8 women? We don’t! When the plus size modeling industry began, the models ranged in size from 14 to 18/20, and as customers we long for those days when we identify with the models and feel happy about shopping.”

With statistics like, “Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today she weighs 23% less,” and “Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia,” there’s a chance the imagery might spark a change of heart but only time will tell. As the editorial makes clear, “changing society’s view will not happen overnight.”

Click through the spread and tell us what you think. Is it time for designers to embrace plus size models and consumers?

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