Discrimination Is Unacceptable…Except If You’re Fat

plus-size-models

If someone used a prejudicial slur against you, there’s a good chance you’d be highly offended and either retaliate, or expect those around you to stick up for you. But when it comes to the media, there seems to be an unspoken acceptance of body shaming, saying its OK to make fun of someone’s weight, especially a woman.

The Civil Rights Movement existed to rid the US of a horrible oppression which was solely based on the color of someone’s skin. The people involved in the movement wanted to eradicate the justification of treating someone different based on what they look like. So why is body shape and weight any different?

Why are shows like ‘Fashion Police’ on E! allowed to air when the hosts blatantly rip apart men and women for how skinny they aren’t? A new documentary called ‘A Perfect 14‘ (obviously a play on the phrase ‘A perfect 10’) is questioning why society feels discrimination based on body weight is still acceptable.

The Canadian documentary, which is currently raising money on Kickstarter, is all about plus-size models and how they are fighting to reshape fashion and the standards of society. It follows three prominent plus size models, Elly Mayday from Canada, Laura Wells from Australia, and Kerosene Delux from Europe.

“‘A Perfect 14’ shows the desperate need for diversity and a true reflection of today’s society in our media and role models. The subjects of the film are determined to eliminate the established perception in society that one size fits all,” says the Indiegogo campaign page.

a-perfect-14

Director and Producer is Colombian Giovanna Morales who worked closely with Canadian James Earl O’Brien, Producer and Editor of the film.

These two, together with the models featured, want to turn the spotlight back onto the media and find out the role it has played in shaping society’s perception of what is considered “normal” or “beautiful”.

“It asks the question of the media’s responsibility in its single focus portrayal of thin role models and how it takes a heavy toll on the self confidence and body image of women.”

In the trailer, Daniella Sieukaran, body image researcher at Simon Fraser University, decries size-based segregation, saying “Weightism is pretty much the last acceptable version of discrimination,” while another interviewee talks about the harsh realities of the fashion industry: “Bottom line is it’s a business. And guess what we’re buying? We’re buying the Caucasian skinny girl.”

There are also interviews with photographers, agents and other fashion industry experts who weigh in on why the status quo about beauty is the way it is.

As it stands, having a plus size model on the cover of Vogue Italia, on the homepage of H&M’s e-commerce website, and fronting a prestigious Ralph Lauren Campaign is major news. Perhaps there will come a day when body diversity in fashion and the media is considered normal, and sites like ours won’t need to report on body image issues, because they will be a thing of the past.

Until then, kudos to the men and women who are fighting the good fight, and creating content that is informative, educational and inspirational to many who still need others to be an advocate for them or a voice in a public sphere so that the representation of women can more closely resemble real life.

Check out the trailer for ‘A Perfect 14’.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.