Why A Plus Size Model On The Cover Of ‘Elle’ Is A Big Deal


You may have heard about plus size model Tara Lynn making headlines everywhere because of her latest modeling job: as the cover girl for Elle Spain’s November issue. If you think it’s not a big deal, awesome! That means seeing curvy women on the covers of high fashion magazines is normal to you. If you think it was a big deal like us, then hopefully that’s because you are excited about the positive and disruptive message it is bringing to female consumers and fashion industry elite respectively.

Elle US chatted with the American Beauty on why this cover was such a big deal and her thoughts on being a plus size model. Lynn admits to Elle, that while her career has been very successful over the past few years (she’s been on the cover of Elle France and Vogue Italia) it wasn’t always that way. It was when she was in college that Tara started developing a healthy attitude of acceptance toward her own body, which would be the catalyst in opening doors for a successful modeling career.

Nicknamed ‘the body’ by Elle France, (yes, it seems the torch has been passed on from Elle MacPherson) she walked into a modeling agency during college and started in the industry as a way to pay tuition. That “side gig” ended up becoming her full time career long after finishing her degree. But although she always thought of being a model growing up, there were a fair few negative and unhealthy attitudes which were stuck on her because of what she was told by the media.

“I was never skinny, so I always thought that if I was going to model, I’d have to lose a lot of weight. I knew at some point in my late teens that plus-size modeling existed.”

But as she grew up and learned more about the world as an adult, she recognized more and more the need to stay true to who she was.

“As you become an adult, you realize that you don’t have to fit in with your peers. You don’t have to look and think like everyone else. Though there certainly was a point at which I realized I was really unhappy in my body and that I had to take control. It was maybe a couple of years after going through that, during college, when I took some weight off and felt strong, beautiful, and in control.”


Tara names certain celebrities who were her body image role models growing up, because they too were battling against the media’s notion of “skinny is beautiful”. These women, of course, were Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, Beyonce and Christina Hendricks from Man Men. These women have opened up the floodgates for millions of women worldwide to accept their curves and be confident in their own bodies.

When it comes to the plus size fashion industry, Tara has no problems calling it like it is, after all she operates within those circles every day and sees more than the average person. But she believes it is a good thing to have the “plus size category”.

“It makes perfect sense to me to sell half the size in one section and half of the sizes in another. I would love to see better fashion for people my size and above, but it doesn’t offend me at all.”

“I think it’s a great thing for [people] to see diversity in advertising and not have to feel like they need to fit a mold.”

“There definitely has been change in acceptance of plus-size models or curvier models being seen as legitimate models and even fashion icons, like Crystal Renn for example. We’re getting covers and great editorials and amazing photographers wanting to shoot with us: it’s not just PR stunts.

Another one of Tara’s good friends is fellow plus size afficionado Robyn Lawley who is seen as an unofficial whistleblower for unhealthy trend within fashion, such as the “thigh gap.“Robyn recently collaborated with Danish photographer Kenneth Willardt on a project called ‘Size Does Matter’ where she posed nude with a series of cute animals. The exhibition was to provoke thought in the minds of people who think of models and women one way according to what they are spoon-fed in magazines.

“I think we’re missing a lot of good things in life,” Willardt said of the fashion industry’s ongoing tendency to use “cookie cutter” models. “I love women in all shapes—it’s more interesting.”

“People are so used to seeing certain body types in the media. I like that we’re showing something different.” said Lawley about the photography project.

We certainly hope that one day, plus size models like Robyn Lawley and Tara Lynn being on the cover of fashion magazines is just normal. But perhaps the change has to happen progressively so that in the meantime, these amazing women can have the chance to promote positive messages about body acceptance and body image in a way that they will stand out.

We’d like to dub Robyn Lawley and Tara Lynn the official GTHQ Body Rockstars! We love these empowering messages and hope they inspire you to use your voice and your opportunities in life to make a difference or create change in some way.



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