by Josie Sharp
These past few years, we have seen a large increase in body representation in media, from the runways in Milan to our favourite shows.
The seemingly inclusiveness of “Euphoria” and “Bridgerton” is now being questioned after star Nicola Coughlan said that she was shocked to be defined as the “big one” when only being a size 10.
The average size amongst women in the UK remains a size 16, and we are yet to see real representation of this on our screens. These so called “inclusive” shows and movies have been using mid-sized women and using dialogue to portray them as larger women, often with weight-related storylines, when in reality they’re only a couple sizes larger than the actresses who are considered ‘normal.’
However, we also criticize those who we believe to be ‘too thin’ as it is said to give the wrong message to a younger audience, so are we really as accepting as we think we are? Body type trends have severely altered our expectations on what different body types look like. In the 2000s “super skinny” was the sought-out body type, and now the abrupt switch to a larger hourglass figure, has left many women being unable to define what a mid-sized body is.
It is not only films and tv shows that have turned against mid-sized women, singer Selena Gomez attended the Golden Globes in a stunning Valentino gown. Yet her social media posts about the event was full of negative comments surrounding her weight. The comments went as far as to cause Gomez to come forward to say that she was “a little big now” despite having a perfectly mid-sized body. As a celebrity who has spent her whole life in the lime-light, we have seen her body change from a child, teenager, and adult but many critics seem to expect the 30-year-old to have the same physique as she had at 18 years old.
The recent return of Y2K fashion, which was solely designed for smaller body frames, paired with the current ideal body shape leaves representation of mid-sized bodies out of the mix, creating a whole generation unable to differentiate between mid and plus-sized bodies. Despite the recent diversification of body types on the catwalk, the current fashion trends for the normal population cater almost exclusively to smaller body types which has created a mindset that any size higher than a size 10 is too large.
Mid-sized bodies have been shamed and mislabelled for many years now, with the media’s lack of inclusivity for real plus-sized women the definition of a mid-sized body has been warped. The way that the media has conditioned the public to believe is plus size is still much lower than the average body size in the UK, leaving women and girls confused when they look in the mirror. We need to demand for real body inclusivity in all forms of media to avoid this, and show women that their bodies are completely normal!