Global beauty standards have been a controversial topic of discussion for several years now. Representing all shapes, sizes and skin tones has been difficult to mainstream in the modeling industry and as a result we have seen a similar body type in marketing campaigns for years. A new study suggests that is starting to change.
Social media algorithms have been targeted as only promoting a certain body type to the public, but new research from Boston University points out that more plus-size models have a huge impact on all body types. platforms, representing a potential shift in the modeling inclusivity matrix.
“While the American standard of beauty seems to idolize extreme thinness as seen in Victoria’s Secret models and their decreasing body sizes, we sought to explore the impact of plus-size models by examining their body size measurements and their social media presence to better understand their emerging role in current beauty standards,” study co-author Neelam Vashi said in a statement.
In the study, researchers evaluated the characteristics and body measurements of 159 plus-size models and the highest-paid mainstream models, according to Forbes.
The 10 highest paid models averaged 38 million individual followers and plus size models averaged 3.8 million followers. Even with the massive margin, however, the researchers found no significant differences in average likes per post, average comments per post, and total number of posts.
Measurement-wise, the plus-size model’s average height was 69 inches, with an average chest measurement of 40 inches, waist measurement of 43 inches, and hip measurement of 46 inches. Their average dress size was 14 and their body mass index had increased.
The data showed that among “traditionally skinny models” and tall models, the waist-to-hip ratio was 0.71 and 0.74 on average, respectively, which effectively means that this metric remains a standard of beauty. constant for all body types.
“As society’s body image changes in America, plus-size models have grown in popularity and have positively impacted a body-inclusive beauty model,” the authors wrote. “However, the mainstream model still prevails as a driver of social media influence.”
NOW PR Founder, Tash Griezen, has had a long career in the fashion and beauty world, representing both brands and individuals on the global stage.
Upon receiving the study, she said: “The way we view beauty has certainly changed over the years and become more welcoming and inclusive. Most perspectives in the past have been somewhat narrow and lacked a sense of holistic understanding.
“The study highlights that this is changing, but even more so when we look at who is marketed and where, it is clear that there is a brand, and now public, aware that beauty is not just one body type. .”
Asked if NOW PR would work with plus size models in their campaigns, she said, “Of course. More than ever, brands want their image to be represented by a wide variety of people. Inclusiveness is something we stand for, and it will certainly continue. »
Amanda Nicole Awayda, model and successful entrepreneur, echoed Griezen’s sentiment.
“I’m a model and a self-made entrepreneur and the hardest thing for me early in my career was getting a foothold in the industry. For plus-size models, it’s most likely even harder,” she said.
“I have been on the cover of the biggest magazines in the world such as Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Glamour, L’OFFICIEL and many others. I am also signed to 5 major modeling agencies, where I have modeled and collaborated with the most prestigious and renowned brands. Thanks to all this, I also managed to develop a large fan base and follow more than 260,000 people.
She continued, “I’ve seen my career grow and flourish, and now there’s definitely a sense that the industry is opening up and adapting to positive change and inclusiveness. We are not all alike, it’s good that the modeling industry recognizes this and adapts.
On the advice she would give to plus-size models, she added, “I would say you should always believe in yourself, work hard and don’t listen to other people’s negativity. That’s how I got to where I am today and to accomplish anything in life you need to know your vision and stay focused. I believe anything is possible as long as you combine faith with hard work.
Plus-size influencers Ashley Graham, Jordyn Woods, and Iskra Lawrence were the top-ranked in terms of followers among plus-size models, while Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Cara Delevingne were the top 3 most-followed mainstream models.
The researchers also pointed out that none of the highest-paid models, according to Forbes, are plus-size. All are between sizes 0 and 4.