Hands up if you've ever been personally victimised by Regina George? We're joking, but if you can honestly say you've never felt like absolute crap after reading a magazine or seeing an ad campaign, it's either because: a) you're one of the very lucky few whose body is being represented, or b) because you are some sort of goddess who came out of the womb already bopo af.
It takes no genius to work it out, but seeing plus-size models in the media is actually good for us. Science - actual geniuses - has literally proven it too, just in case we needed the extra proof.
The study - Is Plus Size Equal? The positive impact of average and plus-sized media fashion models on women’s cognitive resource allocation, social comparisons, and body satisfaction - was published last week by Florida State University. Assistant professors Russell Clayton and Jessica Ridgeway co-authored the study and have claimed that their findings showed greater body satisfaction after engaging with content featuring plus-size models than when looking at imagery showing average and thinner bodies.
The study monitored 49 female students at the university who suffered with body image issues, and found that exposure to plus-size bodies meant that they retained more memory of plus-size models than when they looked at models of a smaller size.
"Unrealistic-sized media models" we also proven to have a negative impact on a consumer's "mental and physical health, including experiencing lower body satisfaction." Most women can garner from their own personal appearances that this is true, and the influx of successful plus size models - Ashley Graham, Denise Bidot, Precious Lee, Tess Holliday just to name a few - goes to show that the media is catching on to consumer's positive response.
“Women reported the greatest body satisfaction and the least amount of social comparisons when viewing plus-size models, but body satisfaction decreased and social comparisons increased when viewing average sized followed by thin size models,” the study said.
Whilst the fashion industry is taking small steps in the right direction, diversity and inclusivity is still severely lacking. There's also the question of sincerity and ulterior motives when it comes to using plus-size models in what could just the 'token fat girl' to help jump of the body positivity bandwagon. Either way, by including these bodies, it's clearly having a great impact on women and how they view themselves, which is the number one priority. Fingers crossed for modelling agencies and media outlets to stay on the right track.