In a recent panel talk at SXSW 2016 titled ‘Acceptance Revolution: Fashion’s New Body; 28-year-old model Ashley Graham took a stand on the term ‘plus size.’ In model terms, Ashley is deemed what people call ‘plus size’, when in reality she is a healthy size 14 with knock-out curves most of us can only dream of. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Ashley spoke up about the term ‘plus-size’, stated that it was ‘totally outdated’ because she ‘doesn’t want to be called a label, [she] want[s] to be called a model.’
Rightfully so, as a successful model who made history this year as the first size-14 model to appear on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit issue, we should be less concerned with her size and more concerned with what she’s bringing to the modeling industry. That being said, being larger than the average (i.e. incredibly thin) model got her where she is today and helped her make history – so while the term is discouraging it’s also helping her make waves in the fashion industry, something Ashley is admittedly grateful for.
She’s not alone in her battle to drop the term ‘plus size’, comedian Melissa McCarthy tries to stay away from the term, saying: ‘Every time someone says, ‘You make a plus-size one,’ I just correct them: ‘I make clothes for women.’ she told E news. Preach that all day long.
Both Melissa and Ashley are aware of this unhealthy obsession we have with placing women I categories. From ‘athletic’ to ‘pear shaped’, why is it we all have to brand ourselves with a term only to feel humilated when we don’t fit the beauty standards. We shouldn’t give a shit if we’re a pear or if we’ve got an apple but, athletic legs or plus-sized body. Hell we should be embracing ourselves for our own personal bodies because they are just that, personal to us and us only. What does segregating women into terms do for our confidence? Knock it, that’s what – so we’re with Ash and Mel on this one, drop the outdated terms and just start being women.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.