These days everyone seems to have an opinion in the great “size debate”, yet no matter how much we argue we don’t seem to be getting anywhere. There’s no “general consensus” that I can see and we’re not taught a great deal about the matter from authoritative channels like school or the media (for example, my sister and I have both been taught very different things from our different schools!). So what is a healthy size? And why can’t the fashion industry make up it’s mind? Ten years ago the fashion industry was still skin and bones. Models suffered from a plethora of eating disorders and self-esteem issues and young women everywhere fell suit. The world was just starting to fight back at the media for feeding us these images of starving, ultra-retouched “perfect” models that nobody could hope to compare to. Dove launched their campaign for “Real Beauty”. And I looked forward to the Victoria’s Secret fashion show every year because it was the only fashion label I found that showcased women with at least a little bit of curves (bras do sell better when they’re marketed on big breasts, haha). Fast forward to today and while we’ve taken steps forward to create a healthier image, there’s still a ridiculous amount of pressure on young models to look a certain way. Victoria’s Secret models are now so focused on being fit and healthy that they exercise obsessively to be in peak physical condition with minimal body fat. Adriana Lima admitted to not eating any solids for a week prior to fashion shows and others live on ‘juice and smoothie detoxes.’ I have literally seen Victoria’s Secret advertisements with curves and breasts photoshopped into the picture and some of the muscle tone photoshopped out. There is literally no pleasing the people who decide what a ‘perfect body’ is! I don’t know about you, but still don’t think this is the image we should be striving for. Exercise and healthy eating is good for you, I’m not arguing science, but living your life obsessed with having the perfect body? That’s not healthy. We should be learning to love the skin we’re in. We should be learning to embrace our natural curves. How many of you were born with Miranda Kerr’s body? Or a thigh gap? I could exercise until I have a negative percentage of body fat and I would still not look like those Victoria’s Secret models. But you know what? I’m okay with this. I accept my flaws and my strengths and I focus my attention now on being happy and keeping my lifestyle balanced. The average size of women in Australia is around a 16. Whether or not a 16 is overweight is up for debate but I don’t think that should be the question. Yes, there is an upward trend and we seem to be growing larger on average every year (3rd most overweight country in the world, holla) but our focus should be on teaching girls the healthy size for themselves, and that’s a pretty big window! Our eyes shouldn’t be on the scales, or even our BMIs (maybe a little bit on our BMIs) but on our lifestyle choices. When I was younger I was graced with a fast metabolism which meant I got to eat whatever I wanted and still remained a “healthy” weight and size. But was I a healthy person? Pizza for dinner, midnight snacks, Froot Loops for brekky, packet of crisps at school? That’s a resounding hell no! So what’s a healthy size? My answer is to live happily and healthily and find out. A healthy body is a happy, well-looked-after body. I don’t think you need to live on organic tofu and imported norwegian salmon and a strict zero-sugar diet to be healthy, but if you put in a little effort to eat more of what is good for you and more exercise and activities in your life then you’re making a big step in the right direction. I think the fashion industry should be flaunting the variety our society has to offer instead of conforming to one lean, muscled, size 0 body! Wouldn’t you love to see mannequins of all shapes and sizes gracing your department stores? Tall, thin, big-boned, curvy, short, wide hips, small boobs; We’re not just customers we’re human beings and the sooner labels understand this the sooner we will be on the path to a happier, healthier future. What’s a healthy size? Become the best ‘YOU’ you can be and whatever size fits then is the healthiest size for you. Have your say and join the conversation in the comments below or on twitter @Maklinamakeup!