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!
  • Michelle

    Hi Bambi! Just dis­cov­ered your blog through your com­ment on BeautyLifeMichelle :) Love this post, you’re absolutely right! I’ve been deal­ing with all these top­ics for a while now and the best thing to do is let go of all of it! And just focus on YOU, not the com­par­i­son of your­self to oth­ers around you (or worse, com­par­i­son of your­self to the peo­ple on TV, on ads, etc. since those are all lies…). Now, I’m just focused on doing the things that make me happy. If a few crisps or a candy bar will make me happy in that moment, I’ll go for it. If I don’t, I’ll be think­ing about it for hours on end haha! Obvi­ously, por­tion con­trol is every­thing. But we need to just enjoy our lives and focus on the pos­i­tives. I’ve REALLY come to under­stand the mean­ing and impor­tance of this :) xx, Michelle

    • Bambi

      Hey Michelle, I totally agree! I stopped con­stantly think­ing and wor­ry­ing about my body a while ago and I’ve been so happy ever since, my body hasn’t sud­denly gained 20kg because I haven’t been pay­ing atten­tion… If I’ve been eat­ing too much junk I feel like crap any­way, my body lets me know! So glad you enjoyed the post, I’ve fol­lowed on twit­ter and bloglovin’ :) xxx

  • Renee

    I know this is such a con­tre­ver­sial issue but I think that women are too cur­vey these days and they just say that slim peo­ple are haters. I was speak­ing to my natur­opath the other day he was say­ing that peo­ple are still too cur­vey to be whats actu­ally healthy. bio­log­i­cally humans should have lean mus­cle and SOME fat stores for emer­gen­cys. Body shapes, tall, short, wide hips, big boobs, small boobs are all genetic but its really our diet and life style that makes us curvy. and not in a good way. Peo­ple are beau­ti­ful if they have a good heart but I still think peo­ple should stop being so polit­i­cally cor­rect all the time and encour­age oth­ers to stop eat­ing so much rub­bish and get off the couch. I know that the mag­a­zines are pub­lish­ing pic­tures of cur­vey women in under­wear pro­mot­ing a healthy and ‘nor­mal’ body image but is it really healthy when they are actu­ally over­weight? I think that’s why some peo­ple get so con­fused and defen­sive these days because we are nor­mal­is­ing over­weight peo­ple and encour­ag­ing it. Thats not healthy ladies.

    • Bambi

      I agree Renee, I dis­like the focus that the media has on what a healthy body should look like, it cre­ates a lot of dis­trac­tion from the pri­mary goal we should have: to live a health­ier lifestyle. My friend Jess puts me to shame with her healthy eat­ing plans and exer­cise, she make me look like a lazy blob in com­par­i­son but the shape of her body is still curvier. After years of liv­ing like that she’s ridicu­lously fit and no doubt way health­ier than me, but that’s just the body she’s liv­ing with. I like the cam­paigns for accept­ing a curvier image only because peo­ple like Jess shouldn’t be made to feel inad­e­quate and over­weight because she wasn’t blessed with a model’s genet­ics. Girls should know that it’s okay if they don’t win Victoria’s Secret DNA in a the genetic lotto as long as they’re the best they can be! But you’re right, in try­ing to nor­malise a curvy image we are pro­mot­ing that it’s okay to be over­weight and it really isn’t healthy. We should hijack all the media plat­forms and run our own healthy liv­ing pro­pa­ganda, haha :-)