[Heads up! This post contains a very tasteful image of a nude model in profile. It may be unsuitable for some readers or reading environments.]
Last week a friend of mine read an article on the US Edition of The Guardian newspaper’s website through Facebook that was broadcast onto her friends News Feeds. The headline caught my eye so I clicked over to read it myself. What I read made my day.
The article, Too fat to be a model? The picture that caused a storm in the fashion world, written by Naomi Alderman, was published in September of 2009 after a “tiny photograph buried on page 194 of Glamour magazine,” received an overwhelming amount of attention. The photo features a young model casually seated and smiling beautifully. She is also nude so it is easy to see that she has a scar around her middle and a pouch of loose skin on her belly. The scar is not mentioned in The Guardian’s article but I would guess it is the result of a skin reduction surgery. What the article does mention is the young woman’s 60 pound weight loss at the age of 13. I imagine the skin at her stomach is not a “roll of stomach fat” as stated in the article but skin that had been stretched out and lost its elasticity. That bit of loose skin is what made my day.
It has been difficult for me to get used to my new smaller shape. Part of the difficulty lies in a tremendous amount of deflated skin around my middle. I would much rather live with my current shape and reduced weight, but I would be lying if I said the flab doesn’t bother me. I guess all along I assumed that life at my goal weight would be free and easy. I figured there would be no reason to keep Spanx on hand. I assumed that the only thing keeping me from wearing a bikini would be the ridiculousness of a person with my complexion exposing that much skin to the sun. Yet here I am the proud owner of a shimmering silver lining complete with its own cloud.
Lizzie Miller photographed by Walter Chin as pictured in the September issue of US Glamour Photograph: Walter Chin/Glamour
There is Lizzie Miller, stunning at 5′ 11 and 175 pounds and only 20 years old. She took control of her weight at a young age then worked hard in pursuit of a career in the fashion industry. I wish the article featured more of her personal story. It primarily points out industry standards at the time deemed her too large to model even plus size fashions. I am grateful that Glamour ran this story and The Guardian picked it up. I feel less alone with my flab knowing that this woman probably understands my Spanx wearing bikini-less wardrobe.
Are you living a Spanx-wearing bikini-less healthy life? Shout it loud and proud and share your story in the comments!