Body diversity

Time to recognize more body types than thin and plus-size, writer says

Amy Schumer accepts the award for Most Valuable Person in Film and TV during the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California January 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - RTX22TFK

Trying to keep up with what body type fits into which category can be especially difficult, Kelsey Miller argues in a piece for Refinery29, but it shouldn’t be. Miller notes that a few weeks ago when Amy Schumer turned up in Glamour magazine’s “Chic At Every Size” issue, basically everyone’s head was sent spinning. Is Amy Schumer, who was featured between the likes of Ashley Graham, Adele and Melissa McCarthy, really plus-size?! Even Schumer weighed in, criticizing the magazine for labeling women plus-size. The magazine responded by saying it never actually called Schumer plus-size.

But still, the debate was raging. And Miller, who describes herself as plus-size, says the “mass befuddlement” surrounding body types has vexed her and others for a long time. In fact, what helped her make sense of the mystery was an essay titled “Ode to the Medium Size Woman” written by Isabel Foxen Duke, an eating and body image coach. Miller declared that Schumer is a medium-size woman, and that there should be a range of body types that are accepted and articulated in the mass media. She spoke with Duke about matters of body classification, and Duke concurred with her. “I absolutely think we’re making progress,” Duke told Miller. “Adding medium-sized women into the media mix is a hell of a lot better than continuing to limit ourselves to straight-sized images only.” But Duke cautioned, society — and the media — still has a long way to go until all body types gain equal acceptance.

Read the full story at Refinery29.

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