They go on about how "The Real Woman" has curves. Reality check, not all real women do.
The average woman can be thin as well as medium or full figured, so using "the plus size" as a representative for the normal body is at best inaccurate.
Also, there is a much greater number of skinny models being used for regular fashion spreads, commercials and so on, and on the other side, mostly amateur, regular people for the "curvy woman" articles. Thus, giving us the impression that anything other than straight figures aren't model material, and therefore less fabulous and desirable.
Research stated that when thin women looked at pictures of thin or full figured women, it didn't change how they felt about themselves. But larger women on the other hand felt worse about their apperance when looking at pictures of women of the same size or larger.
I believe this is a result of the fashion industry not using equally talented "models" to represent both groups (Thin vs. curvy).
The professional model knows how to pose, create beautiful angles, and express emotion. Not everyone can do that!
I have seen great models make cellulite beautiful, wobbly bits sexy and disproportion interestingly attractive.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, that people identify with appearances of similarity to their own and therefore jump to the conclusion that they look the same. So, if you see a pretty person that has features resembling your own, you might think "Hmmm.. maybe I'm not so bad?", Or on the other side you have the "Omg! Do I look like that? I will only wear black tents from now on!"
In a perfect world we would find everyone to be of equal beauty. But for some annoying reason, we are not made that way.
It seems that a bigger variation of models is better for our self esteem. So, to do some damage control (After the unforgiving photo-camera was invented), maybe some jobs are better left to the professionals? I'm not saying the magazines should stop making their "What a real woman looks like" articles, but perhaps use a more variated selection. More importantly, start using talented models of all shapes, sizes and colors on a more regular basis.
There are many opinions about what a body should look like, but I feel it's important to remember that there is such a thing as preferences and genetics.
A thin woman should be allowed to feel pride in her figure without getting nagged about promoting an unhealthy body image, and a full figured one should not have to take dieting advice from every angle.
Just chill, and let the body just be a body. Trying to fit everyone into the same mould is not a very good idea, especially since the mould keeps changing.
All the photos in this post are random pictures from Tumbler or borrowed from Google. Unknown source.)
60% of the worlds female population are more or less pear-shaped, most of The Hollywood celebrities are Lollipop-ladies and almost all models are Cornets, Columns or Bricks. No wonder we get a little confused about what's "normal".