Proud To Be A Sexy Size 16 Model

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    September 21, 2006

    THE skinny models debate has dominated this year's London Fashion Week.
    But stunning plus-size model Charlotte Coyle, 24, has been campaigning for healthy catwalk stars since earlier this year.
    Read on to find out about her battle with the fashion world.
    [​IMG] At 5ft 11ins and size 16-18, I thought I was much too big to get into the modelling industry - until I was spotted working in a hair salon in the US.
    In America plus-size models are in high demand and I easily got plenty of work, but when my visa ran out I came back to the UK expecting to continue my career.
    Once here, I encountered so much prejudice against my size I decided to do a Fat Beauty Contest TV show to raise awareness on the issue.
    The programme was a roaring success but privately I was having a battle with my agent over my weight.
    She said: 'You are a really beautiful looking girl but we need you to lose eight inches off your body.'
    Super-slim ... catwalk model Lily Cole

    I measured myself all the time and watched what I ate but I soon realised the slimming was affecting my self-esteem.
    Eventually I told the agent I couldn't work with her anymore and signed up to a new one who shares my view on what a plus-size model should look like.
    The truth is, most 'plus-size' models used in ads are not really that big.
    The fashion houses want girls who are size 12 or 14 to model their larger ranges. They aren't big, they are normal sized!
    It must be frustrating for any woman walking around a plus-size shop to see that most of the models showing off the clothes are only a size 12.
    While researching the Fat Beauty Contest show I spoke to a lot of designers who said it would be too expensive to make plus-size ranges.
    But I think they are too scared to make the step out on their own.
    It would be amazing for a designer to go against the rest of the industry and run a big campaign. There is so much pressure on the models to get thin. I had one 'straight-size' model friend in New York who just ate vegetables and water. She would get bad mood swings because of her diet.
    Now she's given up modelling, put on weight and become a size 14 - she looks and feels fantastic.
    Women with healthy bodies should be celebrated, not made to feel bad.
    When I see girls of my size walking around with their heads down, looking uncomfortable, it makes me feel so sad. I hope the recent debate signals a backlash, that opinions in the industry could be changing.
    Young girls growing up need positive role models in fashion - it's shocking that some girls of seven are being treated for anorexia.

    The fashion industry has to take some of the responsibility for that.
    Just the other day I was at a London Fashion Week show. Some of the models on the catwalk were naturally thin and looked beautiful.
    But there were others who appeared to be suffering from anorexia.
    I am so glad the debate about skinny models on the catwalk is raging.
    I will keep trying to spread the message that people should be happy with themselves regardless of what size they are.[​IMG]
  2. I'm going to be torn to shreds, but I kind of disagree with part of this article. I do not think she is the picture of health, nor do I believe in her picture of health. To me being healthy is when your body is at an optimal level of function. This means eating right, exercising right, sleeping right, just maintaining a level of conciousness of your body in healthy terms. I'm sorry, but while she has her own beauty, which everyone has and is entitled to, I don't find her any more healthy then the skinny models she was talking about.
  3. No where does she mention balancing a healthy work out in addition to eating right. It's not a one way road. But that's my opinion. If she did exercise, walk around, etc. and still stayed her size, then to me she is having a healthy lifestyle. But I don't think she has one therefore I think her no better then the "super skinny" models.
  4. To some extent I agree with you--if she worked out and ate healthily, but was still a size sixteen, then I would say that she was a positive role model. One point that I do agree with her is that the industry SHOULD choose size 16-18 models for their plus-size range. I don't think it is fair to larger women to have "average" size women modelling clothes that are meant for "above-average" size women.
  5. I think you should be who you are and be happy with that. Eating right and being conscious of a healthy lifestyle is great, but that doesn't mean that we are going to turn into a size 2 from doing that. Everyone's body type is different. We don't know this model for her decision to stay a size 16. There are so many models out there starving themselves for this body that is many times unrealistic.

    Some people naturally are skinny. Some are healthy, some aren't. If you're naturally skinny, good for you. But I don't think that every model should have to put themselves through fad diets to get to where the naturally skinny girls are.

    We've made tremendous movements in Plus Size modeling. Let's remember that the average female is a size 12 not a size 2. I'm looking for people like me when I search for clothing. Hopefully the strides we have made will move into main stream clothing. I want to see which designer is going to designer for someone over a size 12 (I believe most RTW is under that size).

    Oh yea, let me be clear here. I believe that skinny people have this idea that all fat people are eating McDonalds and sitting on the couch all day. That is not the case with EVERY FAT PERSON. I can go into this all day, but if some wants to test me and tell me that fat people are lazy which is why they are fat, go for it.
  6. I agree with you. I am happy to see that she is doing something to combat the models with eating disorders,and she is proud for her wieght but she looks <b>really</b> overwieght..come on size 16?. I agree with you how being healthy is when your body is at optimal level,and when you take care of yourself by eating healthy. She is sort of being a hypocrite because she is talking about how all the super skinny models arent being healthy while she looks like she is developing a double chin..
  7. I agree with you both, we need to have more 16-18 plus size models, but I don't think she's a role model per se'. What's this about a Fat Beauty contest? I don't see what's positive in that, in that being referring it as a "Fat Beauty contest" especially herself referring to that. I also don't believe in a "normal size, which she referred to as 10-12". There's just so many different people and sizes to have a general catagory. I don't know I think its all contradictory in this article.
  8. i think incredibly skinny people are as unhealthy as the overweight. there is just an entirely different stigma attached. now, bear in mind, i'm saying this as a fairly overweight girl myself. the model shown is beautiful. i can relate to her. i don't feel bad about myself when i look at her. i DO feel bad when i'm shopping and see models that are a size i could NEVER be. it's depressing.
    elongreach, you make a good point. i'm a size 18 right now and haven't touched mcdonald's or a majority of fast food in years. i exercise as much as i can with the medical problems i have (part of my lung is damaged, which makes exercise extremely hard for long periods of time). but, i do the best i can. i don't deny my weight. yes, i'm fat. but i'm working against a few odds.
    but even in stores like lane bryant, there's a difference between the girls wearing the 16/18 and the 26+. both plus size, but they get entirely different looks from customers (and employees).
    i just figure everyone should be happy with how they are. if you don't like it, change it. end of story. if you love yourself as a size 2 or size 20, i'm happy for you.
  9. Average is a word that means the middle. Most people fall into that range. Most people ARE a size 10 or 12. That's a fact, not just something that she pulled out of her head.
  10. heck, just go to a store that has a broad range of clothing sizes. look and see which sizes are gone first. usually the 10-14's are gone first. must mean people are wearing them over the 0 and 2's that are usually left.
  11. I agree that there are all different sizes, but I think that there should still be a level of activity, not for looks, but fully for the actual person to reap the benefits of such a style. For instance, I remember that there was this coach with a weight condition, and some referred to her as fat, BUT little did they now that she could easily run 6 miles. To me she may be a size whatever, but she still maintains a healthy lifestyle. I'm not saying that everyone who isn't a size two eats mac donalds all day, but there are some who could do with some fitness for their own health, without face value. And something that may be average may not be normal, I think those are two entirely different terms being applied here.
  12. I think healthy is considered as eating right and excersing right. There are alot of things that can happen to your body when you are overweight or underweight. Some people are naturally larger, but if they are eating right and excersing regulary, then that's fine. Some people are naturally skinny, also. As long as your health is well and you are happy with yourself, then that's all that matters.
  13. Good post! I'm right with you.

    kallison423, I'm an incredibly skinny person. I'm 5'7" and built like the models you see in magazines. I'm perfectly healthy.
  14. okay, edit it then to say: MOST skinny people are unhealthy. sheesh.

  15. But you don't know what that model is doing. Believe it or not, but it takes work to maintain a size. She's probably working out, but she's not going overboard. I know plenty of small models who do crazy things to stay that size. Petra Nemcova has come out and talked about her issues with staying a certain size.

    Yes, not all fat people work out. But not all fat people are fat just to be fat. I want people to learn that. People look at someone and make a decision on that person before they even say a word to them. Being a size 16 doesn't make you unhealthy. It just means you're a size 16. Being a size 2 doesn't make you healthy. It just makes you a size 2. That size 2 could be doing the exact same thing an unhealthy fat person is.

    Let's promote healthy lifestyles. Let's not bring down people because they may not be what society thinks is beautiful.