Just recently, Cosmopolitan released an article that caused quite a stir. My Facebook newsfeed was blowing up with heated discussion for the entire week that it was published, and with good reason. In one of their most recent issues, Cosmo put out an article about Robyn Lawley and her swimwear clothing line. The magazine labeled the model as “plus-size” in the write up. This caused a palpable uproar in the internet world. The article became an internet sensation overnight, creating outcries of indignation from women and men from all corners of the ring. A Facebook friend of mine “shared” the article on his page with a rather outraged post along with it. His thoughts illustrate the tone of the majority of feedback this article received.
This would not be the first time the media has fed the public harmful messages about how women should look. The idea of what “skinny” looks like did not definitely start with Cosmo, and certainly was not created by this article. So many trends in the media have affected the way our generation understands body image. I personally believe that this is just a phase in our history. The ideal way a woman should look has changed over time, and will continue to change. What is viewed as “socially acceptable” and “desirable” in society will be forever transforming and reinventing itself. In the 1950’s, women killed to look like the classic pin-up model…huge tits and a sizeable ass—the Marilyn Monroe wannabes, if you will. The hourglass figure became a coveted and universally understood sign of femininity and sexuality. The 60’s and 70’s experienced a drastic change in taste when Lesley Hornbe hit the modeling scene. Dubbed, “Twiggy,” for her rail-like figure, Hornbe epitomizes women’s obsession with being super skinny at the time. The 80’s: Madonna, big shoulder pads, even bigger hair. Physical fitness was pushed, and women aimed to be toned yet not too muscular. Then, in the 1990’s, models like Kate Moss brought about a wave of extreme thinness. The goal was emaciated and skeletal. Let’s now jump to the 21st century. We are living in a time where standards are what you want them to be. Ideals for impossible thinness are clearly still out there, but then you have strong, beautiful women like Jennifer Lawrence who campaigns for acceptance of the body, bread and potatoes.
What do you think, readers? Should Cosmo be punished for their insensitively perpetuated idea of the female body? (Read the article here.) Anxiously awaiting your reply.
Until next time,