Originally runway models were not supposed to represent women - they were supposed to represent hangers. They were intended to be thin enough for the clothes to drape on them and for the attention to be focused on the design not the model. People understood that but then media changed and the "supermodels" came about. This should have been somewhat positive as they were not just "hangers" they had bodies. They were the "ideal" in some ways. They had bouncy hair, great skin and let's face it they looked good in and in not so many clothes. Somehow though they morphed from the ideal (and even then diversity was lacking), forgetting that this was their job, that to maintain this look to they worked at it (through good and bad habits) and most of all that they were not the average person. It is like admiring the Ferrari driving by - not necessarily the car you will end up with but still stop and enjoy the view.
Somehow their looks and those of others became what young women, and some young men, decided they needed to be but in extremes. It was no longer about copying the look but about copying the body, the hair and of not seeing yourself as beautiful unless you were them.
It is good to look at and take from fashion images things that can highlight things that you already have. It is great to want to be in good shape and be a healthy weight and exercise. You do not have to be crossfit muscular unless you want to be in order to learn to like what you see in the mirror. The uber thin or conversely the over fit (yes you can do that in extremes too) is not sustainable and has serious negative impact on the physical and psychological.
It does not help that clothes are really geared at keeping this myth going. The sizes mean nothing - one brand size 2 is another brand's 4 or even 6. Who cares what size a tag on the inside of your clothes says??? I mean besides you!! You are not defined by that number and what I think is a pity is that designers (at all ends of the spectrum) haven't see the financial windfall that is being missed by creating clothes for more than the 2-8 or even 10 crowd. I look at sales racks all the time, can't help it I am a New Yorker which means a bargain is a must have part of the shopping experience, and the majority of what is left are not the 10 and up but rather the 6 and under.
We need clothes to not be shamed with the "plus size" mantra ... I mean seriously even if you are plus size do you need the store to remind you in their name ? Those clothes choices should come with good cut, good fabric and yes those folks in the double digits like trends too. There was a controversy recently about Glamour designating a plus size edition. They had a good idea - remind people that women look different, that some have more back and some have bellies and that we are not perfect but putting them in a different issue does not do that - it singles you out in a negative way. If they wanted to showcase this concept just have models of different sizes in their regular issue.
I look at the beauty of those women in magazines and I admire it. I have friends who look like that and I am always thrilled to see how awesome they look in the latest and greatest. I just want to know that all women, and men, understand that we are more the Jeep than the Ferrari and that doesn't make us less valuable. We should strive to look good, put together and not like we gave up by wearing clothes that look like our pjs. If you can feel good about looking for a dress, a blouse and then you put it on and do not have to do joint displacement moves to get it on you get more confident, you get to feel that you are not hiding behind those clothes but shining for what you bring to the table when you wear them.
We need not to be shaming each other but embracing our different goals for beauty and for that we need to not be categorized by a number on a tag on the inside of our clothes.