Just days after plus-size model Crystal Renn was featured in French Vogue stuffing her face, GQ puts together a sexy spread of Indian actress and super-skinny model Freida Pinto daintly cutting up a pomegranate. Disgusting? Hardly. But the only reason these pictures catch flack is because they grossly confirm the fears of fans who accused Renn of reinforcing the stereotype that plus-size figures are noshing pigs.
“WHY SHOULD HEALTHY WOMEN EATING LOOK DISGUSTING?”
“So edgy and inventive having a plus size model devouring food!” one commenter sarcastically writes after seeing Renn’s so-called ‘pornographic’ food photos. “What I hate the most is the way food is photographed: it looks so bad, like she is eating rubbish, blood, unhealthy food.”
The reader adds…
“When skinny models are portrayed eating (and not just covered in food or having food as stunts) the food looks delicious, their bites are so small. This is pornographic, not happy. Why should healthy women eating look this disgusting? I hate this.”
The shaking fingers from fans were appalled by Renn’s smorgasbord of squid, sausage and meat. And the reader who called the photos (a collaboration of Renn’s with photographer Terry Richardson) “pornographic” was days away from being proven right.
SKINNY MODEL FREIDA PINTO JOINS MAKES EATING SEXY
Opposite of Crystal Renn’s gorging fest, Freida Pinto makes the dicing of fruit sexy, appealing and attractive. There’s nothing disgusting about her use of a knife saucily slicing up a pom. Remember Racheal Ray’s sexy kitchen photoshoot? The TV personality and cook donned sexy aprons and used food as props for her spread in FHM. Or when actress Megan Fox posed in a tiny, red bikini while gently sucking a cherry?
All of these images reinforce the myth that plus-size figures (which are much more normal in “real life” than “plus-size models”) eat anything they want, are unhealthy and negligent of taking care of their bodies. Plus-size model Chenese Lewis, also spokesperson for the Binge Eating Disorder Association, speaks often about common stereotypes against fuller figures.
“I think people associate the word ‘plus-size’ with fat and unhealthy,” says the former Miss Plus-Size America and President of Hollywood NOW, adding the point that it’s ‘unfairly stereotyped’. “There’s a major misconception that if someone is plus-sized that they have let themselves go or don’t care about themselves.”
For Lewis, she’s says it’s “simply not true” and believes that for most of the women in American you can be healthy and active and “not be skinny”.
PLUS-SIZE MODELS VS. PLUS-SIZE WOMEN
Speaking directly to the point that Renn doesn’t even like to be labeled a “plus-size model”, Chenese says she understands the confusion that lay between the real world and what the media represents when it comes to plus-size modeling and true plus-size culture.
“Unfortunately, a plus size model and a plus size woman are two different things,” she says. “In the modeling industry plus size models start at a size 8, in real life a plus size women starts around a size 14…So, in some ways it is weird that she has to be labeled as plus sized to have a modeling career…”
She adds, “Although the plus industry is booming and plus models are becoming more popular, there is still a long way to go.”