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plus models

Recently, another body image-related debate has surfaced that raises the question:

“Do Plus Models HAVE to Get Nude to Get Noticed? Is it necessary to post scantily-clad or nude photos of themselves on social media to boost their careers and be successful?”

There are models who post many images of themselves in lingerie or nude on their personal (and public) social media accounts and have a huge following so this leads other models to think that’s what they have to do in order to be discovered and get more work.

The irony of this is that the same models who post sexy images then talk to the media about their bodies being over-sexualized by society and their bodies being treated as “fetishes”. That sends a confusing message to young girls and women on body image and the world of modeling.

While your body is your body, the question is, what does this mean for a model’s career and how she is viewed in the industry? Is it working in her favor or being detrimental to her career?

Recently, Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista spoke with model/host/entertainer Chenese Lewis for an article that Denee wrote on her blog, focusing on models size 18+ that should be seen more in campaigns. When asked about this topic, Lewis stated:

“A long time ago, I tried to do a project with models over a size 18 and had a hard time finding quality pics because all of the bigger girls were being too overly sexual.”

During a time where women are calling for more size diversity in campaigns, this is yet another facet of this important conversation that needs to continue to be discussed.

Inspirational body acceptance site Healthy is the New Skinny is also asking these questions and challenging the belief that your sexiness defines your confidence. And how you are not just a body, you are a being.

This week, they asked the following question via their Facebook page to models who choose to not post sexy photos to their Instagram accounts:

“Why don’t you post “sexy photos” on Instagram?”

Model Germaine Nichols of Natural Models Management responded with a short video that was featured on Healthy is the New Skinny’s Facebook page to which they said:

“In our media driven society we are seeing models being pressured to gain a large Instagram following in order to book modeling jobs. Because of this new requirement, young girls are feeling pressure to resort to the one thing that gets your followers up fast; sexy photos! We want girls to feel confident in their skin but also know the difference between self love and the sexualization of their bodies for Instagram followers. We loved when Germaine said that she doesn’t need to show her body in order to know her value. Our bodies are amazing and having a healthy relationship with your body is important. Hope this post inspires you to realize that you can post whatever you want but just know that your value doesn’t come from the number of people following you! If it doesn’t feel right to you then don’t post it no matter what other people are doing.”

Germaine quote image

PMM spoke exclusively with successful plus model Liris Crosse on her thoughts on this topic:

“I don’t feel I have to post sexy pics to advance my career. Actually in the plus modeling world, it’s more commercial if anything so you want more ‘smiley’ photos. Overall, I just try to post great images period. I know because of my body, I have the lingerie and swimsuit lane that I go after but I try to only post those type of things when I’m working those actual jobs or if it’s a tearsheet from a print job. I try to remain sexy but classy when I do.”

Also, being a woman of color, I can’t post the same oversexed pics that some do and get the same respect. I just can’t. Honestly, I’ve made more money with my clothes on than off! <laughs> I am a sexy gal but I must play that fine line. Just because I have a bodacious booty, it doesn’t mean I should pose to the camera, butt first every time. You advertise what you want people to see in you. I want them to see a great model who can work the camera with personality and who’s smart. You have to play that fine line and I have to be responsible to those who look up to me.”

Liris Daily Mail image

Model Liris Crosse

PMM Editor-in-Chief Madeline Jones weighs in on this topic as well:

“It’s sad to say but the plus size community has done this to itself. We seem to only applaud for women who are either showing all of their rolls and cellulite or those with an “ideal” hourglass figure and are showing it off. We don’t seem to appreciate fashion and true role models who are not about showing their bodies but inspire with words and experiences. There is still a percentage of the community that want to see the integrity brought back to the plus size industry but our voices are drowning among the ‘overly sexualized’ images that seem to get most of the attention.”

What do you think? We want to know. Leave your comments below and let’s talk about this important issue.

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