Ashley Graham, other plus-size models accused of normalising obesity

American model Ashley Graham
American model Ashley Graham

New Delhi : The well-known American model, Ashley Graham is yet again in the limelight for her body and weight. The model, along with other plus-size models is being charged of 'normalising' Obesity and causing people to misjudge their own weight as a result of promoting body positivity in the fashion industry. Sociologists from the University of East Anglia said it could undermine efforts to embark upon the obesity epidemic where more than three in five Britons are overweight or obese.

Many fashion-oriented companies now design plus-size collections which cater to women sized between 18 and 32. Associate Professor Dr Raya Muttarak from the University of East Anglia said, “By introducing a new design and styling tailored for plus-size customers and using carefully selected fabrics complementing fuller figures, Curve primarily contributes to promoting body positivity. While this type of body-positive movement helps reduce stigmatisation of larger-sized bodies, it can potentially undermine the recognition of being overweight and its health consequences.”

The study published in the journal, Obesity, warned that misperception about weight has increased in England. Prof Muttarak added, “Seeing the huge potential of the fuller-sized fashion market, retailers may have contributed to the normalisation of being overweight and obese. The increase in weight misperception in England is alarming and possibly a result of this normalisation.”

In general, those underestimating their weight are 85 per cent less likely to try to lose weight compared to people who accurately identified their weight status. The study relates to the data collected from the annual Health Survey for England, which contains a question on weight perception. It focused on respondents with a BMI of 25 or over, about two-thirds were classified as being overweight and one-third as obese.