Do Tall Women Have to be Thin to be Beautiful?

I was leisurely browsing through my Facebook news feed tonight and spotted this, what I thought to be a smoking hot, photo:

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“You’d hate me wearing that, would you!”, I teased my partner, expecting a lusty comment of appreciation. I wasn’t quite prepared for his answer: “Oh, I am not too sure! This picture isn’t really doing it for me”.

There was I, confused and intrigued. Surely, this perfect body dressed in a more than revealing dress (net, rather!) would leave any man drooling?? Well, not mine.

“A shapeless model doesn’t help”, he added. He was turned off by the model being too skinny…

Which led to no sale. I hope you are reading this, Long Tall Sally‘s marketing team? This dress, which got so much appreciation from tall UK women, didn’t end up in my shopping basket… because the model was too thin.

Which got me thinking and musing…

Do tall women have to be slim and thin to be considered beautiful?

Call this stereotyping, but a tall woman is normally expected to be slim and/or thin. Which I never have been. I have always struggled with the fact that my hips are large, and whatever size I am, they always will be. I used to be a size 14 about 15 years ago, and still hated my hips (especially in contrast with those skinny, skinny legs!).

I am now a happy size 18. Or not that happy. But I can firmly say that now, at the age of 43, I have accepted that this is my size, and it probably won’t change. Not in the foreseeable future. Not for the lack of trying, but, I’d say, for the love of biscuits. And for refusing to suffer!

Yes, my self esteem has always been the lowest of the low – for this same reason, combined with my, what used to be perceived as ridiculous, height. It didn’t help that I’d been married (for far too many years) to someone who used any excuse to remind me how big my bum was, that I had to lose weight and stop eating cake. Anyone guessing what happened to that marriage at all?

I just can’t help but remember this meme I recently saw (on Facebook, as usual):

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He’s still alive – just in case anyone is wondering. While I, in the meantime, had two kids and have been wearing the same size for over twelve years. Which to me is good enough (but clearly not good enough to my ex). As for my current partner, the first time I realised he liked me was when he made me a compliment under this photo (which still makes me cringe looking at my hips and waist!!):

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Yes, I will never be a model (gulp, horror!). But I am who I am. And, believe it or not, there is now a man in my life who loves me like this, with the extra few pounds that I will always carry.

So, back to my initial point… Do fashion brands need to use skinny models in their catalogues? Do you, Long Tall Sally? I am a fan of that brand, OK, which is pretty clear to anyone who follows my female fashion posts. Looking at LTS’ photos, though, I cannot quite identify with their models. Neither can I accept the idea that even skinny, perfectly looking women, might have to lose a couple of inches off her hips to be accepted as their models. After all, everyone nowadays bangs on about body confidence, so do thin models help? Or do they just reaffirm the stereotype that tall equals thin, therefore beautiful?

Having said all this, I have to give Long Tall Sally credit for teaming up with a “plus” tall fashion blogger – Bree Wijnaar, also known as The Tall Society. Now, that is what I’d call a positive change towards celebrating your body. Well done for that, ladies! So, next step is featuring plus models in your official catalogue shoots maybe? Who knows, an established (curvy!) tall fashion blogger from the UK may volunteer to help!

And oh, this last sentence is to be read in sarcastic tone – for those who didn’t get it! 🙂

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