Home > Uncategorized, Visual Culture > PLUS Model Magazine Ads Attack Hyper Thin Body Ideals

PLUS Model Magazine Ads Attack Hyper Thin Body Ideals

I feel obligated to comment on the PLUS Model Magazine ad campaign.  This is being labeled as a controversy -for what?  Telling the truth?  I took issue with the ongoing, constant domination of the fashion advertising industry last summer with my Praxiteles Muse series.  Jean Kilbourne has been fighting misogynistic media messages in advertising in her ongoing Killing Us Softly series for many years; see the complete third edition here.  I believe she has a fourth version out currently.

I’m the same size as the model in the ads, actually.  (I’m sure she has better clothes, with less paint splatters and ink on them.)  The dominant control of advertising and media being a form of power concentrated in the hands of the few is in flux right now.  Today’s world is an interactive world; an unprecedented number of people have a voice in the media through the internet.  This is my soap box, and I come down in favor of these ads, and Janeane Garofalo, who solemnly promised she would keep the weight on, even if she had to hire a trainer to make her eat.  Three cheers to Katya Zharkova for her spunk.

A magazine dedicated to plus-size fashion and models has sparked controversy with a feature claiming that most runway models meet the Body Mass Index criteria for anorexia.

Accompanied by a bold shoot that sees a nude plus-size model posing alongside a skinny ‘straight-size’ model, PLUS Model Magazine says it aims to encourage plus-size consumers to pressure retailers to better cater to them, and stop promoting a skinny ideal.

Size 12 (U.S.) model Katya Zharkova, 28, stars in the shoot, which has a powerful statistic accompanying each image.


  1. February 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing. I am confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

    • February 8, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Hello Cordell,

      Thank you for the compliment.

      Actually, Jean Kilbourn has been working on the subject of negative portrayal of women in advertising for decades now. Jean Kilbourne is on the fourth release of her documentary series “Killing Us Softly”. You can watch all of version three on my blog; it is under Visual Culture, I put YouTube clips in order. Many people have been addressing the damage done by media and advertising for many years: Jackson Katz, Sut Jhally, Dr. Mary Pipher, etc. This isn’t a new topic, it’s just at a crisis level now.

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