the a-z of body image in 2015

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this week we’re looking right at you. Kicking Size Matters Week off with a big body positive bang, we discover the drama surrounding our bodies. From Drop the Plus and #curvy, to in betweenies and...

by i-D Staff
24 November 2015, 4:11pm

A is for Ashley Graham. The inspirational model who's been tirelessly campaigning for a more body positive future with Alda -- the collective she founded that helps empower women by challenging their perception of beauty. We love you Ashley!

B is for Beach Body Ready. The infamous slogan that accompanied those bright yellow ads for a meal-replacement protein drink. The ads infuriated women everywhere by suggesting that only certain body types look good in a bathing suit.

C is for #curvy. The body positive hashtag which was reinstated to Instagram after numerous people complained. (RIP eggplant emoji - it's still banned)

D is for Drop the Plus. The online campaign that calls for the emancipation of women's bodies from arbitrary categories like 'plus size' and 'sample'. Models are more than just a body type; they're individual women and should be treated as such.

E is for Empowerment. Regaining control over your own body and presenting it in a way that doesn't conform to what society thinks is acceptable is one of the most empowering things you can do as a women. Your body, your rules!

F is for Free the Nipple. The campaign which calls for the desexualization of women's areolas. Why should male nips be allowed to roam wild and free when girls need to censor theirs with emojis for fear of getting their social media accounts shut down?

G is for ain't just a G thang. As in, contrary to popular belief, it's not just girls who experience body issues. Boys can feel self-conscious, have major hang-ups, and even suffer from body dysmorphia, too.

H is for The feminist website set up by Australian actress Caitlin Stasey which features photos of proud naked women from all around the world, accompanied by inspiring interviews. Free your mind, body and spirit.

I is for Inbetweenie. Too thin for plus size too big for sample, inbetweenie is the ridiculous new label given to all those models who didn't fit some arbitrary mould designed to objectify and belittle their bodies -- like Calvin Klein campaign star Myla Dalbesio.

J is for Jordan Bone. The wheelchair-bound make-up artist and disability activist who proves that beauty goes beyond what's on the outside.

K is for Kardashians. Love them or hate them, with their curvy bodies, they disrupt the narrative that you have to be thin to be beautiful. Yes, they've altered their looks and bodies through various procedures, but in doing so they clearly feel empowered. Do we have the right to judge?

L is for Love yourself. Acceptance must first come from within.

M is for Mannequins. As we learned recently, mannequins usually come with impossible-to-achieve Barbie-like proportions, with male mannequins muscley to the max. Some variety, please!

N is for Naomi Shimada. The model who said 'fuck you' to dieting continues to break the model mold whether the haters were down with it or not. Follow her on Snapchat for a daily pick-me-up!

O is for Objectification. From boys to brands, don't let anyone objectify you. Be in charge of how you're represented; be own kind of beautiful, stand out from the norm, and don't conform to someone else's image of you.

P is for Plus size. A term that has divided many. While most models don't want to be reduced to just a body type, others are plus size and proud, and don't let a word define who they are.

Q is for Queen Bey's Pretty Hurts.

R is for Redefining beauty. The more diversity we're exposed to on the catwalk and in campaigns, the more we'll be able to challenge our perception of beauty.

S is for Stefania Ferreira. The Australian model model and Drop the Plus campaigner.

T is for Tess Holliday. The size 26 model and #effyourbeautystandards campaigner who is taking on the industry on her own terms.

U is for Underwear. Forget bra burning, it's all about feminist lingerie. Brands such as Neon Moon are designed to support and give comfort to women's bodies, empowering women and relieving them of society's pressure to look a certain way. 

V is for Vaginas. All girls have them so why is talking about them so stigmatized?

W is for Weight. That BMI calculator that said you were overweight probably isn't that accurate after all. Originally designed for looking at trends in the health of large groups -- such as spotting an obesity epidemic -- it doesn't really work for individuals who aren't of an average height. Health and happiness > facts and figures.

X is for XXL. Because beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Y is for Your body, your rules. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Z is for Zzzzz. As in we're so over all your body shaming bullshit, so don't even try it.


Text Francesca Dunn and Tish Weinstock
Photography Courtney Emery

size matters
Tish Weinstock
francesca dunn
a-z guide
drop the plus