PLUS Model Magazine ran an eye-opening feature spread of plus size model Katya Zharkova, accompanied by a series of shocking statistics about how the average size and weight of models has changed over the last two decades.
Their feature raises a number of pressing questions about how we have come to view the ideal female figure, and reminds us that there was a time when models were not expected to be stick thin and starved for protein.
Scroll down to see the stunning images, beautifully rendered by photographer Victoria Janashvill, who has generously allowed Aplus to share them with you, along with some excerpts from the story.
"Ten years ago plus-size models averaged between size 12 and 18," the article notes.
"The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14, while the customers continue to express their dissatisfaction," the editors add.
"Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia."
"50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller."
"If we continue to ignore and rely on others to decide what we want to see, change will never happen. We have to be vocal and proactive, patient and realistic," they warn.
No one should be encouraged to starve themselves or hate their bodies because they don't match up to the unrealistic, photoshopped fictions that decorate our ads and tabloids. We would all do well to embrace a more realistic, natural, and positive attitude toward our bodies.
Photographer Victoria Janashvill says she hopes body-awereness campaigns like this one help curvier women feel more accepted. "I don't like the label 'plus size' in general," she says. "Some women are curvier, some women are skinnier, some shorter, some taller. I think there's beauty in all."
Check out PLUS Model Magazine for intelligent stories on these and related topics, not to mention some terrific photography. And be sure to visit the home page of photographer Victoria Janashvill to see more of her magnificent work.