11 July 2012 by

Why Are People Calling Kate Upton Fat?

Look at this image of model Kate Upton and consider this: what is normal? What is ‘real’? Because to me, she is neither. Kate Upton is thin. So why are people calling her fat?

Now there was a time, probably circa 2009, when Kate Upton would have been immune to such scrutiny. As a size 8, she was aspirationally proportioned. Thin, in most people’s books, or ‘hot’ in my boyfriend’s. But now, as the plus-sized model debate continues apace, she has become the subject of a rather hateful slew of blog debates over her figure.

One, appropriately titled ‘Skinny Gossip’, was at the centre of the furore saying: ‘She looks like a squishy brick. Is this what American women are 'striving' for now? The lazy, lardy look? Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for?’

Ouch. Now consider this: while Skinny Gossip is hardly a worthy yardstick for positive body image (its creator writes ‘I’m 5’7″’ and ‘around 100 lbs’ in her bio such is its importance) that it’s even become a ‘thing’ is unnerving. Even Kate, who eats burgers (and is photographed doing so), has boobs and a rather fetching curve to her figure, isn’t normal. She isn’t even average. She’s slim, thin even. And a thumb through the recent issue of American GQ proves it. Since when did a size 8 fall into the ‘real woman’ category, let alone be classed as fat?

When the plus-sized debate first came to fruition a few years ago – when Vogue Italia put larger models on the cover, and Crystal Renn (then a size 12-14) was a regular on the catwalk – there seemed to be a discernible difference between catwalk models, Victoria’s Secret models and the plus-sized models. Few of us felt comfortable to comment on what those differences were, but casting Kate Upton into the category of ‘plus-sized’ models wouldn’t have happened.

So what’s changed? Have we got thinner? Has our idea of what is normal, real or big changed so dramatically? Are we going through a Size-volution in which a size 8 is now normal and a size 4 is aspirational? It beggars belief but as long as this narrow-minded beauty ideal exists, we’re all doomed to being objectified by the likes of Skinny Gossip.


Comments

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Eva Catherine Harding (Sun Jan 13 20:54:35 GMT 2013): size 8, same as my Mum, everyone asks her how she stays so skinny. Beyond comprehension how size 8 could be considered 'plus size'...
Lecia Parker (Sat Jan 19 03:39:00 GMT 2013): It scary that we went from marilyn monroe sexy with boobs,hips &curves to kate moss emaniated look. Ppl say she's kate uptons size 8 figure is vulgar, trashy...victoria secret called her "obvious"...ummm.you mean real??when we can get grossed out & sling words around like lardy & fat at the mere sight of full boobs& thicker thighs and butt that has some padding and a waist that can't be spanned thumb to thumb & THHATS sudenly too "obvious" and grotesque?yet we look at these skinny victoria models with tiny boobs pushed up in a bra,protruding hipbones and pointy shoulder blades with knooby knock knees...and that's sexy? That pre-puberty look is what SHOULD DISTURB US! They've got grown men panting & women wishing for the exact same body as a 12 yr old with SLIGHTY bigger boobs...the heck is wrong with socity?
Rose Joe (Sun Feb 24 13:20:10 GMT 2013): shouldnt matter what society sees how woman see how they should be.... its how one feels about themselves. ....the confidence its what men look for
Kat Dunn (Thu Apr 04 20:09:39 BST 2013): 9 out of 10 guys would say she's skinny and hot. The last out of ten is a jealous fat gay guy lol. We women need to stop judging each other. A long as our man likes us and we're healthy, who at we to call each other fat? And yes, I'm working on losing weight, but only because I want to be healthy and be able to run and fit into cute clothes. I'm not aiming for a size 8 though, I don't think that's even physically possible with my wide hips. Everyone is different.
Jesse Purdom (Wed May 29 01:52:27 BST 2013): Yup!