Calvin Klein Plus-Size Meme Reignites Debate About Body Image In Modelling

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A photo of Calvin Klein's first plus-size model is making rounds on the Internet once again, and has renewed the debate about body image in the fashion industry.

The ad campaign featuring model Myla Dalbesio was released in 2014. At the time, the Internet erupted when people learned that the size-10 model is technically classified as plus size in the modelling world.

It wasn't the ads put out by the underwear brand that called Dalbesio "plus size". The campaign featured her alongside "straight size" models, which is the industry term for models between sizes zero and four.

But still, when Dalbesio was interviewed by ELLE and the topic of her size came up, the ads faced backlash for what the public thought promoted damaging body image ideas.

This time around, the ad has been fashioned as a meme, declaring her "Calvin Klein's First Plus Size Model."

British Actress Catherine Tyldesley shared the photo on Twitter last week, which is part of the reason the photo has resurfaced, Cosmopolitan reports.

After Tyldesley's tweet, more users voiced their opinion on social media and reignited debate about the label "plus-size" and the impact attributing the same label to slimmer women and more full-figured women can have.

Since seeing the image floating around again, Dalbesio addressed the issue on her Instagram.

THE BODY ISSUE ~ I don't know how or why but I guess this topic is inexplicably trending in relation to me once again, so I'm going to address it quickly. I am not plus size. I have never been plus size. Which is confusing, I understand, because for the first 8 years of my modeling career, that is the segment of the industry that I worked in and the board at my (former) agency that I was signed to. Why is that? Because 10 years ago, when I started modeling, no "straight size" board would sign anyone above a size 2-4 (and even size 4 was pushing it). Working under that label was the only way I could work. Luckily, things have changed in that regard. I am happily on the main board at @nextmodels, which does not distinguish any difference in size or shape of it's models, just represents them as they are, without labels. How things have shifted in the past decade! And what is even more glorious is the amount of successful models of all shapes and sizes that we see in major media now. Luckily for the people saying that I am "not plus size enough" to be working, they have amazing role models they can look up to that may represent someone closer to themselves. Girls like @theashleygraham, @taralynn, @palomija and @jojacalled inspire me constantly. But I also think it is important for women that are my size to see themselves represented. Let's not begrudge them (or me) for that. One of the reasons I post naked selfies is because I want other women to see that their own bodies are both normal and beautiful. I remember a scene in Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene, where Elizabeth Olsen took her clothes off, and I felt like I saw myself in her body, something that I rarely, if ever, saw represented in mainstream Hollywood. It made me feel good, almost like I was better understood. Can we all just work on understanding each other? Body shaming, whether it be too fat, too skinny, too athletic, etc. is unfair for all. We all want to be healthy, we all want to be beautiful, we all want to belong. I DESERVE TO BE REPRESENTED AND YOU DO TOO. We all do. And we all can be, if we start encouraging and supporting one another instead of picking each other apart 💖 #rantover #bodytalk

A photo posted by MYLA DALBESIO (@myladalbesio) on


She cleared up her reasons for having to work under the plus-size label when she first started modelling, and that she no longer does.

Dalbesio also shouted out other plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Tara Lynn who she hopes women can see themselves reflected in.

When the ad sparked controversy the first time around, Dalbesio addressed it, telling the TODAY show, that she really calls herself an "in-betweenie" since she neither fits the mold of a "straight size" between zero and four, nor a commercial "plus-size" which usually starts at size 14.

She says her ideal would be moving away from extremes and representing all sizes more often.

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