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Who cares what size this woman is? It's all about self-esteem

Initially I thought it was a giant internet hoax.

There's no way a size 14 model (an American size 10) could be described as 'plus-sized'.

But Myla Delbasio's appearance in a Calvin Klein advert, billed as a plus-sized model, sent the cybersphere into a body image spin.

She's size 14, but actually probably closer to a 12, according to New York magazine. And at 5' 11'' in height, Myla actually looks like a tall, slim girl, not a plus-sized woman.

Add to this that size 12 or 14 on a shorter person would look a lot different. And that plus-sizing usually starts at a UK size 18.

But it must be a week or so since something has emerged to torment and scrutinise women and yank our self-esteem levers.

It was actually Elle magazine that called her plus-sized and not Calvin Klein itself. The company said she was chosen in a bid to create 'inclusive' clothing. Read as: create more sales, seeing as the vast majority of underwear wearers are not size 0.

And while Delbasio is clearly bigger than the scrawny models we're used to seeing on the catwalk, she is also clearly, not plus-sized. Possibly she's 'in between', by fashion industry standards.

At the other end of the fashion industry spectrum, the 'thin-ideal media' is at play.

'Thin ideal media' refers to media images, shows and films with very thin female leads or fashion magazines, clothing catalogues and pop culture TV shows.

'Thin-ideal media' reinforces the idea that being thin is good and desirable.

All of these images damage our body image and only serve to make us spend money. Spend millions of euro on clothes and beauty products and diet products to make us look better, thinner, sexier, different to what we actually are.

'Bigger', 'smaller', 'thinner', 'fatter' - they're all surely relative. I'm bigger than my two-year-old. A size 10 on me is not the same as a size 10 on a taller or shorter woman or a woman with a different body shape.


My two-year-old has a pot belly, as she should, at her age and height. My little toe is smaller than my big one. So maybe we should actually refrain from 'categorising' women at all?

It serves only to create comparison and separation between women, rather than acceptance and appreciation of each other.

And while we're at it let's end the practice of vanity sizing where clothing of the same nominal size is becoming bigger in physical size over time. It's designed to satisfy wearers' wishes to appear thin and more likely to buy.

Let's try to move to a place where a woman's self-esteem remains intact - no matter what her dress size.