What Does Plus Size Really Equal?

Hello my lovlies! I hate to start a bloggy with a link but THIS is importanteyyyyy!!! It was brought to my attention yesterday, via Twitter that “Plus Size” (usually sizes 14W – 24W) now equals size 6 and above. Yes, you heard right 6! Are you kidding me!! When I read that tweet so many things went through my mind. How many years I shopped in the plus sized section. How many nights I DREAMED of being a normal average size 12. How happy I was to get in a regular misses size 14 when I was on the show. But most of all, I thought about the day I was with Irene and Olivia at Nordstrom. We were shopping for our reveal dresses and I slipped into a size 6 pair of jeans. Irene and I danced half naked in the dressing room as we both zipped into our size 6’s laughing, screaming and crying out loud and when I say loud I mean “bees and dogs loud”!  Our hard work was showing off in the dressing room 3-way mirror!

     The poor sales woman thought someone was being robbed, THAT’S how loud we were! It was the first time on the show (now take in mind, there are no full length mirrors on the ranchy) that I actually looked at my body and felt thin, normal and strong. Now, at a size 10 and 12 I would have felt the same way because I am not saying that a size 6 makes you thin or NORMAL (we all know I am completely crazy and 2 shells short of a pistachio)I am just sharing with you the emotions I felt that GLORIOUS day!

      That is why I was so shocked and disappointed to read the article above. For those of you on the go, here is a tidbit of what started my hair raising antics…..

“A size 6 is now plus size  in the fashion world, and most runway models meet the physical criteria for anorexia, according to a report that offers shocking insight into the disparity between models and the real-life women they are purporting to represent.In the January issue of PLUS Model Magazine, plus size midel Katya Zharkova and a straight size model are seen in the nude in an attempt to “open the minds of the fashion  industry,” which is stepping further away from reality, according to PLUS founder and editor-in-chief, Madeline Figueroa Jones.  The magazine reveals that some of today’s plus size models are wearing the same size as models Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova and Cindy Crawford at the height of their fame in the 1990s. Zharkova, 28, wears a size 14.”

    I cannot imagine being a young girl (not that I am calling myself a granny even though I prefer to be in bed by 9, after all I believe in BEAUTY SLEEP) or an aspiring model and reading something like this and thinking how do I get to a size 0 so  I can be normal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS SOCIETY!!!! No wonder the highest percentage of women with eating disorders are in America. As frustrating and kicking and screamingish as this makes me, I always find that silver lining….

Who made this awful deicision? Was it the President? NO Was it God? NO Was it your parents or my parents? NO In that case, I am refusing to listen or let it even STOP me from celebrating my size! Another thing I will not in any way give gratitude to is the fact that apparently in my current state of a size 4 sometimes 6 that I am plus size or in some way overweight after all the hard work I have awarded myself.

   I also find it frightening that the article said that most models meet the physical criteria for anorexia. This is what we are promoting in the fashion world that I thought I loved so dearly???? I cannot wait to hear what you all have to say about this one! Well, I am hear to tell you that I literally laughed out loud at this one! Normally it would have made me VERY upset and I would have went on a mini tirade (no, that’s not what this is)! I can truly say that I didn’t let it bother me at all. WOW, have I changed. I know that I look amazing and I worked and still work hard to stay at this weight that a medical doctor says is normal. Since when do we women let ANYONE tell us what the norm is. Well, you are right, we don’t! So let’s have a parade for all the size 6 gals out there that are feeling a little low and the ones that are above a size 6 that were just made to feel bad about themselves yet again. You are beautiful strong and no matter what size you are the best part aboutYOU is YOU!

OH, and one more thing, if a 6 is so called PLUS SIZE then why do these designers make size 6 clothing if they are not plus sized designers??? Hmmm guess they didn’t think of that in the crazy land that they live in……Ah, model world and the pressure they are put under. It looks like this time someone skipped one to many meals and LOST THEIR MIND!

Until Next Time…..




34 replies on “What Does Plus Size Really Equal?”

I read those articles and wanted to cry at first! After all my hard work (i am now a size 10 – goal size is an 8 or 6 – NOT a # on a scale!!) I will always be considered plus size?? then i thought about it again and realized that the reality of this article doesnt actually bother me. I feel amazing, and know i look great and I know i no longer need to shop in actual plus size stores and sections. the fashion world is a f-ed up and probably really hungry world! I know i get cranky and annoying when I am hungry. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to live life always being hungry and maybe i can give them a pass on this one…

Jess! Yes, sister! Atta girl! Think how hard you worked to get to a size 10! I can remember the days that I would dream of being a size 10 or 12. NOT ONE PERSON can make you feel like your hard work was unwarranted. Girl if you knew how cranky I get when I’m hungry! Just ask Olivia! I also cannot imagine what it feels like to be a person who makes young women and all women at that feel bad about themselves. A job that I would not want! I’m in the feel good business! Work hard and feel good! The rewards of health just keep on coming! So celebrate your size 10 and keep working hard. Your body and mind will continually thank you!


A size 6 is not plus size in real life, I think it’s tiny. A size 10 is tiny I wear 16/18’s some of my clothes are 16w/18w. I will never be a size 6 and it’s not plus size in the real world

I look at this article in two different ways. First it makes me sad how many girls are going to read this and develop eating disorders while trying to be like the models they idolize. I have watched friends and family go through eating disorders and it was so difficult to watch them physically and emotionally abuse themselves just so they too could look like a model. The second way I look at this article is that it does not define me because apparently, according to this, I’m plus size. I’ve played soccer for over 15 years, I spin, I run and I am proud to say that I have thunder thighs. While me and my thunder thighs may not be welcome in the fashion world I am proud of what I have achieved and what I can do. So if the fashion world wants to define me as plus size I’m okay with that because my pants size does not say anything about my health. So me and my thunder thighs will be proud of all we have done and all that we will do in the future 🙂

Erin! Bring on the thunder girlfriend! Your thighs are a testament to your hard work. I have a bit of the thunder myself! One thing I know about those thighs? They can spin their way past most people, including the person that said a size 6 is plus size!!! You go girl, my spinning queen!!


Erin, I hear you!! Before I started running and doing cross fit, my thighs were actually smaller. It irritated me that I couldn’t fit into some of my jeans anymore because my thighs were too muscular. I now celebrate it because I am in SHAPE. Woohoo! Way to work it, girl!

I am genetically programmed to be voluptuous, whether I’m heavy or lighter. Even in single digit clothing, I am naturally muscular, shapely and carry 150 lbs. I never pay attention to clothing size–what’s the point? I only care that what I choose to wear fits comfortably, looks stylish and is tasteful without being gauche.

Money talks. Anyone who wants to send a message to the fashion industry should “vote” with their buying power. Vote your opinion with your purchases of magazines, clothing styles, clothing lines, shoes & accessories. Vote with your voice in letters to a few fashion editors & designers.

I refuse to let others who don’t even know me or care about my physical or mental well-being manipulate my self-esteem with their extreme depictions of “normal”. I hope more people will join me in this mindset.

Way to use your voice, Hannah! Glad you wrote this.

Jayne ; )

Jayne! I love the way you think. I like the way you use the word “refuse”. You’re right these people don’t know us so why should we let them dictate the way we feel about ourselves? We shouldn’t! Yes, we all have a voice and like you said we need to use it!! I am a muscular type of girl too, I will never have tiny arms or narrow hips and I am fine with that. I am fit, strong and healthy and most of all PROUD to just be me FINALLY! Jayne, seems like you got it together. Your my kind of people!!


I really got a lot of people riled up with that tweet… as they should be 🙂

I’m about to pour out my heart so bear with me… there IS a point. When I read this article, I literally began to panic. All of these emotions came flooding back to me. I was in an abusive relationship for 6 years (it’s a LOT harder to get away from that situation than you may think… that relationship and what it did to my mind is a whole different issue in itself that I’m slowly working on). The guy I was with did everything to me imaginable…. mentally, emotionally, physically. He convinced me to quit dancing, playing sports, and my grades dropped from straight A’s to C’s. During the time I was with him, I was 110 pounds and wore a size 2-4 jeans (I’m 5’8″). I cannot tell you the amount of times he would call me fat, tell me how ugly I was, how used up I was, tell me anything that would knock me down. By the time I was able to actually leave this relationship, I was down to 100 pounds. It took me a long time to build my self esteem back up and realize that I am who I am and that being a size 6 is healthy. Two years later, I’m now 130 pounds, size 6. Overall, I’m fairly happy with it. I still have those negative comments constantly running through my head. And when this article came up yesterday I completely lost it… I began thinking… “Well maybe he was right all these years. Maybe I need to start losing weight again. Maybe this, maybe that…” That’s why I sent the tweet to Hannah and Olivia… They are two of my biggest inspirations and sometimes to just be told “it’s okay” or to know someone has your back is all you need to push on and let things go.

It just goes to show that the media and fashion really do influence our lives…. I never thought at 23 years old that an article like this would have such an impact on my life. But I’m not going to let it. I’m going to try to continue to be happy with my size 6 and embrace my health.

Thank you Olivia and Hannah! You have no idea the impact you’ve made on my life.

Ms. Whitney! I have talked with many women who have been in abusive relationships and I can’t how detrimental they are to your mind, self image and body. Good news, you never have to be in a relationship like that again. You would be just as beautiful in a size 8 or 10 so your healthy size 6 is perfect for you. I know you are on a road to happiness and THAT is something I do understand. Please know that there is a man out there that will love you at any size. A man that will love you because you are just Whitney and will always make you feel like the wonderful, loving person you are. He’s out there and he is looking for you my dear! Us women have to stick together when it comes to society telling us that we are not this and not that. It’s just simply not true. Like I said in the blog, I do not know one high fashion designer that doesn’t make a size 6!! So I am OFFICIALLY calling their bluff!! We love you Whitney, your beautiful and you will always be!! The more we work on our insides the more our outsides shine. I learned that this year. It’s ok to fall in love with you…Others will follow. 😉 I appreciate your honesty and am so proud that you walked away. That takes strength, guts and cajones!!!! XOXO

Hannah! You have NO idea how much this sweet message means to me! I’m so thankful you said all of those things because after this article it definitely had me questioning everything in my life and wondering if I needed to get back with him so he could “fix me” again. It’s one of those constant battles in my mind. Like you said, once the inside gets fixed, things will begin falling into place. As many times as he’s told me I was selfish and what not, it’s really hard to “fall in love with myself” because it’s everything he’s ever told me not to do.

Wow, I’m putting some major stuff on here for the world to read… Probably not okay. Time to stop! Just needed to vent, I suppose.

Anyway, THANK YOU for reassuring me that I don’t need that — or anyone else!! You’re kind words made my day!

This blog made my week! You are amazing, hilarious and so inspirational! Thank you for your daily encouragement. I absolutely agree with you and cannot wait to be rejoicing in my size six knowing that I accomplished great things and am by no means obese or overweight! Love you girl! Thanks Hannah and Olivia for all the amazing encouragement you share with everyone day in and day out. You two are amazing! Because of you guys I have officially dropped 15 pounds in the past 4 weeks and I ain’t stopping anytime soon! I hope one day that I have the honor of meeting you both!

Abi! 15 lbs in 4 weeks! Girl you are rockin it!! So proud of your commitment to health but most of all your commitment to yourself! That’s what it’s all about girlfriend! You picked a great word “Rejoicing”. I need to rejoice more and listen to society less. I’m gonna add that to my list of things to get better at for 2012! Oh and one more thing, you didn’t drop the weight because of us even if we helped with a dose of motivation, you dropped the weight because you are standing on your own two feet and taking control of your life and the things you want! Keep it up and remember, your best life is here, you just have to reach for it!

Jayne is right. The only way to change this is to not spend our money with designers and retailers who use these super skinny models. It also means we need to speak out against celebs wow stay super skinny (think Calista Flockart or Ellen Pompeo). Don’t buy fashion magazines that feature ultra skinny women. The collective “they” try to make us feel bad about ourselves.

The reality is the average woman is a size 12 and going up. The obesity epidemic is out of control and heart disease is the number one killer of women. Healthy isn’t a size, it’s a lifestyle that we need to start focusing on. I have battled the scale my whole life and I remember the first time a pair of size 4 jeans zipped up comfortably. A law off and a baby later, those jeans don’t quite fit, but I am healthy. It’s easy to get sucked into the idea that I am “fat”. When that starts to happen I pull up the stats from my last run. I will run my first half marathon in April and have a goal to run the Chicago marathon in October. That is so much more important than the size printed inside my pants. I want all women to feel that way. Most importantly, I want my daughter to feel that way.

I am a size 8-6 #smokeshow and I dare any fashion industry insider to tell me otherwise. Sorry, this is a soapbox of mine

Cindy! Oh how I love your passion! Yes m’am you are right! Obesity is an epidemic and it’s so awesome that you are already setting such a great example to your beautiful kids and that husband of yours! 😉 I like that you said “Healthy isn’t a size, it’s a lifestyle”! Amen sister!! I am so proud that when those “fat” thoughts enter your mind you pull up your running stats! What a way to stay motivated! You are inspiring and are an example to mothers and daughters everywhere. Congrats my friend you GET IT!! If you wanna check out a great product, see what Poshlilies can offer you at!!! I heart the Hicks family!!

OH hannah they have lost their mind for sure a size 6 is not a plus size. so what are they calling size 14w & 20w misses now come on i think they are on crack or cant tell the differnce between them idk. oh yea hannah im in a size 11-12 now but its not a size 6 and im happy with that for now. and yes its a countinous joureny to the weight off bc there is no finish line in this journey. ps mybe they need to step in our shoes and see how its feels to look and all the skinny women out there wish they could be like them. they might change there minds then i dout it!!! hannah you not a granny that goes to bed at nine or watever you young and beauitful!!! xoxo

Thanks, Chasity!! I’m so proud of your size 11-12! You worked hard to get there and you will keep going! We are not defined by the number in our jeans!!

First off…..I just love you, Hannah! You and your craziness make my day.

I had that moment when I pulled on a Size 12 (The biggest I was was a size 20), I jumped around, took a picture of the tag, sent it to my trainer and my roommate! I was pumped. Giddy!

This crazy idea/theory/blasphemy that size 6 is a “plus” size is crazy talk….I refuse to even acknowledge that.

On another note, I am a 7th grade teacher, and my little girls in class have this crazy notion that they need to be losing weight! They are still growing and developing…..ugh…it’s so hard to know what to say to them. What would I have needed to hear at that age? I hate that they are going to be faced with these crazy ideas that a size 6 is big!

This quote caught my attention: ”

Among the revelations: “Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8 percent less than the average woman. Today she weighs 23 percent less”…

Has the average model size really gone down all that much, or has the average woman size gone up?

Regardless of the height/weight ratios, most non-plus size fashion models are not demonstrating healthy habits. Instead of seeking out fashion models to follow and ogle, we need to seek out role models who live an ideal lifestyle that we ourselves would like to achieve.

If we want to be strong and toned, we need to find role models who are just that, and learn what they did to get there. If we want to build our endurance and fitness, we need to find role models who have run marathons or who train regularly for general endurance, and find out what they did to get there.

We need to educate ourselves and do our own research and choose role models for ourselves. We need to not rely on the media to tell us which body type a designer thinks his or her clothing should be worn by. We need to not read BMI charts (an antiquated measure) to find out what our “ideal” weight should be.

My health and fitness role models are made up of people who have worked hard to get the bodies they have now and who work hard to maintain those bodies and to maintain overall physical and emotional health. I don’t follow who the media says I should follow. I follow the people I can relate to who inspire me regularly to be the best person I can be, physically and emotionally/mentally.

My role models just happen to include Hannah and Olivia, who have a plus-size desire to help other people reach their fitness goals, but who are not plus-size in any other way, regardless of the fact that they may have size 6 jeans in their closets. 😉

Hi Hannah,

I think that this is sad, because it’s my friends and I that are feeling the effects of what this article is talking about. I’m 19 and on girls night when we’re in the dorms flipping through magazines, those models are what we are seeing. I have seen so many friends whose lives have been ruined by eating disorders and at the same time many of us are trying healthfully to keep off the college weight. I’m hovering around that “plus size” size 6 and I like to think of myself as unimpressionable and unfazed by things like this, but it is not helping my body image. I’m stuck in that hard place of should I be happy with my body the way I am or should I be actively trying to lose weight?

Thank you for being such an inspiration, for your personality, your sense of humor and smile. I aspire to be like you!


Wow. That is very sad and another reason why I don’t buy fashion magazines. At all – no need to have someone tell me (and my 14-yo twin daughters) I’m a loser because I don’t fit into their unrealistic expectations.

Many have commented plenty, so I’ll keep it short. My heart goes out to every female, young or old, who will compare themselves to the fashion models and find themselves lacking.

The fashion industry is in it for the money, and sadly, too many women are buying (literally) into this idea that we have to look like a runway model to be beautiful. It’s people like YOU who are the voice of reason showing us what women really should be striving for, so I say don’t stop talking! I am a size 4 runner & triathlete but I will admit that I struggle daily with my body image because I’m not runway-model skinny and I have thick thighs and some junk in the trunk. I have to remind myself every day that my body is strong and can do so much for me and I need to be thankful for it. And being able to say I ran 2 marathons makes me feel such a sense of accomplishment, way more than being able to say I’m a size (x) ever could.

Oh Hannah! THANK YOU for bringing this up. I also saw someone send this to you via twitter yesterday and immediately thought “REALLY?!” It saddens me in so many ways. Not for myself, a 27 year old young woman, but for the tons of teenagers in middle and high school that will read this. Many who will be an average size and healthy that will now be striving for a possibly NOT healthy for their height and size, 6. This is ridiculous. I hate the way they publicize this madnness. It’s absolutely absurd. Again, can’t we appreciate the past like Cindy Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, etc? Really?? I feel so sorry for those in the fashion world… It must be a cut throat environment with TONS of grumpy women, like PMS 24/7 because I am a witch when I don’t have food, not only am I mean, but super whiney. Haha!

I know when I took a plus size modeling course a few years ago we were told that size 8 & above was plus – we thought they were crazy then! Now it’s a 6? Unbelievable. On top of that…sizes vary from one designer to another, so you could be a 6 in one brand and a 10 in another. I remember an article where the reporter was sent to try on black dress pants at 5 different stores in the same day, and she was 5 different sizes. She’d always thought she was a size 10, but the pants that fit her ranged anywhere from a 6 to a 14. It’s enough to drive women crazy if they let it. I say the number on the tag doesn’t matter – if you are at a fit and healthy weight you are good. Don’t let the numbers game get to you.

But yes, the powers that be who decide these things have lost their minds. We have to bring up young girls to know that they are not a number on the scale or on a tag in their clothes. Living a balanced life – fit, healthy, intelligent, and caring is what it should be all about!

When I was 16, and about 185 lbs (take into consideration that I’m also 6’2″), I was walking around a mall in Washington DC. A guy approached me, and while it was very awkward, he told me that I should consider modeling. I, of course, was flattered. Beyond flattered… I didn’t think of myself as beautiful or “model” worthy. Then, he uttered that I would be PERFECT for plus-size modeling. Wow…. I told him no thanks ON THE SPOT, turned and left.

I have always hoovered around size 12-14… since I was 13 or 14. And let me tell you, it is so frustrating to walk into a store and find tall sizes for anything 8 and below. That always told me that tall girls were only skinny and short girls were big. I was neither… I was just a solid girl, but tall. I played volleyball and basketball (divison I in college). At times, I was embarassed of my size… not MY size, but my clothing size. However, I have come to realize that was how I was made and built. If size six is considered plus size than I am obese in my 12/14s (not really, but you get the analogy).

I work hard at staying in shape, eating healthy, etc, etc… especially after I gained almost 60 lbs while being pregnant. I am BEYOND proud of the size I wear (I lost all of that weight and then, another 15 lbs to be in the best shape I’ve ever been in and proudly wearing those size 12s!)… and I know that it isn’t the size on the clothing that determines worth or success or even size for that matter. It is how you feel and look. You have said it completely right…. being fit, healthy, intelligent and caring! Thanks for being a great spokeswoman.

Hannah I think it is really great for you to point out the absurdity of chasing the normal size 6. In my city, there are numerous girls who are actually very slim keep crying their urges to lose weight, I’m really pissed to see how they are actually ruining their health by chasing such unrealistic “normal” size!! Many healthy women have just forgotten that our bodies need fat to protect our ourselves (at least we need the fat in our tummy to protect our uterus!) Our reality has been distorted by all these commercial ads. We must stay conscious about why we are losing weight and what the realistic goal should be. We should take the initiative to decide what is good for ourselves and can’t just let the marketers to decide how a beautiful woman should look like !
Would like to share with everything with another ads from Dove unveiling how beauty has been distorted:

Touché Hannah. The fashion industry is definitely NOT the place to learn about a healthy lifestyle.

The good news is that we can express this and pretty much everyone will agree with us, because the annoying effects of malnutrition are quickly evident.

We have just seen you in the Biggest Loser final hear in Sweden!
I think you both are amazing!!!
I love the program and I think it’s so wounderful to see what the loose of weight do to the personality to all the contestants.
Hope you understad my english!
I wich you all the best and have a good life!!

Wow, SIZE 6 is plus sized? I just recently fit into a size 8 pair of jeans for the first time since possibly junior high school and that was such an accomplishment for me. I hate that the media/designers are putting such high standards on weight/size. I could stand to lose 20 or 25 more pounds, but I am the most healthy I’ve been in years and if I never lose another pound I”d be happy with myself as is now.

Thank you Hannah and Olivia for this blog and for being advocates for health, not necessarily a certain size.

Hannah, I was hoping you would do a blog post on this. I saw this all over Twitter and really thought someone was kidding. I’m a size 4-6 and I can’t imagine that my most fit size is now plus size. RIDICULOUS!

This article is sad. This is why there are so many girls with body image issues. Healthy girls are being compared to girls that are not only unhealthly on the brink of starvation, but are also photoshopped. This needs to stop.

My friend posted a blog today in which she included a picture of us from our junior year in high school. I clearly remember thinking I was fat, which I was not! I weighed between 115 and 125 during highschool and I’m almost 5’7. I would KILL to be at that weight again.

Although EVERYONE is a REAL woman, I would love to see a magazine that promots HEALTH over size. I want to see what healthy women look like. Not women that think they need to not eat for days before a shoot and then binge afterward.

I am glad that I have opened my eyes since high school and have come to realize that it isn’t a number on a scale that defines me, however, I know my eating and lifestyle is not a healthy one and that is where I need to make a change. I need to get focused on eating a healthier and more balnaced diet and include regular workouts. I want to be healthy and I think that is a message that those in the media need to learn to promot vs. a size.

Banana pants-

I was just wondering what size you were to start with? I realize the whole point of this post is about health vs size, but we are about the same height and starting weight, I just wondered how many pounds each size was for you. Size 4 is probably not possible for me (I was once told by a knee surgeon that I have bovine bones…he had a real way with the ladies…) But I’m sure at one time or another you thought it was impossible too! My new goal for the year is no more lane bryant…so hopefully I can attain that goal!

much love

i am 14 going on 15 and im a size 12. i am in the process on becoming a model at albany modeling and acting in new york. i wish girls didnt always feel so insecure about themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *