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'Regular Women' in lingerie reminds us of what imperfect, un-photoshopped bodies look like

November 23, 2013 3 min read

The world of plus-size modeling has grown seemingly overnight, with gorgeous faces like Robyn Lawley and Tara Lynn modeling for more covers and ad campaigns than ever. But even plus-size models are still models, leaving some women wanting for even more diverse body imagery to look up to. According to Chrystal Bougon, owner of plus-size lingerie store Curvy Girl,
"There are so many pictures of models in lingerie, but I'm constantly asked for pictures of our products on 'regular' bodies... In the fashion world, anything over size 4 is considered plus-size. I know, it's a big joke."
So Bougon decided to use her store as a platform to celebrate what average, non-model women look like with her newly-launched "Regular Women" campaign.
"Inspired by a customer, I wanted to show that women with rolls, bumps, lumps, scars, stretch marks, surgery scars and natural breasts that have nursed babies can be stunning and beautiful."
Women have responded in full-force. They've been posting their own photos to the Curvy Girl's Facebook page, causing it to grow by 3,500 fans in just 3 days. Here are some of the submitted images. regular womenregular women curvy girls   Though we would never take the power away from these women to post their images, does defining them as regular strip women like this of the ability to be 'regular'? Yes they are plucked and waxed and tanned and styled - but does that make them irregular? It is not done by any degree of force - it is a personal choice. Just as the women above have made a personal choice to be happy in their skin. I, personally, take issue with defining these curvy girls as 'regular women' for two reasons

1) It means that the women who are naturally thinner, or work incredibly hard to be thin and fit are, by default, irregular and something to be stigmatized 2) Regardless if it's a step towards  size & body acceptance - it is still promoting just as many unhealthy habits as underweight models.

No I am not certain if any of the women above are experiencing the health risks that come along with being overweight - just like the people who criticize thin models are not certain they are experiencing the health risks that come along with being underweight. It is all speculation at best. But as a culture that is heavily influenced by visuals, you kind of have to go with it... I can appreciate that women want to buy clothing items when they see it on body types similar to their own - and for that reason I am in full support of the project. We all know how frustrating it can be to buy something because it looked great online and get it home - only to have it fit like a sandwich bag. I completely disagree with anything over a size 4 being plus sized. Simply because many different types of women can be a size 4 and that doesn't mean anything. A woman can be an incredibly healthy, fit size 4 and another woman can be an unhealthy, unfit size 4; it all depends on your body type. But the women walking the cat walk aren't all size 0's either. She may be contractually required by Victoria's Secret to remain "bikini ready" 365 days a year, but Dutch model Doutzen Kroes (second from the left - opera length gloves) says she has the body of a real woman. The mother of a 2-year-old boy, Phyllon, with her husband, DJ Sunnery James, says doesn't fit into sample sizes and doesn't expect to:
"I'm 28 and I've had a baby. I have a woman's body, and once in a while you run into the fact that things are not fitting the way they should be. But I joke about it and say, 'What 13-year-old girl was wearing this?'"
If companies balk at the fact she might not fit into a size zero, she says she doesn't care.
"If they think I'm too fat, I'd rather not do the job—because I'm super-healthy and fit and I'm so happy the way I am."

All the women in all the pictures above deserve credit for their confidence, but one should not be defined as "regular" over the other.

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