By TAMARA ABRAHAM
Size matters: PLUS Model Magazine has shot size 12 Katya Zharkova pose with a 'straight-size' model to demonstrate the difference between them
A magazine dedicated to plus-size fashion and models has sparked controversy with a feature claiming that most runway models meet the Body Mass Index criteria for anorexia. Accompanied by a bold shoot that sees a nude plus-size model posing alongside a skinny 'straight-size' model, PLUS Model Magazine says it aims to encourage plus-size consumers to pressure retailers to better cater to them, and stop promoting a skinny ideal. Size 12 (U.S.) model Katya Zharkova, 28, stars in the shoot, which has a powerful statistic accompanying each image.
Body image: The Russian beauty poses with a tape measure around her rear alongside a statistic that shows how different models are from real women
One, printed alongside a photo of the Russian beauty holding a tape measure across her rear, reads: 'Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.'
Another states: 'Ten years ago plus-size models averaged between size 12 and 18. Today the need for size diversity within the plus-size modeling industry continues to be questioned.
'The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14, while the customers continue to express their dissatisfaction.'
And finally, further highlighting how poorly the fashion world caters to plus-size women, the magazine tells us: '50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.'
The article has also generated an equal share of agreement, though. Reader Danae writes: 'We all women are brainwashed to believe that we are ugly and men will never look at us if we are not starving... We need more variety of healthy female body images.' The January issue of PLUS Model Magazine is on sale now; plus-model-mag.com