Is ‘Normal’ the New Size Zero?

Lately, there’s been something of a trend emerging among celebrities, and for once, it isn’t all about clothes or designers. The thing that everyone has been talking about is weight- now most people are used to seeing headlines in magazines and online slating the weight gain or loss of celebrities, but this time there is something different going on.It all with the reviews of the new US series Girls, dubbed the Sex and the City of our generation.

However, the focus was not on the storylines, but rather the characters, and the actresses that portray them. In particular, Lena Dunham, the writer and star of the programme, has been the subject of controversy. She is seen naked and in sex scenes throughout the programme and people seem shocked that she is ‘size normal’, something that is considered unusual in Hollywood. She is probably the dress size that most twenty-something women are, but because the world is so used to seeing size 6/8 actresses on television or in films, it seems unusual for a size 14 woman to be the star of a new show.

Reviews were both positive and negative- some said that it was refreshing and liberating to see normal women being portrayed in the media, while others slated the use of someone who wasn’t considered ‘perfect’. Lena provoked further comment when she attended an event in a dress that some called ‘unflattering’ and ‘too short’, but fought back stating that she was a normal sized young woman and would wear what she pleased.

But it is not just emerging stars that seem to be part of this new trend. Lady Gaga and Mila Kunis are among those who have taken a stance against this idea of a ‘perfect weight’ for women. In particular, there was a massive debate when Lady Gaga stepped out for a recent concert. Her weight gain was noticeable and several magazines slated her new shape. Gaga retorted that her increase in size was due to the fact that she ‘loved Italian food’, and then went on to post pictures of herself in her underwear on Twitter. She then urged fans to do the same, sparking what she dubbed ‘Body Revolution 2013’, something that would hopefully make other women embrace their so-called flaws.

After years of seeing painfully thin, ‘size zero’ stars splashed across the pages of magazines, it is refreshing to see bigger women in the public eye. The likes of Kelly Brook are famous for their curves, and it is now more commonplace to see women like Gemma Collins, from the reality show The Only Way is Essex on the television and in the news. Women all over the world have praised the aforementioned celebrities for supporting the idea of a healthy weight and are relishing in the fact that larger women are now being represented in the media. While everyone has a different idea of what is ‘perfect’, each body shape is different and it is great that people are finally beginning to accept that, both in real life and on screen.

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