Do I have to Be a size Zero to be accepted?

No. No, you don’t. And the people who have been trying to drum this idea into the minds of today’s youth need to stop.

The most popular idea (as far as I have noticed) is that, the fashion industry has set up standards, expectations and rules that are unrealistic and this forces young girls to change their diet in an unhealthy way, resulting in and not limited to, anorexia.

However, I am studying fashion (this does not make me an expert and nor am i part of the fashion industry just yet), I realised the other day, that designers have a hectic schedule, especially those that need to make collections, which are displayed or presented at certain times during the year, at events like fashion week.

Now, imagine this, if designer’s didn’t have a set size to work with (which is usually known as a size 34, where I study) and had a variety of models, in different shapes and sizes, then how difficult would that be? That would mean, different patterns for each model and each garment, so many fittings and adjustments before actually getting the correct look, and then God forbid your model decides to get sick or have an accident on the day of the show… then what?

You see, it all has a simple logic. These standards were set during a time, when most young women were slim. Even now, many models are able to eat anything and everything without putting on a gram. They have an exercise regime that keeps them fit and burn whatever extra calories they may have consumed.


I am not saying that all models are able to stay slim like this. But think about it, if you work out and eat healthy (and have no health issues that may prevent weight loss), then you have no reason to starve yourself or stick your finger down your throat after each meal.

One can not blame the fashion industry for using thin girls as models. These girls are working hard for the money they earn, blaming them for your weight insecurities is not going to solve your problems.

At this point you are probably imagining me to be a tall, thin model looking girl, but believe me, I am not. I am shorter than the average 21 year old and much, much bigger.

The only reason I am writing this post is because people tend to attack the fashion industry regarding the models they use. I can not defend the racism issue or the models versus actresses issue. But this, this is absurd.

Because designers couture collections that are shown at fashion shows are already a size 34, it is only logical for magazines to find girls who will fit into these clothes. It doesn’t make sense to get clothes made specifically each month for all the shoots in the magazine, this would end up turning out extremely expensive, and because the clothing wouldn’t be re-used, it is impractical. This is why the girls on the covers of fashion magazines are also thin.


Of course, the photo editing and use of Photoshop to make them thinner than they actually are is a different story.

To be honest though, curvy women are just as beautiful, and nowadays, many brands and company’s are using them for their campaigns. But then you find some critics saying things like “She is so thin, how can she be a plus size model?”. What these people don’t realise is the word ‘plus’ refers to one who is bigger than 34, even if its a size bigger. No one is calling them fat, they could have a slightly larger frame, this in turn, means that they would require the clothing to either be altered quite a bit, or else have garments made specifically for them.

Anyway, the point of this post is, firstly, no matter what your shape or size, as long as you are confident, you will look amazing, and second, slamming other people (AKA body shaming) might bolster your confidence temporarily, but how will that fix your insecurities and solve your problems? Focus on making yourself the best version possible of YOU, so you have no time to waste worrying about other people.

Hope you liked it, let me know what you thought of it.


Mariam R



All Images used in this post are of Model, Katelyn Barkhuizen. I’ve known her for two years. Although she usually eats healthy, does pilates and visits the gym on a regular basis, when she has the urge to, she eats chocolates and cheesecake (and she gets these urges quite often). Apart from that, she is naturally thin and even her mother has an amazing body.  To follow her amazing journey find her on Facebook and Instagram – Katelyn Barkhuizen.

(PC Tim Gerges and Troy Lee)