Store's Decision to Use 'Bigger' Bathing Suit Model Gets the Reaction It Deserves (PHOTO)

jennie runk h&M modelIt's not every day we see a model -- especially a model in a bikini -- whose body reminds us of our best friend, sister, or our very own reflection in the mirror. That's glaringly apparent, given the extreme shock and stunned excitement that's unfolded in response to H&M's choice of Jennie Runk as their 2013 beachwear model. Everyone's jaws have fallen to the ground because ZOMG, the non-plus size brand tapped an attractive woman who's reportedly a size 12 to model swimsuits -- and not even just one-pieces. She's also in a bikini. Stop. The. Presses!

No, but seriously, after being criticized for always using "unhealthily thin" models, H&M decided to feature "a model who can illustrate this collection in an inspiring and clear way." What's more, they didn't even make a concerted effort to rave about Jennie's size. Because it doesn't matter. Good for them -- and great for us!

After all, the more we see images like these -- of a healthy, curvaceous (in the best possible way), beautiful woman in beachwear -- the more apt we are to feel better about ourselves. To feel "normal." And to feel comfortable in our own skin.

As thrilled as I am to see H&M making a move like this, it actually is sad that a campaign like this is still a newsmaker. We shouldn't be shocked to see women who aren't sky-high waifs in bathing suit ads. We should be more accustomed to seeing women who look like us and to think, "Hey, she looks amazing, and so do I."

Really, it kills me just how frequently I hear average-sized, healthy, gorgeous women browbeating themselves for being "fat," "chunky," "X pounds more than I got married," "5, 10, 20 pounds away from goal weight," etc. But maybe the more we see women like Jennie, the more we'll realize that the ideal we've got in our head is unnecessary and unrealistic, and we're being way too hard on ourselves! And that we're perfect just the way we are, whether we're a size 12 or 2.

How do you feel looking at Jennie Runk? Do you think ads like this encourage healthier body image?


Image via Ceen Wahren/H&M

body image, general health, beauty, body, swimwear


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LostS... LostSoul88

She looks atmost normal! I am sure some of her body is photoshopped but she looks like a normal persona dn that's how it should be. I use to wear mediu shirts and now lately I am finding that I have to buy an x-large just to have it fit better but my body shape and size has not changed! I am the same size as I was when Iw as wearing medium shirts and size 5 pants. Clothing makers are making clothes smaller and smaller to make women feel fat so they lose weight to look as unhealthy as the models they use. 

nonmember avatar mel

The problem ...

Using skinny models helps sell in the ways that

1 we hope it looks as good on us as it does on them

2 it will help us look thinner/better etc because they look that way

Now the problem with using 'plus' sized women is... she doesnt make me want that swim suit. It actually draws attention to how thick she is. I dont want the swimsuit I buy to do the same thing. I want to at least pretend I look skinner..better ...

Maybe I wont , and It really matters what my body looks like as to what swim suit end results look like. But a lot of people dont shop with that common sense. They see and love how it looks on the model.

I read a study done on plus size vs skinny models... and the plus sized models did nothing to increase sales. Although we want the fashion community to be more accepting ... deep down our minds are wired a different way. The slow acceptance of plus sized models is mostly a view of what it means to evolve.

nonmember avatar P. Ghómez

Finally! a company that understands beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I hope this is just the beginning.

mamav... mamavaness

i love to support all women! & good for h&m to take a step forward for all women!

BUT i agree with mel, it doesn't make me want to buy that bathing makes me want to be a one piece with a good cover up.

leona24 leona24

Fat people are not attractive. No one wants to see your bulging rolls and cottage cheese.....

BGarcel BGarcel

Why not use a model of average figure? They seem to go to extremes, either emanciated or overweight.

nonmember avatar zach

I totally agree with BGarcel above. How about a size 6? Most women are not size 00, or size 12. I don't think the woman in the picture above looks very good, and as Mel says, it doesn't make women want to buy the swim suit. When I see a woman like that on the beach, I think, "Yikes, she shouldn't be in a bikini."

fave82 fave82

Not a good choice of suits! The top is flattering and looks fine but those bottoms look like massive granny pantys that are too tight and giving her a muffin top.

tnyangel tnyangel

I think the average is a size 10 to 14. At least, everyone at my work. I also thrift store/discount store shop, There seems to be a ziilion size 0 up to size 6 and a zillion size 22 and up, but not too much in the size 8 to 16 range. Why? Because those clothes were bought in the first round. 

I think she looks great and hope the trend continues! I will shop at H&M just to support the notion that "normal sized" models are a better representation. I'd rather pic a suit that looks flattering on Jennie than a suit that looks flattering on tiny model. 

mande... manderspanders

She's god damned HOTT! Anyone who doesn't think so is an idiot and has some real self image issues anyway. I *could* look like that...and I could look hot in H&M swimwear when I get to that size. Hell yea...better than some dumb bulimic model who hates herself. All women should feel this comfortable and confident in their bodies as this model does!

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