Study shows plus size models changing body image on social media

BOSTON — With the changing societal body image in America, Boston University conducts a new study that finds plus size models gaining popularity on social media.

A total of 169 models were included in this study which included 159 plus sized models and 10 mainstream models. The plus sized model metrics averaged a height of 69 inches, bust 40 in., waist 43 in., hips 46 in, and dress size 14.

Using the Fashion Model Directory and various modeling agency websites, the researchers obtained data for: eye color, hair color, height, bust measurement, waist measurement, dress and shoe size. The data pertaining to social media presence was collected for each model using Social Blade.

Collectively, 144 plus-sized models had 51 million followers and 190,000 total posts. While the top 10 highest paid mainstream models averaged 38 million followers compared to the top 10 plus sized models with an average of approximately 3.8 million followers, there was no significant difference between the average likes per post, comments per post and total posts between the top mainstream models and top plus-sized models.

Also according to researchers, plastic surgeons will likely see an increased demand for procedures that enhance the plus size body type.

“While the American standard of beauty appears to idolize extreme thinness as seen in Victoria Secret models and their diminishing body sizes, we sought to explore the impact of plus size models by reviewing their body size metrics and social media presence to better understand their emerging role in the current standards of beauty,” explained corresponding author Neelam Vashi, MD, associate professor of dermatology at BUSM and director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center at Boston Medical Center.

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