Thin or Not, Humans Still Have Feelings

Earlier this week, images of Ioana Spangenberg surfaced on the internet. She’s a fashion model. Most people might think nothing of it; I mean, seriously, do pictures of new upcoming fashion models really attract our attention anymore? No, not really. The average person just really does not care. It would be a different story if this was an industry you affiliate yourself with, but the average person is bombarded everyday by people that are “aspiring models.” In fact, you’re probably thinking of that friend of yours who’s dream is to break into the business right this instant, we all have one (and I was that friend at one point). But, Ioana Spangenberg, has something special. She has a special feature that may or may not work to her advantage, but one thing is for sure: she sure got a lot of press over it.

Ioana Spangenberg has a small waist. No, not small, more like tiny. She’s been officially deemed the “human hourglass.” Spangenberg’s measurements are a shocking 32-20-32. Yeah, that’s right. TWENTY INCH WAIST. If you have no idea how small that is, go to Google right now and look her up under images. Shocking, right?

To me, it was shocking. Not necessarily my cup of tea, and not necessarily something I would expect from an average model, but, hey, if a fashion designer wants to cast her for his new fashion line, let him. She’s beautiful either way. I think what was most shocking to me after reading a couple articles about her, were the comments that people were leaving.

Some of the comments thrown at the poor Romanian-born model included words such as: “disgusting,” “freak,” “gross,” “sick,” “nasty,” and some people even went as far as saying that she looked like she suffered from a birth defect and that she also looks like someone who just came out of a concentration camp. This is where I draw the line.

After the huge outbreak a few years ago about models suffering from eating disorder, and the unfortunate successful ones that died from unhealthy eating disorders, the public has been cracking down on models in a way that is much too harsh. People attack those that are thin (whether they be models or not) for portraying an “unhealthy” image for the younger crowd. And, I’m sorry if you get offended, but, I believe this is total bullcrap.

An unhealthy image is that of someone who is severely overweight, or dying from self-induced starvation. Many people are naturally thin, or achieve an average weight through working out.  Insulting thin women by saying they are not “real women” because they aren’t “curvy” enough is just as bad as insulting an overweight woman because she isn’t thin. It’s become far too acceptable to criticize thin people now-a-days, to the point where people are forgetting the big image. The reason the whole “accept your curves” motto became so popular is that so people would feel comfortable in their own skin and appreciate their natural body type (no matter what your size).

All speculation aside, Spangenberg just happens to be this size. And you know what? You need something special to be a model, regardless of the modern belief that companies should start casting “real looking” people to be models so as to not discriminate. You wouldn’t hire an out-of-shape couch potato to be a ballet dancer for a national dance company, would you? You wouldn’t hire a high school dropout to assist a doctor during an operation, would you? So, tell me why people expect the fashion/modeling industry to start restraining who they want to cast (remember the BMI limit set to models a few years ago?). A business is a business, and you hire who you think would best represent your brand.

Long story short, do not be so quick to judge. It’s kind of a personal issue that has been bothering me for a while, but it has to be said. Criticizing a thin person and undermining their appearance is the same as if you did it to someone who is overweight. Whether you have a 20 or a 40 inch waist, you are still a human being with real emotions. You can never understand what a person goes through (or has gone through) when you criticize them, even if you think you are justified in doing so. I root for Ioana Spangenberg, and I hope she makes a successful career out of herself, whether it is in the modeling industry or not. Once you read what she went through because of her appearance, and how it affected her self-esteem and such in her younger years, and then you see how far she has come, it is quite an inspiration. And, as an inevitable reference to the oh-so-popular-and-quotable Mean Girls, “You go, Glen Coco!”

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