Chloe Marshall is a 17-year-old "was the first plus-sized model in British history to make the July finals of [the annual Miss England contest]."
A critic from the Daily Mail had this to say:
"'Feted and fawned over for her courage in daring to break the mould, Chloe boasts she wants to be an 'ambassador for curves',' wrote columnist and former Miss England judge Monica Grenfell. 'Who does she think she's kidding?'
'What she's demonstrating isn't bravery but a shocking lack of self-control,' she wrote. 'Instead of flaunting her figure, Chloe ought to own up to the truth. She is fat and she got that way by over-eating.'"
The article said that Marshall is not obese, having a BMI of 26 (a 30 would qualify as obese), which is fine for her height and weight. Marshall also says that she exercises regularly and eats healthily.
The topic of body image is what originally sparked my interest in feminism when I began to realize that many of the unrealistic ideas about beauty that women in American society receive come from the media, a lot like what is happening in England.
It struck me as particularly offensive how the critic, Grenfell, made assumptions about Marshall, such as her being "fat, lazy and a poster girl for ill health" merely because of Marshall's appearance. Those assumptions are wrong, and they help illustrate a common and terribly widespread prejudice against people who cannot wear a size 2 (or less).
The fact that this is even in the news bothers me. If people had more realistic ideas about weight and health it probably wouldn't be. Marshall's strongest critic seemed to have not done her research, because if she had, she would know that Marshall is in fact NOT obese and not "a poster girl for ill health." The fact that because this woman does not conform to the unrealistic standards of a mislead society and makes the news for it is upsetting.