The Body Beautiful

By Jacqueline Cioffa

As a former model and makeup artist who worked with Ashley Graham, I can assure you she is not ‘fat,’ she is perfectly portioned. The average dress size for a woman in U.S. is 12 – 14. The modeling industry, fashion, and celebrity promote unhealthy and unrealistic skinny body standards for all women. This disturbs me on so many levels having witnessed firsthand the detriment to low self-esteem, eating disorders and unattainable weight issues has on young models that starved themselves to fit into a size zero.

Please don’t ever body shame anyone. I blame our culture hungry for gossip, entertainment television, the media, and fashion magazines for feeding the beast and creating a world where negativity and bullying of every kind are acceptable behavior. Social media bombards unrealistic images of skinny models, actresses and actors because Hollywood glam sells magazines and fuels the vicious, negative news cycle for girls, and boys who grow up with unrealistic and unhealthy body ideals.

As for Ms. Cheryl Tiegs, I’m certain she is a victim of the media spins, twisting her comments into negative comments for a profit. Her words misconstrued, chewed up and spit out to make a dollar.

Don’t believe everything you read in a magazine or see on the tube I promise you the pictures have been trimmed, tucked and photoshopped.

Let’s celebrate and lift women up, be positive role models for young persons of every size.

Size should be measured by moral character, self-confidence, support, authenticity and kindness.

They are beautiful traits in women. Malala is beautiful, Ashley Graham is beautiful, Cheryl Tiegs is beautiful.

So is every non-famous, nameless woman who wakes at 5:00 AM, applies gloss, hops on a bus, goes to work, fights for a cause with a smile, and returns home to fix dinner. The every woman who tucks her kids if she chooses to have them, or perhaps decides to run for President.

To the woman who stands tall and puts her best, prettiest, healthiest face forward every day and wakes up to do it all over again, for me she is most beautiful.

I’m older and wiser today with a few more pounds on my frame, life experience and measure my weight by a new and more accurate scale.

I’m human. I’m a girl. I’m healthy, and I’m doing my best to fit in the skin I live in.

Same as you, and same as me.

The Body Beautiful 2016 © Jacqueline Cioffa
originally published on I am nothing if not my word – Jacqueline Cioffa
Courtesy of Jacqueline Cioffa