“H&M didn’t stamp a big “PLUS” brand on all of Runk’s images, they didn’t isolate them over in a plus size section, they just included them in the swimwear section, as if to say “Here is a lady, wearing our swimwear, perhaps you should buy some of our swimwear, which comes in a range of sizes.”
And as with the reception to Justine LeGault’s “Elle Quebec” cover, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. People are really excited to see Runk appearing as the face of H&M and she’s been deluged in new Facebook fans, letters of praise, and more.
Are we seriously starting to see a revolt, a sea change, when it comes to the perception of larger women in popular culture? Because this kind of remarkably positive reception really is astounding, and it’s heartening -- people are starting to talk about size, culture, social pressures, and how these things intertwine. And we're starting to normalize the appearance of plus-sized models in fashion as just a natural variation of human bodies, rather than something shocking and awful.”
“The 'difference' between men and women is created in and by culture but is regarded as natural and biological. The huge difficulty that so many women and men have in seeing femininity and masculinity as socially constructed rather than natural, attests to the strenght and force of culture. The French feminist theorist Colette Guillaumin explains the difficulty with this cultural idea that women are 'different' (Guillaumin, 1996). If women are 'different' then there must be something they are different from. That something turns out to be 'men' who are not themselves 'different' from anything, they just are. It is only women who are understood to be different, 'Men do not differ from anything... We are different - it is a fundamental characteristic... We succeed in the grammatical and logical feat of being different all by ourselves. Our nature is difference' (Guillaumin, 1996, p. 95).”
—Sheila Jeffreys, Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West
“When I am lonely for boys it’s their bodies I miss. I study their hands lifting the cigarettes in the darkness of the movie theaters, the slope of a shoulder, the angle of a hip. Looking at them sideways, I examine them in different lights. My love for them is visual: that is the part of them I would like to possess. Don’t move, I think. Stay like that, let me have that.” ”