Ask any woman whose body falls somewhere outside the size 2, runway-approved figures of Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss, and she’ll tell you about a slew of styles she “can’t” wear because of her specific shape — and the way that society’s made her feel about it.
Model Sophie Tweed-Simmons, 23 — whom you may know better as the daughter of KISS rocker Gene Simmons and model Shannon Tweed — posted an Instagram Sunday night in which she railed at society for the double standards it assigns to women based on their body types. Comparing a photo of herself in thong underwear with a snap of “straight sized” Victoria’s Secret model Josephine Skriver in a similar pose, Tweed-Simmons wrote, “Would just like to point out the hypocrisy of some of my followers… Here is straight sized model Josephine modeling for Victoria’s Secret and Me modeling for Adore me…yet she is considered ‘classy’ and I am considered ‘slutty’ […] and because my booty is larger than hers, I’m being labeled.”
Her caption was specifically in reaction to some comments she received on another recent post, which showed her modeling underwear for a new Adore Me lingerie shoot. “You don’t need to prove anything by showing your skin. You are beautiful! Stay covered up,” said one, while another asked, “Why. Don’t do this. It’s not nice to show too much????”
I spoke briefly with Tweed-Simmons — who says she’s typically grouped into the “real woman” category of modeling — about what inspired her to speak out.
“It’s not so much that [the comments] affected me, but I wanted to point it out for my younger followers who maybe look up to me and also read the comments. I’m aware that they’re super hypocritical — but younger girls may not be. When a model like Kate Moss poses nude, everyone says it’’ beautiful and that it’s art, and that she’s done her job as a model. But when someone my size does it, it’s called sexy or slutty. I might have more boobs or more butt than Kate Moss has, but they’re all the same body parts.”
The model says her frustration over the double standard dates back to high school, when a practice known as “shirting” all but slaughtered her still-blossoming self-esteem. “I would purposefully wear the same shirt as my best friend because we wanted to match, but I would get sent home for too much cleavage and she’d be fine. You had the choice of either going home for the day, or wearing a giant school-colored shirt. It would happen to me all the time in high school — and I went to really progressive high school.”
Thankfully, no one’s trying to “shirt” Tweed-Simmons these days: It turns out that her curves are extremely good for business. Said Adore Me founder and CEO Morgan Hermand-Waiche, “Sophie embodies what the Adore Me brand is about: feeling confident in your body and being proud of every curve. Sophie is a gorgeous woman and was an absolute pleasure to work with. […] One fun fact I wanted share with all of the so-called ‘industry insiders’ that continue to insist that only skinny sells: Sophie is one of the best-selling models on the Adore Me website right now.”
As a girl with curves myself, I can totally relate to Tweed-Simmons’s frustrations. No matter how proud you may be of your own body, it’s hard not to hear society’s opinionated commentary in the background. We’ve all been trained to see the curvy woman as the seductive temptress; the busty girl as the “slut.” If you’re slim and trim, no clothing is off-limits — but if you’ve got boobs and hips, you’ve got to “dress for your curves.” In other words, better to stay covered up than show off your assets and attract negative attention.
It’s one of things that I, personally, admire about Kim Kardashian: her willingness to dress however she wants and show off whatever she wants, without being afraid of the looks and comments she could receive. There’s no question that Tweed-Simmons is on her way to that level of fearlessness — but for now, it never hurts to try to educate her followers on the absurdity of their hurtful words.