The Victoria's Secret model is what society sees as the 'beauty ideal.' Here's why that's a problem.

This article is supported by Old Navy. It is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the brand.

Katie Willcox has been studying the symbolism of the beauty ideal — and what she found is utterly fascinating.

The author of Healthy Is the New Skinny wanted to understand why being skinny is so valued in society. So she asked a question: “If we look like a Victoria’s Secret model, what do we get?” The answer? These highly valued women get respect, praise, love, money, validation, popularity, and followers.

For those who aren’t thin, the opposite seems to be true.

Katie Willcox speaking at theCURVYcon on Sept. 8 in New York City. (Photo: Getty Images)
Katie Willcox speaking at theCURVYcon on Sept. 8 in New York City. (Photo: Getty Images)

However, Willcox says, this perception is just situated in the subconscious (and it’s not truthful) — but “until we identify it, we can’t challenge it.”

She explains that “by identifying it and saying that’s not true — why am I saying these awful things to myself — you recognized it and you challenged it, and you gave yourself the opportunity to step into your power.”

Willcox joined other plus-size influencers and celebrities at theCURVYcon on Saturday to talk about body positivity and size diversity in the fashion industry. She spoke during a workshop called “Curves & Culture: Using Our Unique Voices to Inspire Fashion,” presented by Old Navy.

Yahoo Lifestyle live-streamed theCURVYcon 2018. Check out our full coverage, here and catch another great moment, below:

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