Home Fashion My ascent as a Times Square Billboard Model.

My ascent as a Times Square Billboard Model.


Sarah Hartshorne.

I was recently lucky enough to see my face on a Times Square billboard. My inner 7-year-old swelled with pride, shock and glee. My adult self couldn’t believe that a body like mine would ever shine out on Times Square with all the other size-2 glamazons. And while those size-2 glamazons are all incredibly beautiful, seeing myself up there with five other curvaceous women gave me a glimpse of what it might be like if the fashion industry opened its tightly shut doors and let in women of all different shapes and sizes.

As fashion week begins, so does the onslaught of tall, gangly and hungry 15-year-old girls. New York City is suddenly overwrought with these beautiful, other worldly creatures perched atop mile long legs. As we enter into another season of wearable art and starving women, I hope designers will take the opportunity to make a few strides towards curing America of its obsession with overly young, overly thin girls. Although I say that as a plus-size model, my goal is not to exclude traditional models. I’m not one of those curvy girls who hate thin people. America’s fascination with exaggerated thinness has reached an unhealthy level, and needs to change.

In her interview with Vogue, Tina Fey pointed out that, although the pages of our magazines pay homage to the cult of thinness “we’re also the fattest country in the world, so it’s not like we’re all looking at fashion magazines and not eating. Maybe it just starts a shame cycle.” She’s partially right. There is a detrimental dichotomy between America’s morbidly obese reality and our painfully thin fantasy. But she’s partially wrong: some girls are still looking at these fashion magazines and not eating. They’re destroying their bodies in the pursuit of this unrealistic ideal that we continue to put forth despite our rapidly growing waistlines.