Where are the Plus Size Images?

May 31, 2018 by

Where are the Plus Size Images?

Just a little venting, here,  Bold readers! Bold Media and Bold Magazine always try to be on the right side of the law. So, we only use images on our site which are completely free to use, alter, and post. Or, we ask our models like Mel Mayhem to send us some pics!

But have you ever actually done a search for plus size women? Especially if you do a safe search? We decided to do some research. Bold did a quick survey of Google and MSN images under a safe search over the weekend (both Saturday and Sunday). We averaged the results for both Google and MSN. We had the following results:

Google Images (Searched for “Plus Size Women”)

Number of Representative Images that can be used commercially: 21 (About 8%)

Number of Doubles within those Images: 8 (About 3%)

Number of Representative Cartoons: 21 (About 8%)

Number of Non-Representative Images that can be used commercially: 223 (About 81%)

Total Number of Images: 273 (100%)

Google Images (Searched for “Plus Size”)

Number of Representative Images that can be used commercially: 37 (About 13%)

Number of Doubles within those Images: 5 (About 2%)

Number of Representative Cartoons: 22 (About 8%)

Number of Non-Representative Images that can be used commercially: 217 (About 77%)

Total Number of Images: 281 (100%)

 

 

 

Google Images (Searched for “Plus Size Fashion”)

Number of Representative Images that can be used commercially: 41 (About 15%)

Number of Doubles within those Images: 3 (About 1%)

Number of Representative Cartoons: 18 (About 7%)

Number of Non-Representative Images that can be used commercially: 214 (About 77%)

Total Number of Images: 276 (100%)

 

 

 

 

Google Images (Searched for “Plus Size Model”)

Number of Representative Images that can be used commercially: 56 (About 20%)

Number of Doubles within those Images: 9 (About 3%)

Number of Representative Cartoons: 8 (About 3%)

Number of Non-Representative Images that can be used commercially: 209 (About 74%)

Total Number of Images: 282 (100%)

MSN Images (Searched for “Plus Size Women”)

Number of Representative Images that can be used commercially: 34 (About 35%)

Number of Doubles within those Images: 2 (About 2%)

Number of Representative Cartoons: 3 (About 3%)

Number of Non-Representative Images that can be used commercially: 59 (About 60%)

Total Number of Images: 105 (100%)

 

MSN Images (Searched for “Plus Size”)

Number of Representative Images that can be used commercially: 34 (About 35%)

Number of Doubles within those Images: 2 (About 2%)

Number of Representative Cartoons: 3 (About 3%)

Number of Non-Representative Images that can be used commercially: 59 (About 60%)

Total Number of Images: 98 (100%)

MSN Images (Searched for “Plus Size Fashion”)

Number of Representative Images that can be used commercially: 41 (About 38%)

Number of Doubles within those Images: 3 (About 3%)

Number of Representative Cartoons: 0 (0%)

Number of Non-Representative Images that can be used commercially: 63 (About 59%)

Total Number of Images: 107 (100%)

MSN Images (Searched for “Plus Size Model”)

Number of Representative Images that can be used commercially: 27 (About 26%)

Number of Doubles within those Images: 0 (0%)

Number of Representative Cartoons: 0 (0%)

Number of Non-Representative Images that can be used commercially: 76 (About 74%)

Total Number of Images: 103 (100%)

 

 

We could have done this for hours! But, it’s important to note that the relevant images (those who were plus sized women, non cartoons), ranged in a perceptive size 14 to 20 (hardly anything above that). We’ll need to do a more detailed research study on the perceptions of the actual sizes included in “plus size.” Many of the images were a size 0, 2, or 4. There were other non-representative images like shoes, trucks and cars, singers, etc. And, we need it to be noted that the doubles and cartoons dominated the top of the search fields, with some more of the “real” (non-stock) images all the way at the bottom.

It’s also important to note that the image percentages drastically improved when we filtered for images that did not depend on licensing. However, most of those images included images of Tess Holiday and Ashley Graham, who are not at all representative of the 67% of women in the US who are plus sized. We also purposefully neglected terms like BBW and other borderline fetishized words so that we could do our research during the day and in the office. Not to mention, this search was specifically inspired by the Plus Size Community, not BBW.

 

 

 

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