2014 Miss Indiana's "Normal Body"

2014 Miss Indiana's "Normal Body"

Updated Jun 17, 2014 at 01:45AM EDT by Brad.

Added Jun 12, 2014 at 04:35PM EDT by Molly Horan.

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Overview

2014 Miss Indiana’s “Normal Body” refers to a series of responses online, primarily through Twitter, praising Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl for her fuller figure after she competed in the 2014 Miss USA swimsuit competition in June 2014.

Background

On June 8th, 2014, the Miss USA competition, which was held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, held its swimsuit competition, requiring each of the 50 contestants to model a bathingsuit. Shortly after Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl modeled her swimsuit, viewers on Twitter began to comment on and praise her body for not conforming to the stick-thin body type normally associated with pageant contestants.



Notable Developments

News Media Coverage

The following day on June 9th, E! Online[1] published a Twitter round-up titled "Miss USA 2014: Stunning Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl’s “Normal” Body Applauded on Twitter During Swimsuit Competition," which highlighted tweets praising Diehl’s “normal” body. The same day several other sites published Twitter round-ups including Jezebel[6] and Hollywood Life.[7]



On June 12th, People[8] published an article titled “Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl Talks Praise for ‘Normal’ Body: ’I’m Confident in My Own Skin’.” In the article Diehl explains:

“I’m confident in my own skin. I didn’t obsess over being too skinny or not being tall enough. I knew that I would be going up against some girls that were 6’1” and professional models. That’s them; I’m celebrating who I am."


Backlash

On June 10th, 2014, The LA Times[2] published an article titled “Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl’s body is not ‘normal’ or ‘average’.” The article explains Diehl is much thinner than the average American woman, explaining:

“Diehl is a size 4. The 25-year-old is 5 feet, 8 inches, tall. She says she has a BMI of 18. A bag of bones she is not, but she is far from average. The average American woman, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is 5-foot-3 and 166 pounds. A waist circumference of 37 1/2 inches means that, on some clothing-size charts, miss average America is in the plus-size category.”

On June 11th, The Washington Post[3] published an article titled “Why it is dangerous to label Miss Indiana as ‘normal’,” which explained beyond a discussion of whether or not Diehl is thinner than the average women, fixating on women’s bodies alone can be a problem for society. Articles criticizing labeling Diehl’s body as “normal” and criticizing the fixation on body type were also published on Jezebel[5] and The Huffington Post.[4]

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