H&M Swimsuit Model: Size 12! Normal-Looking!

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Jennie Runk, H&M's new swimsuit model, is making headlines because of her size - a healthy 12 - and also the fact that she's not even labeled plus-size.

The fact that she is technically a "plus-size" model but the ubiquitous and stigmatizing term is absent from catalogs speaks volumes about the brand.

Her section isn't labeled "Plus-Size Beachwear." Just beachwear.

H&M Swimsuit Model

Jennie Runk models items ranging from sizes 14 to 24, the only clue alluding to the collection's larger sizing is a small "+" sign to the right of H&M's logo.

For women size 12 or above, it's a rare and refreshing thing to see themselves marketed to without negative connotation and as the target demo.

"Thank you so much for using Jennie Runk as your covergirl. That you did so without calling attention to her shape makes it all the more commendable," wrote one admirer.

"I love seeing a girl with my body type not only represented on your site but represented without fanfare," wrote another of the 24-year-old Runk.

Jennie herself told Vogue Italia this year that she is "looking forward to the day that 'plus-size' doesn't exist any more ... it's getting a little old fashioned."

Jennie Runk Pic
Jennie Runk Bikini Photo

Runk, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, says she actually stopped dieting and gained 20 pounds to become a plus-size model.

"Plus-sized models are not actually plus-sized women, we're just bigger than the average model," she said, noting that many think "plus-size" is over Size 4.

Runk says she is "confident, happy and healthy" at a size closer to the national average of 12, and that "I think every woman should be represented equally."

"We're trying to create a movement for every woman to love and embrace her body no matter what kind of body she has," she explained of the shoot.

"So much of advertising portrays only one kind of body, super tall and skinny."

"It goes beyond plus-size. I think not only should there be more plus-sized models in fashion, there should also be more petite, pregnant, ethnic, etc."

Jennie Runk Photo
H&M Model

I understand that the idea of this it to make larger girls feel good about themselves. I feel that everyone should feel good about themselves, but do you not understand that while thin models are considered "unhealthy", so to are plus sized models? There are more deaths each related to heart disease and other obesity-related health complications than those related to low-self esteem and eating disorders. Further, by continuing to push this idea that larger women are natural, healthy, and normal is putting down thinner people. Its ridiculous that women can't just be told they are beautiful no matter what, instead, we continually lift ourselves up by putting other women down.


I'm sorry to be so blunt, but the fact that the average woman is a size 12 is NOT a good thing! The fact is, very few people are at their healthiest at a size 12 and no industry, fashion or otherwise, should try to convince people that that's the case. Personally, I'm sick of fat people using the fact that plus size models "look like real women" to not only rationalize, but justify their unhealthy habits.


When did a size 12become plus size. ...wth are we doing. This is why so many women have eating disorders, sad really.


I love this! This is awesome! And I get that some people are naturally skinny & I have nothing against them at all. It's just that many women are curvy or average sized...whatever you want to call it. So it's really refreshing to see someone my size modeling for a brand like H&M. I wish more brands would do this. And as several have mentioned I would definitely support more brands having actual plus-size women model clothing in brand catalogs to. If more brands would do this then maybe there wouldn't be so many teenagers and adults to getting eating disorders or constantly feeling like their not good enough. Not saying it would solve all the problems...but it's definitely a start.


Wow...."a little chunky" you are so rude! Shame on you. There is nothing wrong with this woman she is beautiful. Whether u think she is " a little chunky" or not it doesn't change the truth that she is stunning at her size. People today struggle with eating disorders to try and live up to others standards of what is acceptable in society. Its people like you Megan that i feel very sad for because in your rude comments it really shows your lack of confidence and how severely insecure you are about yourself and feel sorry for your daughters if u have or will have any. This lady if happy and confident and I'm so glad to see real beauty and real bodies model swimwear. Thumbs up to her!


What about us skinny bitches!! This is discrimination


Let's be honest, she's a little chunky.


This is not refreshing at all! If she's a size 12 then she should be modeling regular size suits, since plus size STARTS at 14. A plus size woman wants an idea of what the suit/clothing will look like on HER body, not on a girl who is one size smaller than the clothes are actually meant for. Put a size 20 model in there and then I'll feel refreshed!

@ hallsballs

Did you even READ the article? She is NOT modeling plus size swimsuits. She's modeling regular swimsuits. It's a good thing. Jesus.

@ hallsballs

Did you read the story. It said she is not modeling plus size. The line is just titled beachwear! Now yes for the plus sized line they should put someone who is actually plus sized. This is very refreshing to see an average sized woman model clothing. This is what the average woman will look like in the swimsuits.

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