(CBS) — Miss Indiana’s bikini body is the talk of both the town and social media, but it may not be why you think. As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, she’s being applauded for looking normal.
25-year-old Mekayla Diehl confidently took the stage in this week’s Miss USA Pageant – curves and all.
She lost but what followed is a continuing social media firestorm praising the size four Miss Indiana for looking like a normal person and, in another tweet, being the only girl who had a relatively normal body.
“I have an achievable body. I don’t know if it is normal but I think it is healthy and achievable, not unrealistic,” said Diehl.
‘Not unrealistic’ maybe, but experts point out Diehl is far from normal.
“She’s still very slim, she did not look like an average person,” said Andrea Goldschmidt, the co-director of the University of Chicago’s eating disorders program.
Goldschmidt says while Diehl may be curvier than many other contestants, her size four physique is not average. Average, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is a size 12. Still, Goldschmidt says there is an upside to all the ‘regular gal’ fuss.
“These kinds of things when they come up in the media can be a good launching place for families to start talking about what is a realistic body image? What does a healthy body image look like?” said Goldschmidt.
That, it seems, would be just fine with Miss Indiana herself.
“I would like to think that I am just a normal, active person who lives a healthy lifestyle,” Diehl said.
Diehl says she didn’t advance to the final because her bathing suit scores weren’t high enough. Goldschmidt says she’d like to see the day when a woman’s weight or size is not an issue at all.