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M. Lopez
10th August 2006, 03:06
Every once in a while, a moment of sanity occurs in the fashion industry. And this is one of the best I've ever heard.

Apparently, at South Africa's Fashion Week (which just ended), a model was rejected from walking the runway, because she looked TOO THIN.

Here's the link:

http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1980427,00.html

The excerpt that really got me was the statment that it was "painful to look at her" and made people feel "immediately uncomfortable." That is exactly the reaction that most minus-size fashion models inspire. They look like they're in pain, and far from being "beautiful," they are so emaciated that they actually cause the viewer to feel pain themselves - like looking at famine victims.

I hope that this is a taste of things to come, and that in the future, models will be preferred to look fuller, and will be rejected if they look gaunt, not if they look curvy.

The pertinent text is below:

.....................................

Can you be too thin?
09/08/2006 19:43 - (SA)

Cape Town - After the SA Fashion Week, people could not stop talking about Kirsty McKenzie, a teenage model who was kicked off the catwalk - for being too thin.

It was apparently "painful to look at her".

It was Dion Chang, programme manager for SA Fashion Week, who had to tell her to pack her bags and go home.

"I was immediately uncomfortable when I saw her on the catwalk," said Chang.

Some said the decision to fire the model made bigger news than the designs shown at the fashion week.

There was even media speculation that she might have an eating disorder...

[Chang] said it was important to send out a message to women that it was not necessary for them to be unnaturally thin to realise catwalk dreams.

"Especially in a country where women are more curvaceous by nature," he emphasised.

He explained that research he had recently done for his trend company Flux, showed that the kind of appearance people strived towards, would change again.

HSG
12th August 2006, 14:56
It was apparently "painful to look at her".
This comment is extremely telling, as it underscores the fundamental aesthetic opposition between minus-size models and plus-size models: the former embodying an aesthetic of <i>pain,</i> and the latter an aesthetic of <i>pleasure.</i>

Why were fashion models ever diminished to the point that they embodied a pain-aesthetic in the first place? One wonders. It is undoubtedly symptomatic of the 20th-century's attempt to impose androgyny on modern culture. <i>Pain</i> is more naturally associated with masculinity--with the harder, sterner aesthetic of the Sublime; whereas <i>pleasure</i> is essentially associated with femininity--with the softer aesthetic of the Beautiful.

It is indeed <i>painful</i> to look at minus-size models. One recoils from the sight of them. One instinctively wishes to look away. The misery of their self-imposed diet-starvation and exercise-torture is immediately apparent in their sunken visages and wizened figures.

By contrast, it is <i>pleasing</i> to look at plus-size models. Their images evoke feelings of comfort and relaxation. One experiences genuine delight in viewing their sumptuous beauty, just as one experiences joy in viewing a harmonious work of visual art--a painting, or a sculpture.

Part of the reason for this is surely because plus-size models so evidently enjoy life. Their loveliness derives directly from living generously. Beauty such as theirs can only be acquired through indulgence rather than deprivation, through sweet idleness rather than exertion, through pampering rather than punishment.

No wonder, then, that <i>Mode</i> magazine titled one of its monthly features, "The Pleasure Zone." No wonder, too, that Venus, the Classical goddess of love and beauty and all things feminine, was forever attended by Ceres (the deity of the harvest--i.e., of food), to keep the goddess well satisfied.

We anticipate the day when the fashion world will reject painful minimalism, and embrace the joyful aesthetic of timeless beauty.

Sensual, size-positive new image of Gaynor Anema (Talent Models, Berlin/Wolf Models, Hamburg), in an appropriately idyllic environment:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/gaynor01.jpg"></center>