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Chad
8th January 2007, 22:25
Readers here will remember the CFDA, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which was introduced (http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?postid=1953#poststop) on this forum a few weeks ago, as the overseeing body of New York (i.e., American) fashion, and which later released a letter (http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?t=797) written by its president, Diane von Furstenberg, stating that they "cannot ignore the impact fashion has on body image. We share a responsibility to protect women, and very young girls in particular."

At least, so she said. I hope she believes what she wrote - and even more, I hope that other members of the fashion industry took her words to heart.

Anyway, according to a new article, the CFDA will finally issue some sort of model guidelines later this week:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070108/lf_afp/afplifestyleusfashion_070108215351&printer=1

This will be the test. This will be the make-or-break moment.

Will the fashion industry finally do something right? Will it try to redeem itself, after causing so much harm to women's body image for so long - for decades?

Or will it just engage in some tokenism, some sort of PR move to attempt to quell criticism? Will basically give a nod and a wink to designers, indicating that, whatever their guidelines say on paper, designers will still be free to push whatever image of life-threatening starvation they like, regardless of how many models, and how many women in general, suffer as a result?

I'm not optimisitic, but we shall see.

The one line in the article that gets me is this:

The former president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Stan Herman, last year ruled out a ban on skinny models in New York, saying such rules would expose the organizers to possible legal action.

"It would be the same as banning somebody who's too f**," he told AFP in September. "Those people could sue... I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole."
Oh please! ALL models who are not ultra-emaciated ARE already banned! One single appearance by Crystal Renn doesn't mitigate this. In a half-century of fashion, with thousands of shows, with TENS of thousands of models, how many plus-size models have there been? One - in only one show!

That's a ban. That's discrimination.

He acts like a ban would be something new to fashion, whereas in fact, the fashion world HAS completely banned curvy models for decades.

If, by his own words, a ban is something so intolerable, then the first thing the CFDA should do is lift the fashion industry's total ban on plus-size models - immediately.

HSG
9th January 2007, 15:53
<br>Litigation is invariably a hopeless morass that benefits no one but the lawyers themselves. However, what <i>is</i> significant about Mr. Herman's statement is his assumption that straight-size models would consider themselves so <i>entitled</i> to walk the catwalk--because of their (supposed) beauty and modelling abilities--as to resort to legal action to be allowed to do so, and his implicit belief that plus-size models would <i>not</i> consider themselves similarly entitled to appear in runway shows, and therefore, not likely to engage in similar litigation.

In fact, Mr. Herman's comment begs the question: why have no plus-size models ever resorted to the legal means that he fears straight-size models would employ, to appear on the world's catwalks (or in magazines, advertisements, etc.)?

The truth is that Mr. Herman could well be right in this assumption that straight-size models <i>would</i> consider catwalk appearances an entitlement, and plus-size models would not. It speaks of the overweening self-confidence that many straight-size models possess, and the comparable lack of self-assurance among most plus-size models.

Therefore, the most pertinent point is this: We need plus-size models who consider themselves just as entitled to headline runway shows, appear in magazines, etc., as do the anorexic waifs; plus-size models who are so supremely confident of their own beauty and talent, so aware of their own status as living goddesses, as to consider themselves equal to (or better, superior to) their underweight rivals, and therefore, ever bit as deserving to be embodiments of ideal beauty, and to dominate mass media, and popular culture.

Such extraordinary self-assurance will electrify the models' images, and will in turn be conducted to full-figured women everywhere.

Christina Schmidt in a red kimono top, at Torrid:<p><center><a href="http://www.torrid.com/store/product.asp?LS=0&RN=204&ITEM=549373" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/cs/torrid45b.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to view image source"></a></center><p>- <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/barbara15.htm" target="_blank">NEW Barbara Brickner gallery</a>

Kaitlynn
10th January 2007, 02:49
I stumbled across an item today that's worth keeping to mind, in all of these discussions. A nutritionist was talking about the figure of Keira Knightly (which is just like that of a runway model- anorexic-looking and underweight) and she explained why it's a harmful cultural influence:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_headline=no--she-s-gaunt-says-nutritionist-juliette-kellow-&method=full&objectid=18424404&siteid=94762-name_page.html

The text:

NO, SHE'S GAUNT SAYS NUTRITIONIST JULIETTE KELLOW

KEIRA'S slightly less skinny than in the past - but she's still incredibly thin and not a good role model for young women.

She doesn't look healthy. She's got no boobs and her bikini's too big for her.

Bigger women like Kelly Brook are sassy and sexy but Keira's smile looks forced. She never seems happy. Even if she's naturally thin, most women couldn't stay that shape without reducing their food intake. That can affect menstruation and fertility.

Also, she doesn't look appealing and I believe men don't like skin and bones.

They say we'll move away from size zeroes in 2007. Hopefully, skinny bodies like Keira's will be replaced by curvier ones. The point is, it doesn't matter whether Keira, or runway models, are in fact on the verge of death (as some runway models are, since two have recently actually died of anorexia), or whether there are a few women who can actually survive at this size. What matters is what kind of women, with what kind of body, are selected to be fashion models and actresses- and thus, set societal "norms."

If these "norms" are so abnormal that to mimic them destroys women's health (as is the case today), then those "norms" must be changed to something more normal; and to make this happen, fashion must select different models, with different figures (more natural, more womanly figures) from those it selects today.

There is no innate reason for size 0 to be the standard rather than size 14. That's just an arbitrary choice. And it's time for the media to make better choices.


Great image of Christina, by the way. And incidentally, with regards to:

We need plus-size models who consider themselves just as entitled to headline runway shows, appear in magazines, etc., as do the anorexic waifs; plus-size models who are so supremely confident of their own beauty and talent, so aware of their own status as living goddesses, as to consider themselves equal to (or better, superior to) their underweight rivals, and therefore, ever bit as deserving to be embodiments of ideal beauty, and to dominate mass media, and popular culture.There's a new image of Barbara at Nordstrom in which she displays this kind of self-assurance. I don't care for tunics at all, but Barbara's steamy expression evokes just the kind of uber-confidence described above.

http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2920340/0~2376776~2378685~2378693~2377783?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=2377783&P=1