''Thin is not in on runways'' (article)
There is rather a good article on this topic in the Washington Post, and republished at the link below:
Washington Post link
"One of the questions the industry must address is the influence it has over women and body image...being pounded over the head with the belief that thin, thin, thin is beautiful can chip away at the fragile self-esteem of a young girl--and the confidence and spirit of smart and accomplished women. Any industry that threatens the mental and physical health of its employees and customers needs to engage in thorough self-examination."
"the models have gotten thinner, and now they also look sad, vacant and unhealthy"...
and here's a particularly significant insight:
"For all the emphasis the fashion industry places on creative integrity and individual vision, an enormous part of the problem is that its members all too often can't shake off a junior high school mentality of wanting to be part of the popular crowd. All it takes is for one influential person -- designer, editor, model booker -- to pronounce a girl "major." Everyone wants to use the same in-demand models"(no matter how grotesquely emaciated and corpse-like they look).
The article ends with a chillingly valid warning:
"...if the industry does not think carefully about the current aesthetic, what comes next could be truly ghastly."
What's out there is ALREADY ghastly - and life-threatening. Seriously, this madness must end.
Re: ''Thin is not in on runways'' (article)
This is exactly the point. Excellent article. Hopefully, it will make people realize just how absurd the fashion industry's "defence" is - to say nothing of the apologists for the industry.
Just think about what kind of so-called "freedom" is being defended here:
Fact: Underweight models are ruining the body image of women worldwide.
So society as a whole has to "tolerate" pointless misery, and suffering, and death, just because of the whims of a few fashion designers? Ridiculous.
That's the sum total of their infantile defence, when all spin is stripped away: "I just wanna."
Like cruel, irresponsible children, they just want when they want, and don't care about the consequences to anyone else, don't care about the well being of their models or their customers. This is an almost sociopathic level of self-absorption.
And also like unruly children, until someone teaches them responsibility, they will continue to inflict misery.
In what other circumstances would this kind of a "defence" not be exposed for the nonsense it is? Would a contracter be able to say "I just wanna use asbestos, cause I prefer it; who cares if it causes cancer"? Would a dentist be able to say "I just wanna use lead fillings, cause I find them easier, who cares if they cause lead poisoning"? Of course not.
Nor should designers be allowed to capriciously poison the culture as a whole, and ruin women's lives, just because they happen to have a twisted fetish for skin and bones, and weird personal fear of womanly figures. This is a matter of basic human responsibilty.
Re: ''Thin is not in on runways'' (article)
Once again, it's worth augmenting this criticism of the fashion industry with criticism of Hollywood. Both are the culprits.
And speaking of taking responsibility, that's exactly the keynote in a publicity piece concerning Cameron Diaz. Of course, it's easy to dismiss these sorts of statements as just PR bait, but if celebrities are going to be seeking publicity anyway, it's much better to have them making helpful statements like this, than gaining notoriety in negative ways.
[Diaz] blames the media for its promotion of super-skinny frames as the model of perfection. She says, "I think it's terrifying, it's tragic and sad. "I think that it's a sickness, something that's going on in someone's head where their perspective is off. "We get ideals from images that we see and there certainly should be more responsibility put on those people who are putting those images out into the world. Let's be a little bit more responsibleAbsolutely true.
Kate Winslet has also continued to speak out against the emaciated standard in Hollywood. One of many articles about her statements appears here:
[Winslet] finds the size zero thing 'unbelievably disturbing'.
But the crucial problem is still the absence of publicity devoted to fuller-figured celebrities (indeed, the absence of young, beautiful, full-figured celebrities- period). Where is the PR blitz for Christina Schmidt, and for Chloe Agnew?
Thank goodness Charlotte Coyle has made some progress in Britain, but she needs to be seen even more. And it's the American media that is all-powerful. At least Crystal Renn has attracted a bit of media attention, but it's only a drop in the bucket, and Crystal would be much more subversive at a larger size.
Much more exposure for the plus-size aesthetic is needed...
In fashion, gender-neutralization is OUT
Grimly, there is nothing paradoxical about the above circumstance at all. It has everything to do with how these individuals define so-called "power" and "confidence."
Another passage in the article provides the clue:
One model who has received a great deal of runway time recently is Vlada Roslyakova. When she first started appearing in shows of well-known designers, she stood out because of her awkward, robotic gait. She had a rigid posture and a tendency not to move her arms. Over seasons, she has learned how to simultaneously move both her arms and her legs when she walks. But she remains alarmingly thin, without curves or affect.
The machine-like nature of this model, and of all androgynous catwalk automatons, is symbolically fitting and revealing. She is the brutalist International style of architecture in (semi-)human form, an embodiment of what modernist political ideologues have tried to turn women into, since the proliferation of feminism, socialism, and other related ideologies, in the past century.
(Screen capture from a recent Celtic Woman PBS special.)
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