The opposition revealed
A recent article in The Independent newspaper offers a shocking glimpse of the truth behind fashion-industry standards.
In a rare moment of horrifying candor, a designer exposes the actual ideology that underlies the death aesthetic which dominates modern society:
Nathalie Rykiel, sister of Sonia and director of the Sonia Rykiel group declared: "Fashion must be excessive. The woman who parades on the catwalk is the artistic vision of a creator. Let them express themselves freely. They don't exist to speak of reality but to transcend it. Fashion feeds on excess. Women of the street who follow fashion adapt it to their own bodies."
The mind boggles. What kind of "artistic vision" is it to promote death as an ideal?
But Rykiel continues:
"The distance between the girls who exhibit and those who flip through the magazines must be the same as that between the hero of a novel and the reader. Fashion is not responsible for anorexia."
The second point is, of course, a bald-faced lie. Countless medical studies have conclusively demonstrated that fashion imagery is responsible for anorexia. For this designer to simply claim that this is not the case is like someone denying the earth's rotation, or gravity.
Riykel's final comment, however, may be the most coldly candid and revealing statement that any designer has yet made on this subject:
Cadaverously thin models reflect "the change in the position of the woman in society," she went on. "The woman of today is liberated, active. This dynamism returns to an idea of speed. We must eliminate everything that gets in the way of reaching this speed."
"Dynamism"? Anorexia victims (and starvation sufferers generally) are anything but dynamic. They become so weak that they can barely move their limbs.
It is amazing that in a time that claims to champion "democracy," that a small group of like-minded individuals has managed to erect a citadel for themselves, in the form of the modern fashion industry, where their whims are law, and from which they can dictate grotesque, unnatural, harmful (and potentially fatal) regulations to the rest of society on how women should look--and even, as this designer's comments reveal, how they should behave and think.
Re: The opposition revealed
"Liberated"? What a joke! The idea of the straight-size fashion industry associating their dictatorial standard of emactiation-or-nothing with "liberation" is colossal hypocrisy.
In other words, they're saying to women:
-"You're 'liberated'...to be size 4 or less only."
-"You're 'liberated'...to obey our exact rules and regulations about how to look and dress."
-"You're 'liberated'...to hate your own femininity and become androgynous- the way we demand that you be."
-"You're 'liberated'...to give up your freedom and live under our dictatorship."
Tyranny calling itself "liberation." Unbelievable that anyone could actually say this with a straight face.
Re: The opposition revealed
The answer to what this designer thinks "we must eliminate" is obvious: goddesses who exhibit plus-size beauty. She knows that they are the only actual threat to the dictatorship of skinniness that she and her fellow designers have instituted.
Her absurd "liberation" argument is perverse Orwellian doublethink. In fact, straight-size fashion is about the exact opposite of liberation: it is about restriction, limitation, and imprisoment.
This designer's world-view would have women restrict their enjoyment of life, and limit themselves to the prison of 9-to-5 jobs (dressed, no doubt, in straightjacket-like androgynous suits).
By contrast, the timeless notion of femininity truly liberates women to enjoy life to the fullest. It is about freedom, in every sense. Freedom to eat whatever they want, freedom to enjoy themselves, freedom spend time with their families, freedom to relax.
And how ridiculous that this designer invokes the notion of "hero" to refer to malnourished models. They are the exact opposite. A hero inspires. A hero ennobles. A hero does not cause personal misery and despair.
There is nothing "heroic" about being emaciated, any more than it would be "heroic" to deliberately contract a disease.
In fact, it is plus-size models who are truly heroic -- not only because of their epic beauty, but also because they go against the grain, bravely defying media conventions, and being true to themselves.
In her Irish Amerca profile, Kate Dillon identified part of her reason for becoming a full-figured model as "Not wanting to be the 'socially-conditioned conformist'." It's so true. After all, what is more heroic:
-blindly following media standards, marching in lock-step with society, and dutifully conforming to designers' dictates (even at the cost of one's looks and health), like a puppet on a string (the way emaciated models do),or
-boldly challening those regulations, being true to yourself, freely following your desires, and striking out an independent path (in the manner of plus-size goddesses)?Timeless beauty will yet liberate women from the tyranny of modernity.
Re: The opposition revealed
Ms. Rykiel's comments are very revealing. As many of us have known for a long time, the fashion industry does not exist to celebrate and encourage expression of femininity. Rather, it tries to mold everyone into a false standard that most people (if they would be honest) do not even find attractive. And it does this while screaming "SHAME on you!" if you are not Mary-Kate Olsen thin.
Against my better judgment (I try to avoid fashion magazines, as I have past problems with anorexia and they bring up old body-image issues), I opened a copy of Glamour at the office. There, I found a feature article about Liv Tyler, who by any sane person's standards is very thin. It seems the article was holding her up as an ideal of beauty that doesn't fit into the typical Hollywood-skinny mold. These magazines always claim they "celebrate YOUR body!" and give lip service to the idea of accepting yourself as you are in articles like this. But their idea of "plus-size" is women like Liv, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez, all still very thin - and their advertisements and fashion layouts still feature the stick-thin anorexic models.
I am so tired of the hypocrisy of the fashion industry. Hopefully, people will wake up soon. Haven't enough young girls died yet?
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