The letter is a battle cry, a call to arms exhorting women to throw off the shackles of the industry that has been oppressing them for so long, and to live lives free from alien, androgynous ideals.
Every point that the writer makes deserves scrutiny, but several stand out as especially pertinent:
Why follow the dictates of fashion, when it is dominated by individuals who aren't attracted to women in the first place--indeed, who appear to hate them?
The beauty ideal of the past was very different. It was a fuller-figured standard, one that was enshrined by men who actually adored women. It therefore offers a healthier and more beautiful alternative to modern emaciation.
Rejecting the fashion industry's tyranny of taste would put an end to the blight of anorexic models.
Women have the power to make all of this happen, and to break the industry's monopoly, by rejecting modern fashion outright.
Not to do so leaves women stuck with the worst kind of role models--actresses and fashion waifs whose job it is to look emaciated and androgynous, simply to please the anti-feminine tastes of those who are in control of the media.
All of these points are important, but none more so than the first. Women shoulder reflect on the identity of the people to whom they give so much power over their self-image:
A question I always ask myself is: “Who’s telling me this?”
I wish women today would ask that question of those who dictate what passes for defining today’s “beautiful” woman. Who are the people making these decisions?
A second, and perhaps even more important question women should ask is: “Why should I listen to them?”
Anyone who has watched Project Runway, or seen interviews with "top" designers or magazine editors, will know what a rogue's gallery of freaks and weirdos ends up comprising the "leadings lights" of fashion. These are people who would have been outcasts in high school. They grow up embittered and resentful of the mainstream, contemptuous of traditional values, resentful of voluptuous femininity (if they are women) or biologically predisposed not to be attracted to it (if they are men), and eager to "scandalize" the public whenever they can.
At the high-school level, their perverted tastes are (rightly) rejected. If one of them tried to tell a buxom cheerleader that she was heavy, or to stage a grotesquely "edgy" fashion show, they'd be laughed at, and maybe even pummelled by their peers.
So why are they suddenly accepted as the arbiters of culture a few years later? Just as they would be considered fringe crackpots at the teen level, so should their deviant inclinations be rejected as unappealing and ugly in adulthood.
But women do need to clothe themselves, and for that, a healthier alternative exists--a true alternative, not the so-called "alternative scene" in fashion that is actually even more aberrent than fashion's mainstream, but the most positive, healthy, beautiful world of full-figure fashion and plus-size modelling.
And if women increasingly withheld their money from the degenerate world of anorexic, "edgy" fashion, and devoted it to that part of the industry that presents a more natural, wholesome, beautiful image, with fuller-figured models and more feminine styling, then those fringe elements would be eliminated, just as the writer describes in his letter. That, or they would have to adapt and produce something that benefits society and makes women feel good about themselves, rather than ruining their body image and trying to stigmatize femininity in favour of unnatural androgyny.
Luscious Marritt Pike (size 16, Ford S.F.)--a larger scan of one of her most celebrated test images. Notice the seductive swell of her curvy waist.
- Click to view larger