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Old 13th June 2010   #1
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Default British designer's size bigotry

I realize that if one wanted to, one could post endless stories about the fashion industry's thin-supremacist standards and anti-plus prejudices. But the designer who is quoted in this article deserves extra condemnation, because his excuses for his curve-o-phobia are so utterly pathetic.

Here's the article link.

Bear in mind that he's probably just seeking publicity, and that by even acknowledging his remarks we're just giving him what he wants. But still, these comments deserve ridicule.

Plus size girl will never make it as top models, says Julien Macdonald

Jun 13 2010 by Claire Rees, Wales On Sunday

TOUGH-TALKING designer Julien Macdonald has claimed a plus size girl will never make it as a serious model.
A "serious" model? Meaning a model is only serious if she has a serious eating disorder? That definition of "serious" shows how outright sociopathic the mainstream fashion industry is, as are the people who run it.

In a candid interview with Wales on Sunday, the Merthyr Tydfil-born Britain’s Next Top Model judge said:

- awarding modelling contracts to aspiring catwalk stars above a size six to eight [U.S. size 2 to 4] makes a mockery of the industry;
A "mockery"? The fashion industry already IS a mockery. The very fact that the fashion industry uses such emaciated, androgynous models is what makes it a mockery. Middle America, and any sensible person with sane moral values and aesthetic values, regularly mocks the waif-obsessed fashion industry for its fetish for emaciation, and for its grotesque, modernist vision.

- a larger model will never be accepted behind the scenes of a fashion show;
Wow. He out and out says that his entire industry is full of bigoted individuals -- and he says this as a blunt fact, as if the rest of society is just supposed to put up with it. Imagine if he'd said, "A black model will never be accepted behind the scenes of a fashion show" -- consider what howls of outrage such a comment would incite, and what that would do to the public opinion of the people he's talking about. Yet that's the exact moral equivalent of what he HAS said. That's why his industry IS a mockery.

Julien, who has an OBE for services for fashion, has been introduced to spice things up on the Living TV programme, and risks upsetting series founder and fuller figure poster girl Tyra Banks by insisting larger ladies would not be welcome on the British version.

“There were no plus size models,” he said.

“This is a serious show.

“You can’t have a plus size girl winning – it makes it a joke.”
Okay, (1) anyone calling a Top Model program, the bottom rung of reality TV, a "serious" show is himself a joke; and (2) his industry IS a joke -- precisely because it puts forth a degenerate standard of appearance for women.

Yes, the "mainstream" fashion industry is a joke, but not a funny one -- because models and women in general suffer life-threatening eating disorders because of it, and make their lives a living hell with self-imposed starvation just because sick individuals like this designer promote their perverted, unnatural vision.

America’s Next Top Model, the original series fronted by US model and chat show host Banks, who herself has spoken of her struggle with her weight, has awarded the prize to an American size 12 – a British size 16.

Whitney Thompson became the first plus size winner in 2008.

But panellist Julien...insisted the fashion industry will never accept a figure above a tiny size eight. [U.S. size 4]

“It’s not fair on them – you’re setting them up for a fall – I know what would happen to them afterwards,” he said.

“They are looked down on, they’re frowned upon. A catwalk model is a size six to eight [U.S. size 2 to 4].

“If you’re a size 14 in a room full of size eights – you’re in the wrong room.”
Again, he's openly acknowledging his own industry's prejudice. In a sane world, this would trigger a government intervention into this industry, and these comments would be used as incriminating testimony of fashion's institutional bigotry.

The idea that he could just say "A catwalk model 'is' a size six to eight [U.S. size 2 to 4]" as if it were a statement of fact is especially offensive, since there is no intrinsic reason for models to be that size, other than the prejudice of people like this designer himself. His statement is the exact equivalent of "Whites only." No one would tolerate that kind of assertion, and a "skinny only" policy is just as discriminatory and wrong.
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Old 14th June 2010   #2
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Default Re: British designer's size bigotry

Ah, the fashion industry with the mask off - what an ugly world it is, with what ugly people in it.

Beyond what Meredith has pointed out, I take something else from the article as well.

The whole rationale for steadily decreasing the size of plus-size models to the size of yesterday's straight-size models has purportedly been to make plus-size models more palatable to the thin-supremacist "mainstream" fashion industry, resulting in a few token appearances in magazines.

(Let's leave aside for a moment the fact that this is in and of itself extremely offensive, as it perpetuates the myth that skinnier is somehow "better.")

But this article, showing how the fashion industry really thinks, demonstrates that this has been a fool's ploy. The mainstream fashion industry will never accept plus-size models. (Not unless plus bookers keep shrinking "plus-size models" until they're size 4!)

The bookers who have been diminishing plus-size models have been doing so to kiss up to people who hate womanly curves. What's the point? What a misguided thing to do. All that this has done has been to alienate the plus-size public, and to make full-figured women ever-less-able to identify with plus-size models, as the plus-size models have grown smaller.

Instead of offending the full-figured public by shrinking plus-size models to the point where they're nowhere nearly plus (all for the sake of a straight-size industry that hates plus-size models), full-figured fashion should instead simply say "good riddance" to the curve-o-phobic side of the business, and start booking TRUE plus-size models, genuinely and visibly full-figured models size 16 and up, to please its own customer base.

Think about it. Here are the options. Will plus-size fashion try to please:

(a) straight-size designers who hate womanly curves, or
(b) full-figured customers who love womanly curves?

The latter is the only sane choice. If the plus-size industry chooses the former, then it displays just as much prejudice as the straight-size industry itself, and makes itself no better.
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Old 14th June 2010   #3
M. Lopez
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Posts: 587
Default Re: British designer's size bigotry

The fashion industry's bigotry is also glaringly exposed in this 9-minute clip from an episode of an Australian newscast called Sunday Night (which is something like a 20/20 program). It features Kate Dillon, as well as several other models, discussing the fashion industry's mandated starvation. Kate at least has a few intelligent things to say, but these are undercut by her regrettably thin current look. Remember - she was a size 8 when she was driven out of the straight-size industry, and she's practically that same size as a so-called "plus-size" model. That's pretty offensive.

Candice Huffine is also there, but isn't even given an opportunity to speak. That's a shame, because she's the closest to being plus of any of the girls in the segment, and she's also the most attractive.

The most disgusting segment features designer Alex Perry flagrantly touting his own prejudice. He basically raises his middle finger at the public, spouting the usual "aspirational" garbage. (As if a malnourished, shrivelled model is "aspirational." Only in his sick mind. A gorgeous size 16 is far more truly aspirational).

He says that he doesn't want fashion to be "ordinary" (and the way he says it, it makes it sound like "ordinary" would be a worse fate than having models die on the catwalk - talk about degenerate priorities), but the irony is that there is nothing more ordinary than the parade of cookie-cutter androgynous robots that the fashion industry marches down its runways. The waifs are ordinary, and tedious.

His claim that no one "forces" women to adopt this size is ludicrous. It's like saying that no one "forces" people to buy crack cocaine. So people should just be allowed to peddle any toxic poison? And besides - when it comes to the models, they ARE forced to be that life-threatening size, the same way that asbestos workers used to be forced to work with a product that literally killed them.

Here's the video:

The drawbacks to the program are that (a) the interviewer doesn't ask the designer any tough questions, (b) that it doesn't focus on plus-size modelling (true plus-size models, not faux-plus types) as a healthier alternative, and (c) that it holds up some Victoria's Secret model as a supposedly preferable size, when she's basically just as malnourished and emaciated as the runway waifs.
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Old 20th June 2010   #4
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Default Re: British designer's size bigotry

Here is a splendid response to the British designers prejudice. It comes from a former magazine editor, she she definitely knows what she is talking about:

The title sets the tone:

Size six? No, the fashion thin-dustry is the joke

By Fiona McIntosh 20/06/2010

When I was editor of a fashion magazine eight years ago, it was common *knowledge models lived on a diet of Marlboro Reds and Diet Coke.

Oh, and drugs. There were a lot of drugs around...

You weren’t even *considered for a job *modelling on the catwalk unless you could see a rack of ribs and a couple of hip bones.

We’d constantly send girls back to their modelling agencies because they didn’t look beautiful, they looked in need of an ambulance.

So why, we asked the agencies, did they have wasted girls on their books? It was the designers who demanded skinny girls, they told us.

That would be the male designers who wanted their girls to look like pre-pubescent boys. No prizes for guessing why.

Which is why I am thrilled the cult of Size 0 is over. Druggy, wasted, bony girls look sad and in need of help.

No woman in their right mind wants to look like a cadaver. In hard times we want a more comforting shape and if that means filling out to a size 12 or 14, then that’s fine by us.

Any girl who is a whopping size 10 or a hulking size 12 is, *according to *Julien, “looked down on, frowned upon”.

By whom exactly, Julien? ...By the kind of male fashion *designers who run a mile at the sight of *bosoms. But what Julien hasn’t *realised is that no one cares what he thinks any more.

If Julien and other male designers don’t wake up to the fact we need and want to see healthier models, it’s not Size 12 girls he’ll be laughing at on Britain’s Next Top Model.

This time the joke will be on him.

It is always helpful when someone who used to work in the industry turns whistleblower and admits what we all know - that the models are not "naturally" skeletal-looking; theyre poisoning and starving themselves to turn into such unnatural shapes. And whats more - they look hideous. There is no beauty whatsoever in emaciation. Such models dont prompt feelings of aspiration, but repulsion.

The down side? While the tone of the article is right, I see no evidence that the "cult of size 0 is over". Not yet. Not by a long shot. Models on the runways still look anorexic (because they still are anorexic), and the same designers whom Fiona McIntosh castigates in this article as still calling the shots.

The Israeli approach - out-and-out banning underweight models - is the only viable solution.
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Old 28th December 2010   #5
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Default Re: British designer's size bigotry

Hannah's response is most insightful and deserves to be considered carefully. She sets out the choice very clearly:

Originally Posted by Hannah
Will plus-size fashion try to please:

(a) straight-size designers who hate womanly curves, or
(b) full-figured customers who love womanly curves?

The bookers who have been diminishing plus-size models have been doing so to kiss up to people who hate womanly curves. But this article, showing how the fashion industry really thinks, demonstrates that the mainstream fashion industry will never accept plus-size models.

Instead of offending the full-figured public by shrinking plus-size models to the point where they're nowhere nearly plus, full-figured fashion should instead simply say "good riddance" to the curve-o-phobic side of the business and start booking TRUE plus-size models, genuinely and visibly full-figured models, to please its own customer base.

Anyone who claims that 2010 was a year of success for plus-size models at the level of "high fashion" is deluding themselves. That success came at the price of the models' curves, so it was no success at all. Only events that booked genuinely full-figured, like FFFWeek, and only clients that features truly curvaceous models such as Kelsey Olson, Katherine Roll, Mayara Russi, etc., can claim to have genuinely aided size celebration.

The past year saw the ongoing diminishment of size standards for many clients. If the median size of plus-size modelling shrinks from 16 to 14 to (god help us) 12, then it is deteriorating as an industry and is losing any value that it ever possessed. Rather than subverting mainstream fashion and opening up opportunities for genuinely full-figured women in the media, it is itself being subverted by the thin-supremacist fashion establishment. Worse, by still occupying the nominal "plus-size" aspect of the industry long after its models have stopped actually being full-figured, it is standing in the way of a re-emergence of true plus-size modelling.

It would be better if plus-size modelling were banished from supposed "high fashion" glossies forever than if they were to keep shrinking, because, as we have seen, bigger girls will only be acceptable to the curve-o-phobic fashion establishment if they lose all traces of fullness--in short, if they become straight-size models.

An industry in which there were no "high fashion" editorial work at all, but the models were all gorgeous and legitimately full-figured (size 16, 18, 20 and up) would be a far, far superior industry to the one that currently exists. True, the models would only appear in print catalogues rather than in magazines (which is not actually such a bad thing, given that when they do appear in fashion glossies they are often just pages away from diet-starvation ads), but at least those opulently proportioned models would be putting visibly well-fed bodies in the public eye, letting the populace see that beauty truly comes in larger sizes.

At the faux-plus level, though, they are merely displaying another kind of skinny.

Therefore, 2010 was a year of at least as many setbacks for size celebration as triumphs. Let us hope that 2011 brings with it a greater push for authentically curvaceous models, that plus-size goddesses once again appear visibly and indisputably full-figured, and that the faux-plus girls either blossom into larger beauties, or simply enter the minus-size part of the industry which they covet, and leave plus-size modelling to girls with more abundant proportions.

If every client that currently books full-figured models were to require girls over a size 16, then the entire industry would become a unstoppable force for size celebration, and society would soon rediscover the timeless, plus-size ideal of beauty.

Charlotte Coyle (Wilhelmina, New York) modelling for Marks and Spencer. Notice the round fullness at her lower midsection.

Gorgeous and visibly full-figured (as a plus-size model should be).

- Click to view larger

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