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Old 26th November 2009   #1
HSG
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Default Kate Dillon videos


The following is, in a certain sense, a revisitation of this thread from several years ago. However, both of the Kate Dillon videos in question have now been lengthened to feature more substantial content.

In light of our recent posting of Lane Bryant's historic, first-ever Cacique fashion show, it is interesting to review the 2000 PBS exposť Dying to be Thin. This documentary features numerous clips of the same runway show, but filmed from different angles, and includes the original audio rather than the creative soundtrack that Lane Bryant added in post-production.

Don't miss a fine moment when Kate mentions her youthful love of "frosted pink lipstick"--a cosmetics choice that has always been a Judgment of Paris favourite.

Viewing this documentary again, what is particularly remarkable is how similar Kate Dillon's story is to Crystal Renn's. The differences are minor; the similarities are striking. Both models diminished themselves terribly; both became anorexic due to the pressures of the fashion industry; both had straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back moments when they were told to lose even more weight, after already being sickly thin, and realized that they could no longer continue starving themselves, because their very lives were in jeopardy.

However, the differences are notable too. When Crystal had her make-or-break moment, she was told by her agent that plus-size modelling was available as an option. Kate was never given any such choice. She simply had to leave, and only discovered the plus-size modelling industry on her own, years later. Indeed, the fact that a plus-size possibility was available to Renn at all was due, in no small part, to Kate's own groundbreaking career.

- Click here to see Kate in Dying to be Thin (video)

* * *

The second clip, a Good Morning America appearance from autumn of 2002, also begs comparison to Crystal's many TV interviews. It is remarkable how much more educated the media has become about models and anorexia in the intervening years. In this segment, the host seems inappropriately bemused by Kate's story, and the model, for her part, is almost shy with her remarks. Fast forward to several years later, and the hosts who interview Crystal have a much better understanding of the toxicity of the fashion industry, and of the severity of eating disorders. They react with proper horror at the torture to which the fashion industry subjected Renn. In no small part, Crystal owes the media's receptiveness to her story to the groundbreaking efforts of Kate and her peers.

Also, consider this: as Kate notes in this clip, she was a size 8 when she was told to lose 20 pounds, and was forced to leave modelling. Crystal was even skinnier when she was told to lose weight. The downward trend between the industry's size-cutoff points exposes just how much more pernicious and harmful fashion has become from the time of Kate's straight-size career to Crystal's. The "ideal" look keeps growing more androgynous, more emaciated, and more alien--ever further from the timeless ideal of Classical beauty.

It is appalling that the public has allowed this industry to keep debasing our culture, and to impose ever-more grotesque, unnatural, and harmful standards of appearance as the dominant image of womanhood.

- Click here to watch Kate on Good Morning America (video)


Last edited by HSG : 26th November 2009 at 08:08.
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