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Old 17th May 2011   #1
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Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default ''Curves are in'' (

From, the online portal of Allure magazine, comes a statement that should be met with equal amounts of approval and cynicism. Approval because it confirms (as mainstream-fashion sources seldom do) the true nature of feminine beauty; cynicism because it does come from a mainstream-fashion source, one that is, sadly, unlikely to act upon this information by changing its own underweight standard.

The most significant points:

American Beauty Today: Curves Are In

by Elizabeth Siegel, Associate Editor, May 17, 2011

At this morning's WWD Beauty Forum, Allure editor in chief Linda Wells quoted a particularly noteworthy finding from the Allure American Beauty Survey—which asked 2,000 men and women what they find beautiful now. "People like curvier bodies—even a big butt, which is great news," she said.

Kudos to Linda Wells for acknowledging this. It was true all along -- it's just that the fashion industry has never admitted it before.

Confirmation comes from an unlikely source:

Plastic surgeon Steven Teitelbaum, assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine, added that most men don't find flat abs and extra-thin thighs attractive (hallelujah!). "Women are more attractive to men if they have a little curve," he said—and procedures that remove fat from the outer thighs actually "masculinize the body." Even so, he added, being with a thin woman is sometimes seen as tantamount to social prestige.

That statement is significant for several reasons. First, it's gratifying to see a male voice confirming Linda Wells' point and adding to it by revealing that men find "toned" female figures repulsive. Instead, soft, fleshy, untoned female physiques are far more sensual to most men than androgynously "toned" frames.

Second -- and this is key -- it's extremely encouraging to see this individual acknowledging that diminishing a female body masculinizes it. He is thus acknowledging that a fuller figure is a more feminine figure, and that body-diminishment has the effect of androgynizing the female figure. That should be a clue as to why the fashion industry insists upon the underweight look for women. It also reveals the nature of the fey individuals who push for this masculinized standard, and what their motivations and resentments are.

On the other hand, how very troubling that a plastic surgeon was at a fashion conference in the first place.

Still, Teitelbaum's final point about "prestige" is very much on point, and confirmed in the latter portion of the Allure statement:

Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president of Estée Lauder, likened woman's desire to be thin to "women dressing for other women."

This fact has been well established, but it needs to be said as often as possible, because the feminist myth about a conspiratorial "patriarchy" still persists, long after it has been thoroughly debunked. It is not men (that is, not heterosexual men) who have imposed the anorexic standard of appearance on women. Quite the contrary. As this Allure write-up acknowledges, men prefer women with curves.

Rather, it is women who tyrannize themselves with the androgynous, underweight "ideal" (women, and men who are not attracted to women, who aren't "men" at all).

How gratifying to find Allure making these concessions and coming to these realizations. One would hope that this would mean that the magazine would now begin featuring plus-size models (true plus-size models, over a size 14) in its pages. But if past experiences are any indication, don't hold your breath...
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