Tuesday, June 15, 2010
OK, Here I go again.....well I can't craft ALL the time!
Above are these cutsie images of women from yesteryear...sure we think they are charming and pretty and *sigh* that those were gorgeous times.
But I am posting this in response to a more serious issue. The above images were actual women, there were beauties in their time, most were models and held as the "ideal" : sexy, womanly, healthy. Ah but time have changed I hear you say, yes Times have changed and in most ways it can be argued for the better and in some ways less so. In body image contexts, LESS so it would appear. If these women were in hope of being a model in 2010 they would be plus size models!!!!
On Sunday I was watching the channel 7 Sunday program(you can read more here. I watched an interview with Alex Perry : Australian fashion designer. The journalist was doing a piece about young models who were told to reduce their already underweight bodies. These woman are speaking out about the absurd body "ideal" set by the fashion industry and the terrifying strategies used/ suggested to achieve such demands to keep their dream jobs. Some of these tall slim beauties are now, puzzling as it may seem, "Plus Size Models" and have been black banned by top fashion houses never to have their now BMI correct bodies used again.
Alex Perry was asked if he felt the industry should take a stronger responsibility towards the well being of its young employees (remember some of these girls are too young to get a job at Coles on the checkouts for pocket money). Alex responded, in what I saw as, a flippant and very defensive way. He said, and I paraphrase here, that he would never make size 14 up clothing to make a fat girl feel better about herself. That if he did, he would only be ordinary (?) No way "love" he said, it is just not going happen on his catwalk. He also, in a scathing way that made him look incredibly shallow and dim, rejected Naomi Wolf's suggestion that the fashion industry's perpetual use of emaciated girls and projecting unrealistic body images as "what is beautiful" was in fact oppressing women. He mocked her and called her "love" too. He really couldn't see the connections!
Boy was I angry! Well Alex, I am not ordinary and my size 14 body is strong, in fact it can look great at times and I don't need your over priced clothing to make me feel good about myself. I reject your concept of beauty...These skeletons that stride the catwalk with ankles that appear ready to snap at any given moment. The music is loud at these shows to drown out the collective growl of the model's stomachs. The make up is heavy, it has to be because such as thinness doesn't have a glow. Can't they see the ugliness? Any POW will tell you the agony of being starved. The effects on a person's health and mental health can't be argued, there are too many stories of tragedy.
I accept this is a "special" world, this world of modelling. I love fashion items too, oh I would die for a pair of Vivian Westwood shoes swoooon! But ethically, it is now falling way too short of the mark. Healthy slim looking women size 12 at 180cms are now Plus Size models? Oh puleeasse!
Hey fashion world the ecological concept of "reduce" does mean the size of your minions!
More discussion on this later! So much more to consider I realise....As mothers', women let's generate some public debate, let's influence that social paradigm of beauty as we cannot rely on top designers such as Alex Perry to use his influence - he's told us he simply won't.