Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Social Paradigm of beauty




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.  

14 comments:

PaperTree Designs said...

Good for you. Better yet..Write him a letter. Why dont we all email him. Here is his email girls... enquiries@alexperry.com.au Heehee. PS Dont watch 'Sunday'! ;-D

Catherine said...

Those pictures of the women you posted are beautiful and normal. How sad is it that women can't be themselves and have to starve themselves to be unrealistically thin:( You go girl!!

jmommy08 said...

Great post! I full agree with your view - I think the skeletons they parade around in front of us are disgusting and I don't understand the allure. They don't make me want to buy clothes, they make me want to buy food. Thanks for posting!

Fippa said...

It's a worry, isn't it? Models are now the most unlike normal women than any time ever. I believe it will change again, because nothing in fashion ever stays the same. As for Alex Perry, he's just one of many male designers who spend their life making women uncomfortable...literally.

nerines said...

I had better comment since I just found you from meet me at mikes ;-)
Those women are gorgeous and I love their curves but I am a little biased :-)

Miss Prudence said...

Oh but wait, there's more to come!
These pics are gorgeous aren't they? Hard to believe they would been seen as heffers in the modelling world!

Back then, modelling agencies were more concerned with how their models actually behaved!

crochethealingandraymond said...

Hi there! I'm glad I found your blog! I like finding new and wonderful blogs and will look forward to checking in again pronto! I agree with your post... it's insanity, complete insanity...

hester said...

I agree as well and love the Paper Tree blogger's idea of emailing Alex Perry. I'll do it too. I think Naomi Wolfe's book talks a lot of sense and I try really hard not to make negative comments about anyone's body in front of my daughter's. Skeletal models are definitely not my idea of beauty. The last time I went to a DJ's fashion show, the gaunt state of the models completely spoiled it for me.

Patz said...

Ain't that the truth!!... I have 2 very young daughters and I do worry about how I can teach them that healthy is so much more important than skinny. I do also wonder about why it is that the skinnier these 'models' (oh how I hate that word!!!) become, the larger the rest of us seem to want to go... I was always more of a Rubenesque beauty myself ;-P and am quite happy enjoying the pleasures of life. I am however no longer obese, since I wasn't able to run with kids and dog :-D Keep up the passion :o)

'Joyce' said...

ohh, you made my blood boil reading your wonderful post. I am SO OVER THIS CRAP. Alex Perry, if you have nothing nice to say, close your horrid mouth. I hate seeing these catwalk displays of skeletons. It's awful, its barbaric, these young girls, how do their parents even allow them to be models. The photos you have up of the 4 models on your post are stunning, their faces glow, they are so healthy, they are so very SEXY!! Thank you, thank you for your voice, your passion, your honesty.

Liz in Ypsilanti said...

I range between sizes 18 and 22 (depending on the state of the diet); and several years ago I gave up on shopping for clothes. I have a wardrobe of very nice dresses and blouses which I've made myself, and I have found catalog sources for slacks. I happen to be very pretty, 50, and full of life. I don't need some full-of-him/herself "designer" telling me I'm not worthy of nice clothes.

I just found your blog, and I see that I've been missing out on GOOD stuff!

Miss Prudence said...

Yeah! You say it Liz!

trixi said...

I would say that Alex Perry only cares about one thing,how much money he is making and as long as women are buying his clothes he's happy and he doesn't care about anything else. Everything in the fashion industry probably revolves around "What is beautiful" or what the fashionistas tell us is beautiful. What we need to do is teach our kids what "beautiful" is all about so that they don't fall into the trap of equating super skinny to beautiful or whatever else the fashion industry is trying to tell us is beautiful.Not always an easy task!

Crochet with Raymond said...

thank you for your lovely comment on my blog... please feel free to take any of my ideas and mke them into your own! I'm sure your rainbow boy will love a hottie cover like mine... the colours never fail to thrill! Have a lovely day :)