I Am Body Beautiful

I love fashion.
Love it. I scoff when people make fun of outrageous outfits, things like Louis Vuitton bunny ears or really high heels, and totally crazy shapes. I also used to scoff when people remarked how skinny or thin fashion models are.
And to a certain degree, I’m still annoyed when people make generalizations like this. There are plenty of people out there who are naturally thin and tall, like many fashion models. However, I’ve lately realized that there are some models out there that are just not okay. Beyond whether or not the individual models themselves are unhealthy or have an eating disorder, I question if it’s okay to cast such models for jobs because of the image they set out, and the notion that it’s okay to look like this for the sake of fashion.

Obviously, this is a very huge and serious issue and I can’t cover everything about the topic in one simple blog entry, but I’m just giving a gist of what I think.

I’m going to share this with you:
A BMI (body mass index) of 17.5 on the runway is considered “big”.
That is absolutely horrifying.
Generally, a BMI of 18.5 and under is considered underweight.

A BMI of 17.5 is:
6’0″, 129 lbs
5’11”, 125 lbs
5’10”, 122 lbs
5’9″, 118 lbs
5’8″, 115 lbs
5’7″, 112 lbs
5’6″, 108 lbs
5’5″, 105 lbs
5’4″, 102 lbs
5’3″, 99 lbs
5’2″, 95 lbs
5’1″, 92 lbs
5’0″, 89 lbs

Post continues after the jump.

(Those Louis Vuitton bunny ears I was writing about earlier.. but anyway, I remember first seeing this picture and just being so shocked by her legs..)

This is seriously such a horrible photoshop job that I can’t believe it was OK’d to be sent out. The model on the furthest right seriously does not have hips, or any internal organs, for that matter.  (Ralph Lauren has had many controversies regarding their representation of models, photoshopping, firing models for being too ‘fat’, etc.)

One of the most shocking shows to me was Nina Ricci’s Fall 2009 show. While the clothes were so gorgeous–really, Olivier Theyskens is an amazing designer–I was really disturbed by the majority of the models. By the way, I just realized the girl pictured here is Kim Noorda, who recently went public about her battle with anorexia.

This girl is 15 years old, and she walked almost every show in Rio and São Paulo for Spring 2010.

You see, many models start out being thin already, and when they first go to a modelling agency, they are then told to lose MORE weight. And then they have to maintain it. Often when I’m flipping through fashion magazines in a store, I’ll hear others talking about how they wish they could be models because all they have to do is “pose and take photos”, which is simply untrue. There is an undeniable amount of pressure on models to keep a certain physique, and often models have their physique on their minds ALL THE TIME because of the pressure. So no, it’s not easy, and in all probability, it’s emotionally stressful.

It’s horrible when people say that “models are like walking hangers and they have to be rail thin”. First of all, clothes are made for people, not to be hung in a closet. Designers who forget that they’re designing for PEOPLE are seriously lazy and uninnovative. Clothes should be made to fit and compliment people, not vice versa. Sometimes, I’m actually so distracted by a models’ protruding bones that my mind doesn’t even think about looking at the clothes. Thin people are people too, not plastic clothes hangers. These ‘walking hangers’ are actually living breathing people–they have dreams, feelings, thoughts, family, friends, and LIVES. I can understand that models need to be thin, but there is a big difference between thin and skeletal. I know thin people who are healthy, and when your bones are sticking out and protruding and it looks like your body is eating itself, it is not okay. I wonder how some of models can sit down without crying from the pain of their tailbone grinding into the chair.

I also find it ridiculous when people say that overweight people aren’t demonized. Look at any magazine and there is an article on how to lose weight. Diet pills are in every drug store, and the message that people should be thin is everywhere. Perhaps it isn’t talked about in the way that the too thin model controversy is but it exists and is all around us. For every thin person who gets told to go eat a hamburger there is a fat person who is told that they should lose weight. Ask any person who has ever been considered fat and they will tell you that they have gotten either ridiculed for their size or told point blank that they need to lose weight. And on the other side of the spectrum, thin people are demonized too, told to eat a meal–which is bullying just as much as it is to tell a bigger person to stop eating.

And in the midst of this, I just want to say that I think all body types are beautiful. Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes and they are to be celebrated and taken care of. I hate it when people say “real woman have ______ (curves, big breasts, long legs, fill in the blank with whatever you want). Real women are anyone who identifies as such. End of story. The most important thing is to take care of your body, to cut junk food out of our diets, eat healthier, walk, exercise, just TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY, because no one else will do it for you.

V xx

  1. July 6th, 2010

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