Don’t you just love it when a well know fashionista back-lashes the industry – ok, she’s actually a massive supermodel with one of the best figures of all time! But she has the guts and honesty to voice the significant fact that if she was a new model entering the industry today, she wouldn’t have ever made it onto the catwalk!!
‘I would not have become a supermodel in 2009, I look too healthy. A body like mine with big breasts, normal thighs and toned upper arms would not be tailored for today’s runways.’ Crawford told German magazine Bunte.
Vogue – ‘Body Language’, 29/10/09
What a quote, but it’s so true! What happened to the great bodies of Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell – the massive eighties supermodels? They are sexy, attractive and most of all look like women, so again our question forms on why the industry started to introduce stick thin waifs onto the runway!
I’m sure you all remember (or if your younger than me, have heard of) the massive 1990 British Vogue cover that commenced the supermodel era and featured Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patitiz. Back then their slender, toned and largely curvaceous (compared to today’s standards) figures were the be all and end all. At the time I’m sure the general public thought of them as thin and an unreachable standard to achieve, but now relating to their androgynous counterparts they are as Crawford quotes ‘far too healthy’!
What I really want to know, is how can the fashion industry classify a size 12 ‘plus sized’?
The average size for people in the UK is a 14 – 16, so I really don’t understand how a 12 is therefore a plus size!! Yes the average size is larger than it used to be 50 years and even 10 years ago, but we are getting bigger as a nation. For example, the average height has increased from 5ft 2in in 1950 to 5ft 4in in 2004, so it’s no wonder that people are growing in other areas too.
BBC – ‘Not-so-little-Britain’
I think the main issue is that our shape is also changing, an average women in 1950 would have had measurements of 37 – 27.5 – 39, whereas a 2004 female would be a 38 – 38 – 40.5. So as you can see we’re no longer a curvy, hourglass shaped nation – is this down to the fact we’re evolving, getting taller, larger etc. Or are external influences of hormones to blame – alongside the fact we probably eat a lot more than we did then.
But whatever the answer is, at the end of the day we’re changing shape as a society not individuals – it is an average after all, and surely this means the fashion industry and other media counterparts should look to appeal to the masses – last time I checked this is the average!
What are your thoughts on plus sized models?
Here is a plus sized model from US Glamour magazine. If you ask me she looks great; healthy, curvy, beautiful and above all normal!
US Glamour Magazine
I’m not suggesting that plus sized is the only way – no sir! I just think it’s necessary that the industry evokes a broader range of models – showcasing reality. At the end of the day the population includes people of all sizes, be it a size 6 or a size 20, and each have their own hang-ups and problems with their bodies! We don’t need more pressure from the media and fashion industries too!
Ok so the size debate is a massive issue in the fashion industry but it’s not the only one! After looking into the Dove brand and all their research and campaigns I realised that as a society were pretty discriminatory in a number of ways. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not our fault – were just meek and mild puppets on the end of a string that dance, prance and fully agree with what the media shoves in our faces! You could say we don’t have a choice, as really we don’t, being a child of late 80s I grew up with the whole ‘ideal’ of perfection slowly gaining pace, but today it’s even worse, the Dove survey found that girls ‘between 6-11 years old’ were becoming concerned with their appearance and body weight.
Though at the end of the day we do have a choice, don’t we? For all I know we’re supposed to be living in a democratic society with a choice for pretty much everything, bar it seems the ‘ideal’ of perfection!
One of these key discriminatory areas seems to be the ‘age’ issue, because obviously that doesn’t coincide with the ‘ideal’ of perfection. How could anyone ever sell a product looking a day over 20? No one would buy it!! Oh and of course in last years census the majority of the UK population was under 20 – great you’re really approaching the target market! NO, at the end of the day only a minority of the population is under 20 and well a 20 year old isn’t going to buy Oil of Olay Anti-aging formula – are they?
I vote that companies should take note from a brand like M&S – they did a great advertising campaign that included a range of models/celebs with ages that equalled each range in their target market. Yes it may be a few years old now – but I personally think they did a great job showing the world, that like Dove you don’t have to be a 20 year old lollypop lady (oh and I don’t mean the local school school one – I’m talking about head too large for the body) to promote a great product.
I knew there was a increasing problem with women’s body confidence today due to factors such as the fashion industry, advertising and media but I honestly didn’t realise it effected so many people, and not just in the UK, but throughout the world.
On looking into the Dove Campaign I stumbled upon the research they completed in 2004 – 2005, the research that commenced the worldwide campaign to promote ‘natural beauty’.
“Only 2% of women around the world describe themselves as beautiful.”
“more young girls (15-17) in Great Britain than any other countries surveyed believe it is hard to feel beautiful when confronted with these ideals.”
“nine in ten women (15-64) globally want to change some aspect of themselves”
“Great Britain is where women have the lowest appearance satisfaction and self-esteem, and the greatest desire to change their physical selves.”
“two-thirds of women (15-64) globally have avoided an activity due to feeling badly about the way they looked.”
Dove – Campaign for Real Beauty
I can’t believe things can get so out of control and society can make people so vain, because at the end of the day no-one can compare to the media’s ideal of perfection – not even the so called ‘ideal’ themselves without their make-up, stylists oh and the retouch team. It is ridiculous that things can get this far without someone doing something about it!
How do you feel about your body? Do you think the industry needs to change?
If you have any strong opinions please comment below and if you have 5 minutes to spare it would be great if you could fill out my questionnaire.
Click here to take survey
Another hit on the size issue in the fashion industry. Opening The Times newspaper this morning we are faced with the newest ‘size debate’!
Did model Filippa Hamilton get sacked from Ralph Lauren for being overweight and secondly is she overweight in the first place? Sorry but am I the only person that looks at the retouched image and thinks; are the consumers aliens? – because no woman I know would be attracted to that kind of advertising. ‘If you wear these Ralph Lauren clothes and buy into our brand you would look like this’ – a.k.a. someone on the brink of life with a waist the size of their head and arms like matchsticks. Sorry but that just doesn’t appeal!
This is one of the many cases on the model size-issue that is the current state of the fashion industry, and in my opinion has to change!
Filippa looks 150% better in the fashion show image (un-retouched), she actually looks like a human being and a woman. If, as the story goes Lauren sacked her for not fitting into the sample sizes – what fools they are, as personally I believe they’ve let a healthy, beautiful model go. I just hope this is a benefit to Hamilton’s future career – good luck to her!
Link to the Article, 15/09/09
Crystal Renn – now she is someone who deserves a mention! I have just started reading her book ‘Hungry’ which portrays her life in the model industry, and how she battled against anorexia to finally become happy with her weight, embrace herself and become one of the biggest plus size models.
These are images she shot for Australia’s Harper’s Bazar and doesn’t she look amazing. Curvy, beautiful and also fashionable – which I think is a key factor in showing that plus sizes (oh hang about I should be saying ‘normal’ people) can look as great in fashion as the thinsters on the runway!
Apparently, (image below) is a un-retouched image of Renn… not 100% certain whether to believe it or not, as some of the other images seem to have an optical light thing going on – but whether it is or isn’t she still looks FAB! Yes, she does have cellulite (that’s if it isn’t the lighting) but don’t the majority of the population, including the non-existent celebs and super-skinny models! It’s normal for women!
What do you think, does Renn do it for you?
We all know there is a problem with the majority of celebs becoming extremely thin, model wannabes that batter the general population through yet another channel – that the ‘ideal’ of perfection is a size 0. Blah, blah, blah…
I’m officially fed up with it, and it’s when you open you’re eyes and realise that actually the likes of Victoria Beckham, Keira Knightley (ok she is beautiful – but rather unhealthy looking at times), Kate Bosworth, Lindsey Lohan and Nicole Richie (in her old days) – don’t look that great! But nether the less we’re up-most brainwashed into thinking they do, spite when they go an inch too far and then get slated by the magazines because now they’re too thin! I really feel for them, they can’t get it right can they, if they put on weight they’re fat and if they loose it the magazines self-righteously diagnose them with an eating disorder free of charge! Wow – cheap trip to the therapist!
There must be a LOT of pressure being that visible in the public eye and I just don’t get how as females we can put each other down so much. What happened to supporting your sisters!!! It doesn’t just happen with celebs, the majority of people are like it walking down the street. Somehow you feel a tinsy bit ecstatic when you see someone walking down the road not looking so dandy, and positively glowing when you see a celeb in Heat Magazine with cellulite! Oh my god they’re a human!
Why can’t we just be pleased when a female stranger walks into a club looking great? I say lets ditch the jealousy and group together – be proud and pleased for others!
Anyway back on the point of call, I thought I’d look at few role models for all the curvaceous women out there. Beyonce, now she really is a stunner – yes she’s not the ‘ideal’ portrayed everywhere but she always looks great and ok you do hear about her so called ‘crash dieting’ occurances but she’s a women – I’m sure she has as many hang-ups as the rest of us!
Other fellow celeb on the same band-wagon is dear old J.Lo and her famous bum! She’s got a massive booty and just like Beyonce, wears clothes that accentuate her assets – stands confident and proud and well that does all the talking! At the end of the day they obviously both eat, do exercise, are healthy and isn’t that what it’s all about!!