We have all seen pictures of skinny models and wondered why designers prefer thin models with a depressing outlook? Well, the designers want to sell their products and models with female curves and happy faces could take the attention from their creation, so the designers simply have to hide these beautiful attributes. The designers need a “walking hanger” so all the attention can go to the designers’ clothes.
But why do the models have to look so serious and depressing? I would say that this is a reflection on our time. If you look back on the good times you will see women with curves, shorter skirts and happier faces. During recession times the skirts were covering more of the legs and the expression and colors became duller. So what does that tell us about our world today? …. It tells us that we need a change.
We (the society/the buyers) want a healthier body image. We are ready for a change and this has been picked up by the fashion industry. As they say: “Money talks”. Take Karl Lagerfeld as an example. He has always been using very skinny models (and to some extant still does) but the point is that even he has had a shift in mind.
Karl Lagerfelt took a stand on the size zero issue when he rejected three models for his Channel catwalk because they were too skinny. “It is the first time I have ever done something like this,” he said. Carl Lagerfeld is a designer but also a business man and in his line of profession he must be sensitive to changes in the streets so he listens – to you and me.
This positive trend started in Europe in 2006. Fashion chiefs required models to show proof of their good health or be barred from some of the world’s most prestigious fashion events. The new voluntary code within the industry also bans the use of models aged under 16, saying that they risk “sending the wrong message to girls at the same age in the delicate pre-puberty stage”.
The campaign’s signatories will pledge that they will include larger sizes in their collections in recognition of the “healthy, sunny, full-bodied Mediterranean beauty that Italy has historically contributed”. Madrid fashion week banned models with a body mass index below 18 after the death in August 2006 of the Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos. The anorexia-related death of a second model prompted Brazil and Argentina to join the campaign.
Let’s not get too depressed. We desperately want to see healthier women on the catwalks and in magazines. The celebrities already know this. As front figures for perfumes etc, many celebrities have their pictures retouched in order to look curvier. The celebrities know that we want to be associated with healthy role-models. This paradox shows a positive trend!
Let’s see what celebrities of today have to say about healthy role models. Are they aware of what we as consumers want? Do they – as celebrity – see themselves as a role model?
The ex-Spice girl, Victoria Beckham, has declared that she does not want women, like herself, to model her denim range. A source said: “Victoria doesn’t want to be accused of giving young girls a complex about their image and putting pressure on them to be as skinny as her. Victoria wants to give out a positive image that you don’t have to be ultra skinny to look good.” That’s a really good start, although the message would have more substance if the preachers live as they preach.
Even Twiggy, a former skinny model, is hitting out at the ‘size zero’ craze. The Sixties icon, Twiggy, says actresses – not models – are responsible for the growing trend of extreme diets.
Actress Kate Winslet, has spoken out against the “size zero” female stars and models (on BBC One’s Sunday AM) saying: “What I resent is that there is an image of perfection that is getting thinner and thinner.” The actress said she refused to have magazines in the house because of the damaging effect it could have on her daughter, Mia.
When Mariah Carey was asked by the Daily Mail about banning size zero models she answered: “I don’t think anyone should be banned from anything. There should not be a precedent. That cannot work if you are naturally a size zero. As long as it’s not leading people to do harmful things to themselves to achieve that, then it’s fine.” ” I think she has a valid point that we all have naturally different body sizes and that a naturally size zero also should have the right to walk the cat walk as well as larger women. There are many girls that are naturally size zero, very beautiful and healthy. We are all different and should be proud of our differences.
Who is to blame: the designers, models, singers or actresses? You can’t point any finger at anyone in particular because we are all to blame as a society, you and I. The good news is that this means that we all can do something about it. The movement towards healthier body image has already begun. Small steps perhaps, but very important steps.
The fashion industry will only give us what we, the consumers, want. This fact also applies to celebrities. The celebrities want to please their fans (us). It is as simple as that. They can make us think that an unhealthy body image is beautiful, but only for a while. Now, we are awake. Now, we look and see with our hearts. Our hearts tell us that naturally healthy bodies are beautiful. We want healthy role models, right?