Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Go Madrid, Go Milan

Check it:

The world's first ban on overly thin models at a top-level fashion show in Madrid has caused outrage among modeling agencies and raised the prospect of restrictions at other catwalk pageants.

Does whining ensue? Whining about discrimination and freedom? Of course it does:

"I think its outrageous, I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women, but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer," said Gould, Elite's North America director, adding that the move could harm careers of naturally "gazelle-like" models.

This is a gazelle:

And this is what Marvel Comics figured a gazelle oughtta look like--all 5 feet 9 inches, 145 pounds of her:

And this is the famine victim whom Ms. Gould thinks is that way "naturally:"

I mean . . . ? I'm not buying the nature argument.

Milan, too:

The mayor of Milan, Italy, Letizia Moratti told an Italian newspaper this week she would seek a similar ban for her city's show unless it could find a solution to "sick" looking models.

How gauche. Everyone knows sick is the new natural.


belledame222 said...

omigod omigod.

and you know, i do realize that yes indeed some women ARE naturally very thin, certainly much more so than 145 pounds for 5'9 (which is also, let me say, a more than frigging reasonable weight for a model of that height or even shorter, for heaven's sake), but THAT PICTURE...


i feel kind of sick, and that does not make me feel good, even saying that, but dear sweet Jesus, she really does look like she just came out of Birkenau, apart from the makeup and totty-ish clothing.

good for goddam Madrid. enough of this already.

Gower said...

Now imagine what happened if a city had decided to ban models they thought were overweight?

There'd be sudden outrage of course. Because this isn't about health. It's about tying women's bodies to a politically correct agenda and then dictating how women should look.

Now thin women get to be stigmatized for how they look. It's not any kind of progress. It's just the flip side of women's issues with their own bodies and attempt to impose those issues on other woman via fashion.

belledame222 said...

oh, goodie, "politically correct." how i love retro. hey, I hear that Clinton fella maybe has a penchant for the ladies, too. just a rumor, you understand...

g.r.l. said...

I don't think the "gazelle-like" model pictured was 145 & 5'9.
I believe that was referring to the comic book character.

I'd be rather surprised if the model was over 110.

I applaud the ban.

Makes me think of how you can't have people smoking cigarettes in ads here (ont, Canada).

Could you imagine magazine's where the models would have to have at least a bmi of 18? (as was the cut-off in the show)

Yes being thin has social stigma but representations for the majority should be made up of the majority of people.

It sucks to not see yourself in the media, and it's just bizarre when you are the majority.

Gower said...

Why in the world should models 'represent' the majority of the people? Should movie stars look like the majority of the people. Should pianists play as well as the 'majority' of the people?

Reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergson where by law everyone had to comply with the average level of mediocrity.

Maybe when the law decides the average model must be a 175 pound housewife with stringy hair and three kids to represent 'average' women

Then the average baseball player can be a 300 pound middle aged guy with a beer belly and the average movie star can look just like John Travolta complete with paunch.

I mean since the idiot brigade has decided there's a moral and legal right to compell entertainers to look just like you, because gosh otherwise your self-esteem drops too low.

Maybe you guys can stop by the Louvre. Some of those women aren't as representative of the 'average perpetually dieting perpetually snacking American woman' either... and you can vandalize some of the paintings too.

belledame222 said...

>I don't think the "gazelle-like" model pictured was 145 & 5'9.

oh, no, i don't either; i think that's pretty clear. frankly i'd be surprised if she were in the triple digits at all.

--excuse me a sec.

gower: what the fuck are you babbling about?

--sorry. As I was saying. The "super-thin is IN" business is a relatively recent phenomenon, of course; I've been meaning to do a post about "how fat means" for a while now. Besides the (correct) observations about how there is a certain misogyny at work here, yes, it is also because of a relatively recent reversal not only in general availability of food, period, at least in (a lot of) the "First World," but wrt who gets to eat what. Meat and fat used to be the province of the very rich; vegetables and coarse-ground bread were for the peasantry. Now you get your meat and fat at Burger King, and the sort of food that used to be "peasant" food sells at a nice brisk pace at your local "organic" farmer's market. "refined" flour; there's a reason why it's called that, even though it's pretty much lost now.

also, let's be blunt, if we're REALLY talking about your most basic survival staple foods, well, yes, they're pretty much the same as they've always been; but let's face it, Kraft Mac N Cheese and fast food tastes a lot better than root vegetables; and who has time or energy to make such things tasty these days anyway?

and of course: the "peasant" jobs are far more likely to involve being seated all day than manual labor (not that the latter has gone away, of course); but, so, yeah, we're more sedentary.

and who but the wealthy or at least comfortable has time and energy for "working out?" O, sure, grab the latest smiley magazine as you're heading out the grocery store, yet more helpful tips on how to thin your thighs while stuck in rush-hour traffic, eat healthfully and sinfully AT THE SAME TIME, look at this gorgeous outfit on the stick insect model, here is a recipe for decadent pig-out chocolate cake, and here is a lovely article on warning signs for eating disorders.

And voila! Hey, there's no point in being at the top of the socioeconomic heap unless you can -really distinguish yourself- from the teeming masses. In the old days, eating enough to get nice n fat was enough. Now that just ANYONE can get fat, well, by God, thin is in! and oh yes, healthy, yes, mustn't forget healthy. yes.

"Stick half a pound of cocaine up her nose every night and THAT'S all right, but don't let's have any sugar in our tea!"

--French & Saunders

yeah. Kind of like the "Sneetches," you know? Stars on their bellies; but oops, now that just ANYONE can get a star, well, let's move on to -no- stars. And six-pack abs.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, BMI of 18: what's the average supposed to be? 25, is it?

i think a cutoff weight of "just not actually likely to keel over and DIE from arrhythmia or sheer malnutrition" is not shall we say unreasonable.

Gower said...

What I'm saying, if you can process it is that maybe instead of being obsessed whether other people are too thin or too fat you should learn to be happy with yourself instead

ragging on other people won't accomplish that you know

belledame222 said...

Thanks for the affirming advice, gower. Should we do that before or after we all "take the fat girl as our personal avatar?"

Gower, Voice of Reason said...

The fat girl avatar is how you affirm it, Belle and if it doesn't match you, it still lets you show your solidarity with your 'Sisters of Girth' oppressed by the 'Patriarchal Media' that insists on using actresses and models that are actually good looking and don't weigh 170 pounds.

The revolution will not be brought you you by Weight Watchers.

belledame222 said...

How old are you, gower, might I inquire?

Gower, Voice of Reason said...

Like all masterpieces I'm ageless.

But seriously, I'm artificial inteligence program running off MIT's servers intended to test people's interactions with an ornery bot.

belledame222 said...

I see. Well, whatever program it is, it does a rather splendid imitation of a mid-to-late-adolescent boy who never did quite learn the difference between "look at me, aren't I cute" and "I am seething with resentment because, despite all my privilege, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm still quite mediocre in all respects."

You were the one with axe to grind about the prep school boys, is that correct?

g.r.l. said...

it just strikes me..
how many women need to be unhappy with their weight before something more than 'self-love' 'self help' and 'self worth' is needed?

Is it a twisted version of the new world dream (lets unamericanize it), that anyone can be a star, can be rich, can be anything if they just work for it. That kind of "gazelle-like" beauty is not something physically possible for 95% of the female population healthy or no.

Aren't fashion magazines selling a dream? selling an image. Selling clothes that people wear because they want to look like the models?
What does it mean when people buy stuff to follow the look, when it is impossible for them to look that way?

PS - Personal representation/images we choose for ourselves
comes from... has more to do with..
- how a person wants to see themselves?
- the popular/accepted/expected?
- the politics we'd like to see?

PPS - i'm down with ranting on the nefarious magics of adding machines

belledame222 said...

Yup, selling a dream.

And personally, I'm not at all sure that dream-making of itself is such a bad thing. I think we collectively need dreams, you know. At the same time: well, what -are- those dreams? What is it we're dreaming of? And why?