To be healthy or not to be healthy

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By Corinne Love / Opinions Editor

Sitting pretty (Warner Bros. Pictures)

By Corinne Love / Opinions Editor

The fashion industry still hates its readers.

According to several designers, no one wants to see curvy people, ever.

Anything over a size negative zero may be just too much to handle.

Of course the fashion industry is no stranger to always being criticized for its highly unrealistic portrayals of what people should look like.

 Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld recently complained to a German magazine that no one wants to see curvy women on the runways.

In all honesty who asked him for his opinion? Furthermore, why should it matter?

Of course, to a lot of individuals in the fashion world, Lagerfield’s opinion matters highly, but he should just let his clothes do the talking.

Magazines are striving to use “realistic” women who are above a size four (which in the fashion world is a plus size).

In the November issue of Glamour magazine, actress Scarlett Johansson was featured on the cover in celebration of “real” bodies.

The magazine also featured a photo shoot that profiled several plus size models.

Basically, what readers have been seeing up until now, have been alien life forms dressed in couture.

In designing shoes for Barbie, shoe designer extraordinaire Christian Louboutin made the claim that Barbie’s ankles were too fat. That comment seems made up, but it isn’t.

Her proportions are supposed to mimic the very models that stride down the runway for many fashion seasons.

It’s as if the fashion industry and the people behind the images only want to see women as prepubescent waif figures.

That’s not a realistic image at all.

Yet on the other hand, they want a figurative cookie for putting “real” models in the magazine.

It’s great that Glamour is taking a step further into positive body image enforcement by using curvier models, but at the same time they’ve turned it into a big deal.

Why do they have to draw attention to the fact that they aren’t using the “standard” model?

Doesn’t this draw more focus onto the models’ sizes, as if to say this is “standard” and this is “real?” It is a never ending cycle.

More recently, many female celebrities have to deal with the pressure of not being a certain size.

Recently, Khloe Kardashian married basketball player Lamar Odom and what made the headlines in certain tabloid blogs was that she looked “fat” in her wedding dress.

That’s hitting below the girdle, no one deserves to be criticized in their wedding dress.

Distressingly enough is the public’s capacity for such material.

Before they became a danger to themselves and countless paparrazi photographers, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Ritchie in the earlier stages of their fame were healthy looking women.

Yet, negative attention was directed their way for not being thin enough.

Clothing company Ralph Lauren fired model Filippa Hamilton for not being able to fit into the sample wardrobe.

 In an ad for the company, it was obvious that Hamilton’s image had been photoshopped to reflect a thinner model.

Hamilton’s waist was nearly nipped to half its size and the ad looked bizarre.

After Hamilton had went public about what happened, the company issued a public statement claiming that her size had nothing to do with it.

So, I suppose she was fired for stealing too many doughnuts from the craft services table during a shoot.

This is nothing new, everyone knows that what they see in a magazine is not only the product of the photographer but an FBI like staff (think Sandra Bullock in “Miss Congeniality”) devoted to getting that one enviable image.

While Glamour is garnering much deserved praise for featuring fuller models, some are saying that by using plus size models they are encouraging obesity.

As if using rail thin models with ribs protruding doesn’t add a sheen of glossy glamour to the very ugly disease anorexia.

This is not to say that the models who are naturally thin should be criticized for their sizes however.

Using “real” models does not encourage obesity.

If proponents of this belief really think that there is any correlation between the two then it’s obvious that they don’t read fashion magazines.

Fashion has always been thought of as a world of fantasy and elaborates ideas, but it’s time that consumers asked sincerely what fantasy are they buying?

   Supermodels of the ‘90s like Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks were all skinny, but they looked relatively healthy in stark comparison to the women working in fashion now.

There is a disparity between what the fashion industry considers “attractive” and what the average person thinks is.

Most men would undoubtedly prefer a Victoria’s Secret or Maxim model to the models that appear in high fashion ad campaigns.

It’s irresponsible for the fashion industry to believe that female consumers don’t buy into the images they see.

Sure, it would be ideal if they could turn a blind eye to the constant blitzkrieg of images they see, but that’s not realistic.

What’s troubling moreso is that there are younger girls, who believe that the only way they can gain self-worth is to be a size four and to be sexy.

This sort of mindset is one dimensional and robs them of other opportunities that life offers.
The fashion industry should turn over a new layer of fabric and praise different body shapes, instead of shunning them.

Countless years of the same image is boring and outdated.

Female consumers should be able to see themselves reflected in some form in those glamorous pages.


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