Pop Tart: Too Thin?
government found an interesting way to grab headlines during Fashion
Week by instituting a ban on models the government defined as "too
thin" from participating in any runway shows. All participating models met specific requirements for height and weight or they were not employed. After
Models are somehow put in a category that's somewhere between human an art. They're the epitome of what we consider beauty now. They are what humanity, at the apex of its evolution, should be. Right? Wrong! Models are the people who just happen to look the way advertisers envisioned would make people want to buy their products. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Fashion shows are not about the models. They're about the clothes. Designers spend months, years even, designing new looks for clothes. This spring's trends need to depart from last spring's trends. The shows are specifically about trends shown through pieces of art... the clothes… NOT the models. So
if the runway shows then are just another way to show art, why do
governments feel the need to step in and censor the way art can be
shown? People generally rebel instantly against the mere mention of censorship. No one likes to be told what they can say or how they can say it. Yet there is little public outcry against the governments' decrees that models must look a certain way or they cannot work. In fact, there are many who applaud the governments' bold move, calling it a victory for women. It's not a victory. It sets a dangerous precedent for both artists and for women. Will the next decree insist that women who weigh more than 150lbs cannot work? Sounds ridiculous, but the precedent is there now.
If fashion designers
want pencil thin models with nonexistent breasts, sunken cheek bones
and protruding hips to show their designs, fine by me.
I'm not going to buy those clothes. I'm certainly not going to be able to wear those clothes. I can appreciate the beauty and innovation shown in the design though.
The anti-model rally call though is "won't someone please think of the children!?" They're
concerned that seeing pencil thin women displayed so prominently gives
teenage girls unrealistic expectations about how they should look. Personally,
I'm less concerned about teenage girls seeing thin women walking down a
runway than I am about the girls who see their own mothers going in for
plastic surgery, dressing as if they're teenagers themselves, starving
themselves and generally setting bad examples.
Healthy body image starts in the home, not on the runway. If
teenagers see the women around them living healthy, loving their
bodies, an accepting that some women have curves, they won't be so
concerned that Calvin Klein's runway casting manager thinks she's too
fat for this spring's line.