Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thin is not in

The saying "you can never be too rich or too thin" is being refuted. Well, the 'too thin' part anyway! Thin models are being banned from runways in Madrid where models who have an unhealthy BMI will be given their (cat)walking papers.

I'm all for it. I think the obsession with wanting to be thin (not svelte, not slender but thin) is at a dangerous level.

This is not to say that I haven't spent, what must be years of my life, being totally fixated on the numbers that come up on the weighing scale. In fact, I'm in the midst of a diet right now!

I just think that the obsession with looking emaciated has gone way too far.

When I was in my teens (gosh, I sound old!), I wanted to start a modeling agency with 'real people' as models. In other words, people who were not 7 feet tall, weighing 25kg and who had waists smaller than the circumference of my left ankle.

I mean who, in real life, looks like those models anyway? I don't know one single person who does.

My modeling agency idea never came to fruition of course but looks like the principle behind it is finally seeing the light of day.

I'm not saying that catwalk models should start stuffing their faces with jaffa cakes and kuih lapis until they balloon to hippo-like proportions. I'm just saying that there's slim (which looks healthy and attractive) and then there's skeletal (which looks like death warmed over and highly disgusting).

Nicole Richie is a good example of someone who didn't know when to quit while she was ahead. I admit, she did need to lose a few kilos in the first season of A Simple Life (at the risk of sounding bitchy, I'm going to say that she looked like a Friesian Cow next to Paris - hello!)

In fact, I think this image was digitally morphed so Nicole looked smaller than she really was at that time

I can understand her eagerness to shed the weight but I think she went one too far. She looks pretty ghastly now which puts her right back in the unattractive category. See what I mean?

Having a svelte figure is one thing but when your collar bone sticks out so far that it turns the corner before you do, its probably a sign that you should start re-thinking your diet and exercise routine. Besides, all this mania with being thin enough to fit through a straw has given rise to eating disorders.

So here's a shout out to Spain I sincerely hope the 'thin is not in' phenomenon catches on everywhere else.

This just in: I spoke too soon! Just as I was about to publish this post, an article on the Yahoo homepage caught my eye - apparently Madrid is the only place that stands firm on the thin ban. Thin is, sadly still in, in Milan


Anonymous said...

A couple of things which I have seen raised in relation to the Madrid ban… firstly, it is blaming the individual women for the way the modeling industry works. It enforces that women are a comodity (acceptable or not for "sale" - the defected are discarded). How about blaming the (largely male) designers... how about blaming the (largely female) consumers.

Which comes to the next point, why is it that models have traditionally been so thin. Thiner than most people traditionally consider beautiful. The designers tell us that they wear the clothes better. Some even suggest that it is a backlash to the supermodels like Elle - the body, Claudia and Naomi where the women were the focus rather than the clothes. Who is going to be looking at cloth when you can look at boobs!

Anonymous said...

refering to the above:
We can blame designers/consumers but if there are no women who 'starve' themselves thin then the designers will have no choice but to go with normal size women as models.

I agree on your other point - if you can look at bodies why bother looking at the cloth that covers them?

Anonymous said...

You can’t tell just by looking if a person is starving. You can’t tell just by looking at a person if they are healthy or not through a fault of their own.

You can make judgements based on observations, like an actress who yo-yo’s from sizes (and is criticised at both ends of the spectrum) is more likely to be unhealthy when you can see her ribs. But there are lots of people in the world who are naturally that thin (or who can naturally be very thin without endangering their health).

There are also people who are legitimately sick. You may comment on a woman on the street “Look how revoltingly thin she is! It’s gross.” That woman may be battling cancer.

The problem is that in Trisha’s article (and in the media/society at large) there is still the “thin-is-best” view. But it has to be thin in the right places…only so thin… and remember the camera adds weight so if you are being filmed take off 5kg. But if you are doing a live appearance put the 5kg back on. But in the right place…Is it any wonder people can’t keep up?