My first post on this subject continues to receive comments months after it was written.
Recently, several high fashion models have dropped dead. The deaths have been attributed to the effects of their low weight. As a result, the fashion industry in Spain have implemented a ban on skinny models – those with a BMI under 18. Fashion houses in other countries are voluntarily instituting standards – both in terms of weight and age.
My original post was commentary on the pressure that the entertainment and fashion industries put on women within their industries to be ultra-thin, somehow believing that only that image is attractive. Shamefully, they force that idea down the throats of women and, especially, young girls & teens, planting the seeds of an unhealthy lifestyle. Equally dangerous is implying to men and boys that only these body shapes are attractive and desirable.
For most women, this body type is 1) unrealistic 2) unattainable 3) unsustainable 4) unhealthy and 5) potentially deadly. It’s also demeaning to suggest that women (and girls) who do not conform to this unrealistic ideal have no value. Do we want a generation of physically unhealthy women who have so sense of self-worth unless it’s tied to physical “beauty”?
The idea of physical beauty changes over time.
During the Baroque period well-endowed/well-fed women were consider beautiful. Why? It indicated high social status. If you were heavy, you were rich.
In the 1920s, Clara Bow was the “It Girl”. She was what young women aspired to be and what young men wanted. She was a healthy looking girl:
Hollywood made Gina Lollobrigida, Betty Gable, Bridget Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor and countless other beautiful women stars. None of them looked like boys with silicon implants. None of them looked like they existed on 1 lettuce leaf and half a lemon.
Then, in the sixties, along came Twiggy. She lasted a little while. Clothing styles were modified to fit the stick-thin, boyish figure she had and too few women could attain. Fairly soon, Twiggy was out. Normal sized women were back in.
The 70s and 80s were epitomized by Christy Brinkley and Cindy Crawford.
Unfortunately, Kate Moss and the androgynous “heroin chic” look arrived in the 1990s and we have been on a downward spiral.
Looking over the comments this post has generated, I’m struck by the fact that no one is in the middle on this. It’s either “I agree” or “You’re wrong”.
I don’t know who is ill, who is on drugs, who is dieting to the point they look bad. And really, I don’t particularly care. These women are powerful enough in their respective fields to do something about it. They can say no and send a message to young women and to men and teens. They can send a message to designers and buyers, advertisers, movie producers and television executives. Perhaps they can send a message to society at large that the most valuable thing we possess is not our looks, it is our soul. Our value as human beings is in our ability to think, our creativity, our individuality.
Another point I ‘d like to make here concerns the comments that have been left in regard to this post:
Pat posted this comment:
“you stupid idiot! its not about being healthy its all about looking good, get over it you fat whore! if you think they look like shit, then why are you the one sitting behind the computer screen and not infront of the camera?
by Pat April 24th, 2007 at 5:05 am”
“M” wrote this:
be glad it aint u and dont judge.i was searching for inspiration
i read all ur comments and i still feel the same. she looks amazing.
i know its all in the mind but i still cant stop.
by m April 6th, 2007 at 1:35 pm
John Doe said:
has it ever occurred to you that this is an illness, a mental illness that wreaks havoc on the body. so stop giving them such a hard time and instead of insulting and attacking these girls, get on with your own life.
First, let me explain this one more time. This is a blog. This is my blog. I get to write about things that are of interest to me. You can read it or not. I have provided the ability for readers to comment. You can comment or not.
The rules for commenting are these:
- The comment must pertain to the post.
- The comment must be articulate (as decided by me)
- The comment may not be vulgar – no name calling, no swear words, no attacks.
- Inappropriate comments will be deleted.
Lastly, I’m frightened by the level of inarticulateness of some of the comments. Spelling and grammar have not be abolished as far as I know. The ability to write properly and express yourself is important, nay, essential. Please do a quick Google search to learn how to construct a sentence. Please learn about punctuation. Please type a couple extra keystrokes — make it you not u. The correct spelling is can’t not cant. The pronoun representing yourself is always capitalized – I – not i.
It’s hard to take seriously comments made in such a poorly written and poorly expressed manner.
Gotta go get a donut!