Monday, February 05, 2007

body image

note: this is a companion posting to back matter (see above)

the best women's body is a man's

The funny thing is, everyone knows that most men like curves on women. They just vary in how much they like and where.

some examples of women's unfashionable "bulges"

There are some, like TG, who focus on the design and there is a very precise figure that is best for the displays of clothes. (A hanger.) For them, the ideal model figure is tall, thin, few curves, little flesh, lithe: basically the figure of a young man.

(image added 02/08)

Most clothes on the runway are designed for that figure (which makes fashion a complete tautology: this body type fits our fashions so we make fashions that fit this body type).

Then there are designers whose inspiration comes from the women who wear their clothes. It may start from their mother or sister or themselves. Think about Michael Kors or Donna Karan. Or Nick or Kayne or Malan. You can tell that they have a passion for making beautiful clothes AND for making women feel beautiful. Jay designs amazing clothes -- works of art -- that can be worn by women of all sizes. Laura looked just as fabulously glamorous in her dresses when she was pregnant.

We don't see this variety on the runway because of a number of things including
  • the industry's lack of imagination
  • the industry's conservative tendency
(additional text and images added 02/08)
  • the enduring popularity of heroin chic (remember Cindy Crawford?)
Is that the curve of a woman's a belly I see??!!
Quel horreur!!!

The industries of fashion and beauty make so much money on our ongoing attempts to turn ourself into an impossible ideal. Sure we buying into it as adults so it is partly our responsibility to reject this ideal. However, this starts early on in the lives of young girls -- in children -- who are so easily manipulated by media, so cynically manipulated as well.

The average ten and a half year old girl believes:
  • Old people can’t be beautiful (97%)
  • Only flawless skin can be beautiful (92%)
  • Tanned skin is beautiful skin (83%)
  • You have to be slim to be beautiful (73%)
  • Blonde hair makes you beautiful (66%
This is the reason why women blame the industry. One could argue that the fact that this leads to a number of life threatening diseases makes fashion and beauty no better than the tobacco industry. Throw in the issue of fur and they could be added to the concerns of the Bureau of ATF -- ATFFB (Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Fashion and Beauty)!!!

Anyway, Eileen Fisher and Dove Soap have had successful campaigns celebrating the appearance of "real women".
real women have curves

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