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Amanda Platell on fashion’s ultimate insult to women by using a man to model clothes for women
This is a comment on a Daily Mail article by Amanda Platell on how the fashion world is insulting womanhood by using a man, Andrej Pejic, to model women’s clothes.
The article begins:
For years now the debate has raged over size zero models, yet each year they became skinnier and less like women. No breasts, no curves, so desiccated by starvation they’d be unable to have a child even if they wanted to.
They became utterly defeminised.
This is a good sign because Platell does not just point out the thinness of high-fashion models but a second important correlate typical of them that has not been as well addressed in the mainstream, namely the below average femininity of the female models.
Then Platell addresses the people “who drove this obsession to strip women of their femininity”:
It was an edict by the fashion mafia — buyers, trend-setters, photographers, but especially the designers. They decreed that to look good in their creations a model couldn’t look like a woman. She had to be flat-chested, devoid of hips, with collar bones you could hook a clothes hanger on. In fact, she has to look less like a woman and more like a boy.
Size zero turned out to be an apt term as the most feted designers, mostly brilliant gay men,effectively tried to squeeze women out of the fashion equation. And now they have.
How did we ever get to the stage where we allowed a small group of designers — however talented —to determine that this is what is beautiful in a woman?
So step by step the elite of mostly gay designers has been creating catwalk designs for pre-pubescent teenagers, and each year wanting models who looked less and less like women.
One can excuse Platell for referencing buyers and photographers in the beginning as she makes it clear that gay fashion designers are responsible. In a mainstream publication this acknowledgement would have to be made indirectly or the blame cast vaguely followed by sufficient references to the guilty party for readers to make the right inference. Platell’s article goes far, for a mainstream publication, in assigning blame upon gay fashion designers.
Then Platell addresses the underlying reason:
It’s the ultimate in woman hating, to create a half-man, half-woman creature because the girls are simply not up to the job. They’re too, let’s face it boys, womanly, even when they’ve been starved to within an inch of their lives.
What an act of abject misogyny [marketing clothes to women using a man to model women’s wear].
Now Platell reads like a feminist, except that she is not one in writing this article. Platell uses expressions such as “Real women started to love their curves long before Christina Hendricks wowed the world in Mad Men with hers.” Feminists would not equate “real womanhood” with curves because women come in all shapes and sizes and slender women without curves are not lesser women compared to the more curvaceous ones, with which I agree.
Does Platell not address the real underlying reason because of the constraints under which she is operating (writing for a major mainstream publication) or because she does not have a clue? I incline toward her not having a clue.
Why would gay fashion designers hate the women who buy their clothes and thus provide them with their source of livelihood, earned doing work that pleases them?
To figure out the underlying reason, one should also consider a third important correlate of female high-fashion models. Fashion designers prefer to use girls in their mid-teens to market clothes to adult women, and they would use more girls in their early teens for this purpose were it not for public relations issues; keep in mind that women able to afford expensive fashion merchandize are those with disposable income and hence disproportionately women who are past young adulthood.
The explanation is straightforward. Slender boyish-looking teenage girls come closest to approximating the physical appearance of adolescent boys whose looks many gay fashion designers, who dominate the top ranks of the fashion world, find highly appealing. Gay fashion designers can push the boundaries when it comes to male models but they cannot make it blatantly obvious to the masses.
The underlying reason is an aesthetic preference, not misogyny, which feminists, and presumably also Platell, have either no clue about, a difficult time understanding or are unable to acknowledge.
Aesthetic preferences also underlie fashion imagery depicting women in collars or bondage paraphernalia; women in leather, with whips; featuring themes involving domination and subjugation, rape, gang rape; and the use of nudity and sexuality when it is not needed. These reflect the disproportionate interests of homosexuals in bondage & discipline, sadomasochism and sexually charged environments; they do not stem from dislike or hatred of women.
Platell has the timing of the beginning of “the obsession with models who looked like boys” wrong. She traces it to September 2006 when model Luisel Ramos died from malnutrition. Readers should refer to twentieth century trends among high-fashion models to get a clearer picture.