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Anna Wintour should not be blamed for skinny high-fashion models
"8D" linked to the following, whose author, David Staples, is clueless about why high-fashion models are typically tall and skinny, and quotes another clueless individual, Nole Marin (Director of Canada's Next Top Model), blaming Vogue Editor Anna Wintour for selecting tall and skinny high-fashion models. When will the likes of Nole Marin get a clue?
My comments are indented.
How skinny and tall does a fashion model have to be?
And what should the rest of us make of this industry?
It will be an uphill battle to get short or plus-sized models onto shows like Canada's Next Top Model as long as the trend-setting Anna Wintour is running Vogue magazine, says Nole Marin, the show's fashion director.
Comment: You bet it will be an uphill battle...you will not succeed barring government legislation and enforcement. However, Anna Wintour is not the culprit.
Wintour, 58, editor of Vogue since 1988 (pictured), picks only tall and skinny models for her Manhattan-based magazine, and the rest of the industry is compelled to fall in line, Marin says.
Comment: It is because she knows just what the dominant fashion designers, homosexual men to be more precise, want: girls approaching the looks of boys in their early adolescence.
Canada's Next Top Model had no plus-sized models last season and that trend continues this season. The show also has a height restriction barring any woman shorter than five foot seven inches from appearing. "It all comes down to the powers that are above us. That is Vogue," Marin says. "It really does come from the force of Anna Wintour. She likes a very thin woman.
Comment: Whether Ms. Wintour likes very thin women is worth knowing, but what has made her a worthy Editor of a leading fashion magazine for nearly 20 years? Among other things, obviously her knowledge of what fashion designers -- the people who come up with the products that she pitches -- generally want in models. Ms. Wintour knows exactly what kind of women will typically make it big -- women that are very thin, among other things.
If Wintour wanted to have women with bigger curves in her magazine, would the entire fashion industry change?
Comment: If Ms. Wintour attempted this, there will be some change alright; Ms. Wintour will be facing retirement.
"One hundred per cent," Marin says. "If you were to see girls that were curvy and boob-a-licious and delicious inside Vogue, all of a sudden all those designers would have to change their clothes to fit those girls because they need to be inside Vogue."
Comment: Fool, does the tail wag the dog or the other way around?
On this season's Canada's Next Top Model, the second of 10 finalists to be eliminated, 20-year-old Jacqueline Blackman of Toronto, was told her legs were too thick by judge Jeanne Bekker, a prominent Canadian fashion journalist.
Comment: Here is a picture of Jacqueline "thick legs" Blackman.
What normal person would believe that this woman has "thick legs"? However, when one asks the question whether Ms. Blackman's legs appear to be close to the "highly desirable" looks of boys in their early adolescence, it is understandable why she would be rejected.
Host Jay Manuel told Blackman he didn't want her to stop eating, just start exercising and tone up because he wanted only healthy models. Marin concurs with Manuel's assessment of Blackman and says it applies to larger girls than her as well. "Even a plus-sized girl needs to be toned."
Comment: The woman looks healthy...please examine your vision. How will "toning" reduce the thickness of her legs?
Blackman, too, who is five foot 91/2 inches and 135 pounds, accepts Marin and Manuel's verdict.
"It's all positive criticism. The way they said it to me is that I need to tone up. And everyone can benefit from toning up."
Comment: Positive criticism? A perverted preference of male homosexuals is driving a number of girls/young women toward unnecessary dieting. How beneficial!
Personally, Marin is quite positive about curvaceous and plus-sized models getting a chance. He says clothes don't necessarily look better on tall, svelte models than they do on bigger models. "It's 50/50. It depends on the outfit. It depends on the silhouette."
Comment: For once, Marin is right that clothes don't necessarily look better on tall, svelte models; most people agree they look worse on skinny models.
When he was a judge in the first few seasons of America's Next Top Model, Marin says he pushed host Tyra Banks to include a plus-sized model as a finalist.
As a non-model kind of guy himself -- five foot seven inches, 195 pounds with a 37-inch waist -- Marin was pleased to see Banks take his advice. "Tyra is trying hard and God bless her. Let her keep pushing it, and I think Canada's Next Top Model will definitely have a plus-sized girl along the road."
Comment: Tsk, Tsk. Tyra Banks is a bad choice. She could have set an example of "love thy naturally plus-size self" when pictures of her having gained 40 pounds surfaced, but she went on a crash dieting and exercise program to shed the excess fat as if she was fighting for her life.
But the trend in the fashion industry is moving towards taller and thinner, Marin admits. "All the new models that are coming out are becoming younger and are extremely svelte and then, five-feet 10 inches, size 4."
Comment: The average height seems to have stabilized at around 5-foot-10. There have been shifts toward increasing slenderness and youth -- basically a shift toward a greater proportion of high-fashion models leaning toward the looks of boys in their early adolescence.
Meanwhile, Cynthia Cheng, a Toronto author and activist for petite women, is backing an online petition saying Canada's Next Top Model's height restriction is discriminatory against short, beautiful women (defined by Cheng as a woman under five feet four inches).
Comment: Good luck Ms. Cheng. You will need it.
Cheng points out that Hollywood is full of short, beautiful women, such as Scarlett Johansson (five foot four inches); Jessica Simpson, (five foot three); Eva Longoria (pictured) (five foot two) and Reese Witherspoon (five foot two). Some short starlets appear in ads for major clothing designers, but the fashion industry won't hire petite models, claiming clothes don't look as good on short women, Cheng says.
"The industry seems to be very ignorant. They're always saying short women don't carry well in clothes, yada, yada, yada, but then the same photographer will get a very short celebrity as a spokesmodel, such as Avril Lavigne (five foot two) for Chanel and Sarah Jessica Parker (five foot four) for Gap."
Comment: Ignorance isn't the issue. In early adolescence, one observes boys suddenly shoot up in height and end up with a gangly appearance. This is the look high-fashion models need to approximate in photographs or when seen from a distance, for which they will have to be tall.
Cheng doesn't believe the argument that clothes look best on a tall model. "It's a big fat lie."
Comment: Clothing will look good on a woman if she has aesthetically pleasing proportions, and for the normal public, this will spread out over a broad height range.
But Marin isn't so sure about short women appearing on Canada's Next Top Model. "A model is like an athlete -- there are certain requirements to being a fashion model and height is definitely one of them."
The fashion industry needs a woman to photograph well, not to look good walking down the street, Marin says. "Unfortunately, features are crucial, and height and weight can determine what looks better on film. ... There are certain requirements to being a model or everyone would be a model. I would be a model, darling."
Comment: The "certain requirements": resembling boys in their early adolescence as far as possible.
TONE UP IF YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO TUNE OUT
Comment (by Staples): One of the most political and divisive issues of the chattering classes in recent decades has been the nature of female beauty.
Are the standards of beauty a conspiracy against normal-sized women?
Comment: Whereas some may answer yes, the homosexuals are just selecting models they find aesthetically pleasing.
Is beauty over-rated?
Comment: The "beauty" of top-ranked high-fashion models certainly is from the perspective of the general public.
Should the fashion industry pick more heavy and short models, so long as they are otherwise presentable?
To give very smart and very tough folks like Anna Wintour their proper credit, I suspect they are picking fashion models to be tall and skinny because that works best in terms of selling their clothes and selling their magazines.
Comment: Wrong! Read on...
Images of skinny and tall women appear to push the right buttons of normal-sized women to get them interested in fashion, even beholden to fashion, and to get them buying clothes.
Comment: Women generally end up feeling worse about their body after viewing skinny fashion models...the behavior of the fashion world does not make marketing sense.
So Wintour's preference for skinny and tall models isn't done out of spite, or personal preference. It's done out of cold calculation. It's done to sell, sell, sell, to make money.
Comment: If you are selling a highly desirable item (e.g., designer clothing) and it comes in a bad packaging, in the absence of alternatives people will buy it...sales will not diminish.
I mean, who really likes super tall and super skinny models? It's not heterosexual men, that's for sure. I can tell you with utter certainty that straight guys would not be voting out a girl like Jacqueline Blackman from any top model competition too soon.
But straight guys don't buy women's clothing. This industry isn't about pushing our buttons, it's about pushing women's buttons.
Comment: The industry isn't pushing women's buttons either. Apart from the aforementioned body image worsening tendency, most women judge female attractiveness like most men do.
So if a woman can explain to me why these models are fantasy figures that inspire the urge to purchase, I'll be interested in hearing that explanation.
Comment: The urge to purchase stems from a desire to be well-dressed in style that is in vogue, not the looks of models.
I suspect -- and, again, this is only a suspicion -- it's because these tall and skinny models inspire feelings of inferiority and envy in shorter, heavier women, which makes them want to change, want to be tall and thin, and if they can't be tall and thin, well, at least they can wear the same clothing as the tall and the thin wear.
Comment: Most women find the thinness typical of high-fashion models socially unacceptable; also see optimal body mass index preferences. There is no jealously regarding thinness on the part of the majority of women; just a small minority of girls/young women are inspired by skinny high-fashion models.
As a result -- as we all get fatter because of the surplus of fatty foods and our lack of exercising -- the models all get skinnier. They become ever more compelling fantasy figures, all the more able to inspire those feelings of inadequacy in most normal folk.
Comment: Once again, most women do not desire the thinness of high-fashion models.
How do we cope with this trend?
One good answer, I believe, is the one that Jay Manuel (pictured) suggested to Blackman: Don't stop eating, start working out.
Comment: Working out alone is poorly suited to losing weight.
Get that great buzz from a good work out.
That way you'll feel better, you'll look better, you'll be the best that you yourself can be, and, for most folks, that will be enough. They'll be satisfied with themselves, and these images of tall and skinny models will no longer hold such allure and power.
Comment: Working out is definitely recommended. For those who find the looks of high-fashion models alluring, the solution is to go through this site...most except a few -- especially homosexual/bisexual individuals attracted to women who look masculinized/ like adolescent males-- will see the light.