Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On the skinniness of fashion models

TheBunny wrote:
You really think all their models need to lose 50 pounds for regular magazine jobs? There was one model, wearing the first tank I believe, that was so thin and gaunt it was distracting. I was surprised to see her because their models have always been fresh-faced and healthy looking.

Maybe that particular model is who some folks are referring to. I'm not riled up about it, I just disagree that she wore the garment better. I think she crossed that line where the garment is the feature. The model being featured (vs. the garment) can go both ways, either too big or too thin. She looked too thin and the whole appearance was more like something was strapped to her rather than her wearing it.

She has good points.

I believe this is the top she's referring to, and unfortunately they've left the main photo off the website preview. I have to confess that originally I thought this was a maternity top and the model was pregnant (albeit skinny). This same model appears to be featured here and here.

While I do think the first picture in the magazine is somewhat creepy looking, I think the other two photos prove that this model is definitely not overweight by healthy standards, but is also not very thin (and not "with child"). She may have thin arms, but that is not a fashion model's body.

This is an editorial fashion model's body: look here. Notice the total lack of curve at the hip, angular, bony arms, legs and shoulders, no stomach, and flat chest.

Runway models are even thinner. Y'all, the models in Interweave are not even playing the same sport. There are one or two I'd put at only about twenty pounds too heavy, but all of them are too big for typical editorial shots.

We all know the camera adds weight, right? Think of how incredibly thin the model in the shot above has to be to look that skinny in a photo, and you'll get closer to what I'm thinking of. (Think of how skinny Nicole Ritchie must be in real life to look as dreadful as she did in photos.) Photos lie.

I think Interweave realizes that the uber-thin fashion model is not the way to go for this magazine. Even Vogue Knitting does not typically use that body type in their spreads - a VK model would probably not get work at Vogue. I don't think it would be nice or fair of me to go through the issue shot-by-shot; let's just say I'm glad a heavy model is wearing the skirt, the girls in jeans have medium-to-big hips and some curve to them, and most of the models are a little thick in the middle. That's good, in my opinion - the reality is that even someone who wears a 32" finished bust size in a sweater is not going to be as skinny as a typical fashion model. We've all got a little junk in the trunk, and I'm glad to see models who look normal in jeans.

And finally, I do believe that top TheBunny mentioned isn't doing the model any favors, isn't flattering and doesn't really "work" on her.

I know the magazine world is different from reality - that's why I keep on saying "photos lie". Not many women have bodies that will make them several million a year from photo shoots - that's why they get the big bucks. It doesn't matter. I've got plenty of friends who are size 2, diminutive women, and they couldn't work as fashion models either. You can't let the business of selling couture make you intimidated. As I've said before - wear what works on your size, your shape, and with your style. Photos lie. Find clothes that lie well for you, and don't worry about what everybody else looks like.


Blogger Jeanne said...

Besides, almost everything is "airbrushed" in PhotoShop, anyway.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Jerry & Maxy said...

Jen, I love what you are saying, particularly since I am no longer a size 4 or 6. Sometiems I find it hard to tell if some style/garment looks good on me. Are there a few "rules" or guidelines that can help me? Or can yo udirect me to a site? Thanks...again.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Jerry & Maxy said...

holy spelling and grammatical errors. sorry about that last unproofed comment.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

I do think fashion models can be dangerously thin. I do think, though, that the one in IK isn't. Mainly because I was thinner than that for most of my teens and early 20's, and it was just my metabolism...
She's not Nichole Ritchie scary skinny, she's just, well, skinny. And that's ok. I used to crave curves. My late husband used to laugh about being able to see my ribs through my back, but time has changed that!!

I think IK does a pretty good job of showing fairly different sized women... though on the whole, I think it'd be great if they showed two knitted garments- one on a size 4 and one on a size 14, which would give different women better ideas about knitting it as a gift or for themselves.

2:11 PM  
Blogger TheBunny said...

I worked a lot of shoots in college and I remember what a revelation it was how the models looked in real life. One of them has since gone on to become a Cover Girl model/actress etc. She is beautiful on film but she doesn't look attractive in person. At all.

Not only are they too thin in person, but they can be kind of "misshappen."

I didn't even recognize the model as the one wearing the blue sweater. She looks SO much better in the blue sweater.

Oh, and little factoid. You know how Alan Alda appears very thin and angular on camera? I worked on the set of one of his movies years ago and the man is MUCH more attractive in person. He doesn't seem so angular. He is a good example of how someone reads on film vs. in person.

Size is a big factor but I think there is something to the shape too. You know, Vanna's big head and all.

3:13 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home