Sunday, March 14

Do we want "Real Women" on the Runway?

In response to criticism of this article. To summarize, the article quotes designers like Michael Korrs who state that models will remain thin but clothes are being designed for "real women" in double digit sizes. The criticism is on how women do not want to see "normal" sized women on the runway, and that designers are only pretending to be sympathetic.

What do you think? Do we want larger sized models on the runway?

If we go by a national average, I don't want to see "real women" on the runway. The "real" size of women in American is something like 10 or 12 (I think in Drop Dead Diva they said it was 14?!) and no, I don't want to see them on TV or anywhere that's not for plus-size fashion. And why should I? Clothes obviously look different on them than on me (I'm a size 4 or 6 depending on my brand or mood), and the argument is that clothes also look different on a size 0 than on someone my size.

The issue is therefore not one of practicality, but a psychological one: I see a thin, beautiful model wearing something trendy and hot and I think I want to look like that!. Whether it fits me well or not is entirely besides the point, because many women choose to diet in order to look as good as a model.  So the criticism is correct, it's not about the designers choosing anorexic models (didn't Lagerfeld decide on 18 BMI min for all models?), it's about our psychological makeover and how good we think they look.

And think about! If we had size 4 models we would need size 6 models! Then we would need size 8 models, etc. We would need apple-shaped models and pear-shaped models and flat models and curvy models, etc.! We would need models of every ethnicity and of varying heights! We cannot please everyone.

So while I do think that I could live with size 2-4 models as long as they are well-proportioned (kind of like how Victoria's Secret models tend to have normal sized ribcage widths and hips) and are not any extreme, but I can understand the designer's point that models are just moving hangers. I think this is appropriate when designers take their view seriously, for example, have you seen ugly models on runways? I have. I have seen the ugliest make up on them and the reasoning was that they don't want models to look like real people or that they don't want people to miss the clothing and focus on the model's beauty. This makes sense. I think if all designers incorporated this and focused less on the beauty of a model and more on the "hanger" aspect then all is good.

What do you think?