The ideal female body shape and size consumes a huge amount of the media and general public’s brain space.
It is really refreshing to see the celebration and somewhat acceptance of curvy body shapes again. Historically women’s curves have been celebrated (think Marilyn Monroe), however the fashion world no longer seems to encourage this. Magazines refer to a model who is a size 12 as being a plus size model, which is something most of us don’t understand because for many that is their ideal size according to health charts. The same can be said for some women who are a size 16. Its all about proportion according to height and build. It is nice to see these healthy women being proud of who they are and not feeling the need to starve themselves in the name of fashion.
Bearing all this in mind we do need to be careful when we are celebrating the curves and making judgements about the thin models. Some women are naturally thin so to refer to a curvy body as a “natural” and a thin body as not “womanly” is insulting to these women. They too should be proud of their body shape and not be judged, just they way a curvy woman does.
The fashion world prefers catwalk models who are extremely thin, almost resembling a coat hanger, so that the focus remains solely on the clothing. The unfortunate thing is that these models are starving themselves so they can keep the right shape. I have heard stories of models eating tissue so that they feel a kind of full sensation. Unthinkable to most of us but these girls are so desperate they do whatever they need to to keep the look otherwise they are out of work. Because we see their images plastered all over the magazines,we tend to either consciously or subconsciously compare ourselves unfavourably to them. But lets remember, they want us to notice the clothes, not the model. I found it interesting to hear Brooke Shields say recently that she the reason she was only ever a photographic model was that she was always too big to be be on the catwalk. I never would have thought this!
What we should be doing is admiring the form of a fit and healthy woman and not take into account her shape or size. There are many people who fit the “perfect” body shape and size but have terrible diets, abuse alcohol and drugs, and/or exercise to an dangerous level. There are others who are overweight in fashion world terms, but eat well, exercise regularly and safely, and have a very clean bill of health.
We are all individuals and we should embrace that. One of the great things about living in inner city Melbourne is being amongst the diversity when it comes to both women and men’s sense of fashion and style. In a world where people are resorting to having surgical procedures to keep themselves looking a certain way, it is great to see people embrace the latest fashions mixed with their own twist.
So,lets aim to be the healthiest us we can be and embrace the body that comes with that.
Til next time…