Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On the Runway: Fashion's Favorite Body

I know, I know...the issue of Women and Body Image might appear to be over-beaten and a bit hackneyed--But as I flip through the latest fashion magazines, I notice that the faces, outfits, and styles may change, but the unrealistic body sizes rarely (not as often as I would like) do.

I understand that art doesn't have to be realistic, and fashion is certainly an art form. However, I don't understand the disproportional relationship of the diversity of the clothing lines and the body shapes used to display the clothes. Shirts come in every variety: long, short, tight, wide. Possibilities are endless, not only for the shirt but for who will wear the shirt. Why, then, does the person wearing the shirt in the advertisement or on the runway have to be shaped a certain way to make it work?

I mean, check out the size of the models in Vogue's Guide to Fall 2009. The fashion is as diverse as you can get...the size of the models? Not so much.

With the healthy body image movement growing and multiplying (Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, Love Your Body, The Belly Project, Mind on the Media, Real Women Project), I think that the high fashion industry is under-utilizing who is available to show off clothes: not everyone watching the runways and not everyone reading Vogue are shaped like the models. Do many of them probably want to wear the clothing?--Of course, but they only see it showcased on people of a certain size.

Fashion is not only for people of a certain size, it's for everyone. It's disturbing that so much of popular fashion advertising seems to disagree.

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