The major criticisms of the fashion industry reveal deeply embedded, inherently wrong values placed on typically “perfect” stick-thin bodies – leading to the ultimate realization that guess what, no one can live up to those expectations. No one normal, anyway. I found this photo on Refinery29 and the title of the slideshow read Plus-Size Model Robyn Lawley Causes Major Bikini Envy. It’s sad, really. It’s sad that this beautiful woman can and will never be referred to as just a model. She will always be seen as a plus-sized version of a model.
Obviously this was inspired largely by the lovely Liz and Kimberly‘s post on gender, advertising and women’s objectification in the media. The fact of the matter is, if you’re looking in a magazine and its advertisements – high fashion or other – and the model doesn’t look absolutely stunning in whatever he or she is wearing, you’re probably not going to be convinced to buy it. It’s a subconscious flaw in human nature that’s probably been exposed to us since we were young. “Sex sells (yes everyone knows)…”, to quote Kimberly. Is it something psychological? Is it jealousy that makes us want to buy something just because someone beautiful and thin is holding it?
I thought that this lightly related back to Foucault and Deleuze’s conversation with power. Who controlled that power anyway? Who decided in the beginning of the fashion industry that thin would be beautiful? Why can’t Robyn Lawley be beautiful? The only way that we can all stop striving to be someone else is to realize it, that’s the first step.
On a brighter note, a few major fashion magazines have decided not to Photoshop excessively on models and celebrities. I’m not sure how much that’s been taken into effect. What are your thoughts?