So I read yesterday that a group of ‘feminists’ launched a protest at the Versace fashion show because they were angry about the use of size zero, and below, models on all the catwalks (I used inverted commas because there’s no actual evidence that these ladies were feminists, aside from the papers assertions they were).
Sadly though, the whole point of their protest was lost amongst the ribald jokes and nudge, nudge-wink, wink stares of all the men and not a few of the women who were looking on. Indeed the media seemed more concerned with their lack of tops than what they were protesting about.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the human body in its naked form. No doubt, if I was a lithe, toned beauty I too would be happy to go topless on beaches abroad and such. But that’s the point - I would do so where it was acceptable, not in the middle of a catwalk show.
The protest was extremely relevant as well and one I agree with; our daughters and indeed all women should not be made to think, via anorexic models and airbrushed pictures, that these razor thin bodies are the norm.
Yet Versace and Lagerfeld, neither of whom is stick thin and beautiful themselves, act as though this is the norm and anyone who’s over two stone in weight is obese. Lagerfeld definitely proved this with his comments about Adele, and Versace not's been quiet either about only ever using ultra thin models for all her shows.
It’s not just women either anymore, men are becoming anorexic too and children, of both genders, and as young as four and five years old are displaying worrying eating habits as they try to stay slim.
So I applaud these women for trying to raise public awareness of this situation; to want to bother to try to change it. I just wish they’d kept their tops on to do it – as most people seem to only remember it as “those women who got their tops off” and the not the reason for the protest.
We should, most definitely, take these ridiculous designers to task – to make them stop using these painfully skinny models; to allow these girls to actually become a healthy weight. Perhaps it should be made clear to them that they might sell more clothes if more normal shaped women thought they could wear them.
In the middle of an economic depression surely that’s the most important part of remaining solvent – selling your goods in numbers bigger than single digits? If you sell five £20 thousand ($31.5k) dresses a year and yet the production costs of both your collection and the fashion show is ten times that then the odds are on, you’re going to go out of business. No business can survive long term running at a loss, especially right now with banks resembling Scrooge with their lending.
Of course shows and films like the ‘Sex and the City’ franchise has a lot to answer for; as well teen shows like ‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘90210’, ‘Gossip Girl’ and their ilk that show stick thin actresses running around in designer clothes. It means teen girls have role models and fashion idols that are unreasonably thin and yet they still try to emulate them.
As Victoria Beckham is now a fashion designer, she should be the first to stand up and say enough. But, as she seems to survive on one grape and a cube of ice a day I suppose that’s a ridiculous dream. It appears, even to her, that emaciation isn't a problem, it's an ideal. However, until the fashion world in particular, and the media industry in general, are made to stop doing their best to make every model and celebrity absolutely flawless then I can’t see size zeros leaving the building any time soon; nor can I see the rising tide of eating disorders abating either.
This is Simi, thanks for reading....