Is The Fashion Industry Getting More Diverse Or Are Models Still "Too Skinny"?


Last week, images from a Glamour magazine shoot — featuring Alessandra Ambrosio, Crystal Renn and Brooklyn Decker — popped up online. Three women with different body types, posing in bikinis? Cue the shitstorm!

ABC News declared Alessandra “too skinny,” noting that she has “barely any curves” and claiming that she looks more like a “pre-pubescent teenager than a 29-year-old mother.”

Today, Alessandra fires back in WWD saying:

“I’ve been tiny since I was four, and I eat whatever I want… All that matters is that I stay healthy… If I’m two pounds heavier, I’m fat. If I’m skinnier, I’m sick. It’s ridiculous. And that’s not coming from agents or designers.”

There’s also a quote from her personal trainer, and Lord knows if someone could talk to her doctor, they would. Interesting how all the talk about how “skinny” Alessandra is comes after she stands next to someone a few pounds heavier; did anyone complain during the Victoria’s Secret Runway show?

But even though Glamour teamed Alessandra, Brooklyn and Crystal together because the mag has been trying to show more diverse body types, is the fashion industry really getting more diverse, body-type wise ? The Guardian‘s Kira Cochrane reports that the recent runway shows in Paris and Milan featured “jutting collarbones” on models with “tiny upper arms, fragile and snappable as a bird wing stripped of feathers.” (Bonnie Fuller’s recent piece cheering “curvier” runways claimed that the Louis Vuitton show included “full-figured models,” a statement that was both erroneous and delusional. Do any of those women are “full-figured” to you?)

Still, grouping Alessandra, Crystal and Brooklyn is an interesting choice by Glamour: Because though the aim is to showcase different sizes of women, the image actually highlights the ridiculous labels and standards applied to models. All three models are long-legged and lovely; that one is considered a “fashion” model, one a “swimsuit” model (read: larger breasts) and one a “plus-size” model (which is different, of course, from a plus-size person) seems absurd. There aren’t vast differences between the women. And if Glamour is only using Crystal alongside thinner models and only because of outside pressure, should the mag even be commended for that?

Only one thing is certain: Women can’t expose their bodies without being judged, measured, compared, nit-picked and criticized.

Models In Bikinis Celebrating Different Sizes [ONTD]
Memo Pad: Alessandra Ambrosio’s Take… [WWD]
Why Are Models Still So Thin? [Guardian]
Why the Return of Gorgeous Curvy Supermodels To Fashion Runways Is A Victory For All Women! [HuffPo]

Earlier: Glamour’s “Big” Issue: Plus-Size Models, Plus-Size Problems
Glamour Shocks Readers By Featuring Plus-Size Model’s Belly
Coming This Fall: More Naked Fat Ladies In Glamour!
Glamour Tries Not To Make A Big Deal Of Its Plus-Size Model

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