Some years ago, while supporting a friend who’d been modelling at a LFW presentation, we witnessed another model break character and crumple to the ground as she fainted, also wetting herself in the process.
I’m confident this isn’t representative of all young female models but given the conversation on banning underweight models from the runway is a recurring one, Rose & Willard founder Heidy Rehman’s calling for A-listers to boycott designers and fashion houses who use underweight models raises interesting questions.
Rehman spoke out on the first day of LFW, telling the Press Association “Half of the story of fashion week isn’t just what are the new trends, it is ‘who is sitting on the front row?’ It is almost an endorsement of the brand that you have got these celebrities."
But even if celebrities were to take action, how effectively would that challenge our society’s visual attraction to the thin? And would this actually change our perception of what we generally find aesthetically pleasing when it comes to women on TV and in the pages of magazines?
In 2009, Karl Lagerfeld’s interview with Focus Magazine revealed he felt those who had issue with thin models are "fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly.”
And just like that, one of fashion’s top names summed up his take on the issue with as cheap a comeback as those who dub feminists “fat and ugly.”
Earlier this year the topic was thrust into the limelight once again when model Rosie Nelson began a petition calling for better healthcare in the modelling industry, after losing weight to please a top agency who insisted she still needed to “get down to the bone.”
As a result, parliament have launched an inquiry team to consider banning under-18s from the catwalk, with the decision due at the end of this month.
The issue is seemingly everywhere- on the runway, in adverts and very little action is usually taken. However, one such incident which was taken very seriously was the ban enforced on a YSL advert (see above) by the ASA who ruled the advert “irresponsible” because “the model appeared unhealthily underweight".
What’s your take on new developments surrounding the size zero debate? Are we just being hypocritical or is this an issue we all need to take more seriously? Comment and let us know...
Photo Credit: Daily Star, Thought For Food
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