Saturday, April 28, 2007

In defense of the indefensible

Fashion magazines give women unrealistic expectations about weight. Models are very thin, and women in the media generally are significantly thinner than women on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, and perhaps the same girth as those on Manhattan's West Broadway. This is nothing new.

While it's by no means a zero-sum situation, it seems that the more weight matters in terms of beauty, the less race is an issue. There are fashion models of a whole range of ethnicities, but it's a sort of one-of-every-color of one identical mold. For all the discussion of "ethnic" women and their curves (this can refer to black women, Latinas, or anyone remotely dark-haired and Mediterranean), there is no ethnicity in which a modelesque physique predominates, other than those ethnicities under rather severe oppression from other ethnicities. Beauty has become something of a free-for-all for those willing to skip lunch.

So should we rejoice over the newfound turn against slimness as a beauty ideal? With what, one wonders, will we replace it? A look at the preeminent (if no longer so famous?) plus-size model, Emme, could be a guide.

(I know I've written about this before, but don't remember when/where, so apologies for being repetitive.)

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