Saturday, February 22, 2014

"Model Ana is 5'9" and wearing a small" UPDATED

Not sure what to think about Free People using its own customers as models. On the one hand, modeling is such a weird profession - a job where the point is to be judged almost exclusively on your appearance, where you'll be referred to as a "girl" either if you are one (in which case, why have you been hired to model women's clothes?) or because that's just how it is. Regular people (not that models are irregular, sigh, lest the Beautiful Woman Anti-Defamation League arrive) may do a better job of showing how clothes actually look.

I mean, consider my recent t-shirt dilemma. "Model Ana is 5'9" and wearing a small," they say, leaving me with no idea what size would be appropriate at 5'2", not even to get into other ways in which I differ physically from the Ana in question. So it's not just the body-image concerns that models being so uniformly tall and thin can contribute to. It's also just frustrating, for those of us without particularly strong spatial reasoning, to translate in our minds from how stuff looks on a model to how it could possibly look on us.

On the other, the whole thing kind of reeks of corporate sleaze. As Dhani Mau puts it:

[I]t’s a whole lot less expensive than hiring Karlie Kloss — the chosen customers will be alerted to their new model status, but not compensated. In fact, since the subjects bought the clothes they’re wearing, it’s almost like they paid Free People to be models.
Indeed. If you're modeling, you should be paid, whether or not you resemble Ms. Kloss. Meanwhile, if you go to the Free People site and look at the actual execution, you find what, exactly? A bunch of women who look like models, but without any indication of their heights or measurements. And then if you click on the image, you're brought to a photo of... a regular model in the same garment, informing you that the model is 5'10" and wearing - you guessed it! - a size small.


And it only now occurs to me how neatly the new campaign goes with the brand's name!


fourtinefork said...

Off the point (as usual for my comments), but I've been impressed with the quality of Everlane stuff. I have the weekender bag and the tote bag, and both are high quality for the price. I like that the bags themselves are fairly lightweight; Filson bags, even empty, are too heavy for little me. My only experience with Everlane's clothes is via a t-shirt (added to an order to meet the free shipping minimum), and it was nicely made with good fabric, and sizing seemed true to what was on the size charts.

Phoebe said...

It does look like nice stuff. This particular t-shirt dilemma was solved when I happened to be in Muji, where I know the shirts fit, on the day said shirts were $6. But surely the day will come, sooner rather than later, when more need replacing.