German fashion magazine Brigitte got caught up in the “real women” craze a couple of years ago, and instituted a “no models” policy on its pages. It was a bid to appeal to the not-stick-thin real world, where women, you know, eat. But three years after creating the policy, the magazine is abandoning it, claiming that it was too difficult to find “regular” women who could do the job.
The editor originally made the change because she felt that models didn’t offer a fair representation of real women. She wrote: “Today’s models weigh around 23 percent less than normal women. The whole model industry is anorexic.”
But designer Karl Lagerfeld said that fashion was about “dreams and illusions” and he may have a point. According to Brigitte’s new editor, “Many of you recently told us, ‘I approve of the idea but would simply like to see fashion sometimes’, or, ‘I sometimes feel distracted from the fashion if it is presented by a ‘normal woman’.”
Which makes sense, on a certain level. Where models are perceived as superhumanly gorgeous, with unattainable bodies, featuring “real women” in its pages may have hit a little too close to home for some. According to the editor, women felt “put under pressure by how beautiful the average woman looks in Brigitte magazine. It makes me feel inferior.”
The new policy will take effect beginning with the next issue.
What do you think of the magazine’s decision to return to models?