Can anyone keep Victoria Beckham’s body image philosophy straight? She seems to constantly flex between opposing contradictions. One second, the media is calling out her anorexic-seeming lifestyle and the next she’s quoted as being pro-curves. To be honest, our opinion of Beckham wavers as well. Sometimes she frightens us with her so-thin physique that’s nearly alien-like, but at the same time, we absolutely respect the woman’s talent and style and agree that her Fashion Week show was a hands-down success. When Posh went on “The View” yesterday to talk about her work and the fashion industry, she seemed very pro-health: “The CFDA have reached out to designers, stylists and casting directors not to work with underage models, girls that are too thin and to be more ethnically aware. And I think designers are listening. I had a casting last week and had some terribly thin girls come in and it wouldn’t have worked.” This would seem to suggest she’s not into the heroin-chic look. And yet Beckham also said, “Most of these girls are naturally thin. And I don’t think we should be discriminating against someone because they are too thin or too curvy or too large or whatever it is.” Most models are naturally thin? We’re not so sure about that.
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For models who gain weight, whether it’s five pounds or 15, finding a fit in the fashion industry is generally an uphill battle, and often suddenly sinks a career. Take the case of Gemma Ward, the Vogue cover record breaker who seemed poised to conquer the runways when she hit the scene at only 14 years old. Quickly becoming a top-earning model, Ward’s super skinny limbs and protruding bones captured the essence of undernourished beauty that designers and critics loved. Around the same time, fellow youth model Coco Rocha remembered being advised, “The look this year is anorexic. We don’t want you to be anorexic, we just want you to look it.” Keep reading »
After Tuesday’s CFDA panel “The Beauty of Health: Resizing the Sample Size,” it was suggested that perhaps the industry needs to readjust its age standards in order to reconsider size. Increasingly, the models strutting down the catwalk aren’t so much women as they are very young girls, some barely 16 years old. Model casting agent James Scully argues, “It’s natural for a 13- or 14-year-old to be slim, have a small bust and hips that measure no more than 33 inches, but as those models age — to all of 18 or 19 — they will do ‘terribly dangerous things’ to fight nature and their increasingly womanly bodies.” This means that often, designer’s sample sizes are unthinkably small, and obviously much easier for a teenager, who hasn’t hit puberty yet, to squeeze into. So the CFDA has started to wonder if the industry sample size standard needs to drastically change to allow a healthier dialogue about fashion and body image. Keep reading »
I laughed (like I’m sure many of us did) when I heard about American Apparel’s “Search for the Best Bottom in the World” competition. I found myself aggravated by the douchebaggerous lengths that Dov Charney would go to violate and objectify women. And then I visited the site and was totally taken in by looking at all of the bum entries. They were kind of hot and not in an underfed, underage model kind of way. There was something kind of awesome about all these women photographing their real butts, privately and (mostly) respectfully. I couldn’t help but think, “What would happen if I photographed my donk?” My curiosity outweighed my feminist rage and the next thing I knew, I was slipping on my AA lace body suit, bending over for my camera, and actually kind of enjoying it. Keep reading »
The weight issue is often the big, fat elephant in any Hollywood room. It seems like actresses nowadays just keep getting thinner and thinner, yet very few people are talking about it. Well, at a press conference for the new film “Valentine’s Day” the other day, Hollywood “old guard” Shirley MacLaine put “new guard” starlets like Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, and Jennifer Garner on the spot when it was her turn with the mic. “I would like to ask all the women up here what they eat? I’d like to have a rundown,” she said. “Do you diet all the time? You’re looking so fabulous. Is it worth it?” Keep reading »
Only a few short months ago, we were talking about Hollywood boobs. Or, more accurately, the lack thereof, when we noticed that more and more, celebs were joining the itty-bitty titty committee. After the Golden Globes, however, some see the trend reversing. Writes one New York Times blogger who saw an emergence of curves on the whole:
“Maybe it’s just me, but I could have sworn that some of the ladies who showed up at the Golden Globes on Sunday had put on a little weight. It’s almost criminal to name names, because the very actresses whose body-mass indexes have been the subject of endless tabloid speculation are the very ones now sporting sexier curves. You could definitely see the difference if you concentrated solely on the upper arms … ”
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Last night’s episode of “The Real World: DC,” which, thus far, isn’t living up to our high expectations (which were probably higher than they should have been, but I digress), was the show’s token weight issues episode. Ty — who has managed to confuse “honest” with “completely dickish” — told bubbly, blonde workout freak Callie that she wasn’t skinny enough to be a Playboy
model. And then she cried. A lot. And I don’t blame her, as it’s totally crappy when you’re told you’re not BLANK enough to be BLANK. But seriously, it’s a sad day in the universe when one girl’s self-worth is deeply wounded because she’s not “skinny” (or plastic) enough to take her clothes off for a no longer relevant magazine run by a Peter Pan in diapers. Clip above. Keep reading »
Score one for womanly curves! Researchers in the Journal of Obesity say carrying fat on your butt and thighs (think: pear-shaped) actually helps protect your body from obesity-related diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Researchers have known for awhile that carrying extra weight on your stomach (read: apple-shaped) is particularly unhealthy, as stomach fat encourages fat dispersal throughout the rest of the body. But all fat is not created equal, said Dr. Robert Kushner of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
Though I’m not obese, I am still thrilled to hear my new booty is not necessarily a health hazard. (Obviously, obesity has many health hazards, but so often the “health facts” and “body-hating opinions” get mixed up in public discourse.) It’s easy to get frustrated when you can’t fit into skinny jeans, but extra padding may have health benefits: Doctors are unsure if thin people are better off in some ways than people who are fattier on their hips and thighs. In fact, Dr. Michael Jensen of the Mayo Clinic told ABC News fat can be actually “an important organ for our health”—I bet you’ve never heard of your badonkadonk described that way! [ABC News] Keep reading »
I think we all know that women’s obsession with body image is a cultural epidemic. I feel like it’s common practice to hear not only myself, but also my friends, saying derogatory things about their bodies—too fat, big butt, hate my nose, my skin, hair. Sadly, I don’t know a woman who isn’t guilty of this heinous offense. In case we wanted to remain in denial about what a problem this is, a new study is giving us a reality check about exactly how often we are not just saying, but thinking, these awful things about ourselves. Thirty-six times a day! That’s 1.5 times an hour and 252 times a week that women are thinking negative thoughts about their appearance. Keep reading »
Hey, Frisky book lovers, have you heard about “bigger chick lit”? Pissiness over a poochy tummy is a sub-plot in plenty of books, most notably Bridget Jones’s Diary, but the Guardian says “bigger chick lit” novels feature a “young woman who is seriously overweight—and doesn’t care.” And apparently, they’re all the rage. Keep reading »