Size Zero Bullshit

Woebot

Administrator
Staff member
Will this never go away? Most models aren't that skinny are they?
Sure they can be on the thin side, but isn't what's happening just an attempt to rationalise an incresingly obese culture...
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
I would love to be pointed towards some credible study of how perceptions of obesity and beauty has changed over time, and in different cultures. People always bring up aristocrats of the Renaissance and Samoans as examples of how roundness sometimes has been, and with the latter (I think), still is, deemed attractive when attitudes are different. There is probably a lot of truth in that, but it would be interesting to see which ‘mode’, so to speak, has been the most prevalent throughout history.

I was thinking of this yesterday, actually, and I came to the conclusion—which is of course rooted in current Western ideals, at least to some extent—that I like thinness because it tends to emphasize the face’s ‘human’ lines, and thus makes a person look more ‘human’. Most easily illustrated with a counter-example, I think very obese persons, say 150+ kg and upwards, tend to have very undistinguished faces, as their lines are covered by such a huge amount of fat. If I were to imagine a 300 kg+ person, I think that person would look scary because of his or her fluttering fat hiding most of the human lines, making the person look a bit alien. A whimsical idea, but there you go. :)

Most models are very thin, but I find that highly attractive on an aesthetical level. I’m still ambivalent on that thing with the Spanish authorities (I think it was) telling models to abide to some imposed weight-standards, though. Both sides argued pretty sensibly for their cause.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I feel compelled to point out that what the fashion industry consider 'attractive' (read: easy to design clothes for) and what the vast majority of straight men consider attractive are not the same thng at all. I don't think I know any blokes who go for very skinny women, and I personally find the more extreme end of the model scale repellent. In just the same way I'm assured by most women I know that they find excessive muscliness in men unattractive.

Interestingly, it's the super-skinny women (i.e. models) that you see in women's magazines, advertising clothes and so on, and the super-beefcake blokes on the front of, e.g., Men's Health (a 'stealth' gay porn mag, if ever I saw one!), while the women found in men's magazines are generally a lot more curvy than catwalk models and I can only assume the men found in women's magazines are a bit more normal-looking that the body-builder look manufacturers of protein supplements would have us believe women go for.

Edit: in specific reply to Woebot, while I think some models are skinny to point of looking unhealthy (and actresses too - what ever happened to Keira Knightly? She looks AWFUL!) I also think the case against them is exaggerated sometimes, especially by use of the American 'size zero', which seems to imply that the woman has ceased to exist at all - it's actually the same as a UK size 6. And you're right, we (in the UK) are an increasingly obese culture; while anorexia is obviously a terrible illness, the fact remains that far more women and men would look and feel better if they lost a bit of weight than if they gained it.
 
Last edited:

Guybrush

Dittohead
I feel compelled to point out that what the fashion industry consider 'attractive' (read: easy to design clothes for)
I am curious about this assertion. I have seen it repeated elsewhere, and I find it hard to believe that this is the only answer to why they choose skinny models.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I am curious about this assertion. I have seen it repeated elsewhere, and I find it hard to believe that this is the only answer to why they choose skinny models.
Well why else would they do it? Do fashion designers fill with glee when they think of chubby women feeling bad about themselves? Are they involved in some secrat cabal with the weight-loss industry?

I just think it's easier to design clothes that look good on skinny women, and perhaps furthermore that they specifically don't want models with alluring, feminine figures because they'd distract from the clothes too much. After all, at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy nut, heterosexual men aren't exactly over-represented in the fashion industry, are they?

Perhaps all it is is a sign of the times, given that it's the norm for people in many Western countries, and particularly Britain and the US, for people to be a bit overweight, with outright obesity becoming more common all the time, so it's natural for people to want to show off how thin they are as a status symbol, and in fashion circles this has become fetishised. After all, in societies where plumpness is attractive it's because poor people are thin by default - see also fashionable paleness in the aristocracy when most people were farm labourers vs. the desirability of a tan since people starting working indoors and going on holiday to hot places in a big way.
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
Actually, I think catwalk models are a better representation of what your average man fancies than FHM models. Most of them do not look quirky-but-not-naturally-beautiful (as the myth goes). Check out Storm’s stable for proof:

Storm


HHHHHHot!
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
*concedes point*

Edit: although she could just as easily grace the cover of FHM. Well, more like GQ, I guess. And I have seen plenty of downright odd-looking girls on catwalks (not that I go out of my way to watch fashion shows, or anything), although to a certain extent that's down to designers giving them stupid haircuts and makeup, shaving their eyebrows off and so on ("this season's look is a sort of gypsy/clown/astronaut chic", OH FUCK OFF!).
 
Last edited:

Woebot

Administrator
Staff member
Actually, I think catwalk models are a better representation of what your average man fancies than FHM models. Most of them do not look quirky-but-not-naturally-beautiful (as the myth goes). Check out Storm’s stable for proof:

Storm


HHHHHHot!
that's a fantastic visual argument you just made there guybrush. they're really interesting looking women aren't they.
 

noel emits

a wonderful wooden reason
smaller clothes = higher profit margins. it's not like manufacturers charge different amounts for different sizes as a rule do they?

that model doesn't look overly thin - her shoulder seems reasonably fleshed out.
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
But come on! Don’t you think designers prefering thinner models for aesthetical reasons has anything to do with it? I find that very hard to believe.
 

elgato

I just dont know
Survey of 5,000 women by New Woman...

97% believe size 12 is "fat"
The same number would rather have friends who are fatter than them
76% admit they are jealous of slimmer friends
50% had gone without food ALL DAY before a big night out in order to fit into a dress
Six out of 10 surveyed said friends had criticised their body shape

so grim
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I was livid when I saw it - it's mad how the ES and the Mail are all so "moral" and then print that without batting an eyelid.
 

elgato

I just dont know
its as if dark satire

'fashion' or style magazines/features genuinely seem to operate in a different world, one with an extraordinary idea of what is acceptable to say, such a bizarre sense of morality
 

zhao

there are no accidents
what is ironic about that is that ANYONE would benefit from not eating for a week and only drinking juices.

Well why else would they do it? Do fashion designers fill with glee when they think of chubby women feeling bad about themselves? Are they involved in some secrat cabal with the weight-loss industry?

I just think it's easier to design clothes that look good on skinny women,

Perhaps all it is is a sign of the times, given that it's the norm for people in many Western countries, and particularly Britain and the US, for people to be a bit overweight, with outright obesity becoming more common all the time, so it's natural for people to want to show off how thin they are as a status symbol, and in fashion circles this has become fetishised. After all, in societies where plumpness is attractive it's because poor people are thin by default - see also fashionable paleness in the aristocracy when most people were farm labourers vs. the desirability of a tan since people starting working indoors and going on holiday to hot places in a big way.
but do you see the mistake you are making with the bold type bit: you are accepting as "natural" and not questioning what "look good" means in this culture. the rest sounds ok though.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
but do you see the mistake you are making with the bold type bit: you are accepting as "natural" and not questioning what "look good" means in this culture. the rest sounds ok though.
Hmm, I'm talking about the clothes themselves, not the women wearing them. And I mean 'looks good' from the point of view of fashion-industry people, who are a pretty queer* breed altogether.

Which is probably why most catwalk models don't have much in the way of hips, bums or breasts - you know, the things most hetero blokes actually like the look of - because then the sexual allure of the models would distract from the supposed glamour/originality/whatever of the clothes they're wearing.

*perhaps a stereotype, but I mean 'queer' in both senses for many of the male ones, which ties in with the skinny, sexless, almost pre-pubescent look of many models, compared to the much curvier wimmin you see on, for example, the cover of FHM.
 
Top