January 1, 2016 by phicks2012
Okay, so I’m an older model than the prime demographic for the fashion industry. Their market tends to be teens and young adults, and their trendy designs are created, generally, to look good on very slender young people. After a certain age, styles tend to vary a lot less over time, though color palates and details do.
But for a very long time now female fashion models have been selected based on being photogenic (good facial bone structure) and on being extremely thin. Nowadays they are allowed to have bustlines, but the norm has long been tall and narrow-hipped with very slender arms and legs. Several generations of young (and not so young) women have been innundated with images of mega-slim supermodels wearing both outerwear and underwear that simply would not look the same when worn by a female with non-mammary curves, and these days they also are barraged with images of the super-fit hardbodied icons who, likewise, lack appreciable curves.
I have no problem with women striving the be healthier or more fit, but most of us are never going to look like those icons, because genetics are not going to cooperate, and having a negative self-image as a result of our failure to measure up (or measure down) is not good.
For most of this time, men were never really targeted as women were for this sort of marketing, but in the past few decades they too have been diluged with media campaigns telling them they too need to look younger and fitter — oh, and to be more virile. In our youth-centric culture, it’s now not just women who are pressured to cover the gray hair, loose weight, have cosmetic surgery, do “manscaping”, and join gyms in an effort to stay attractive in a time when “attractive” seems most often to equal “young”.
And now, fairly recently, I’ve noticed that male models, like female models, are starting to verge on the emaciated. Do other women find that attractive? When I look back at very old movies there was a tendency for the leading men to be very thin and lanky, and even as a girl I didn’t find that appealing. Had I been alive when this was popular, and had I been the sort to write fan letters, I might have written to a few of those stars telling them to start eating. Even today, when I see that certain male media icons have dropped considerable weight and are starting to look frail, I still want to do that.
Okay, so I’m an old fart, and probably WAY out of the sex appeal loop when it comes to what the very young now find attractive, and there’s probably nothing new about 98% of the population aspiring to look like the other 2% who are winners in the current Genetic Lottery. I also know that there are corporations out there making fortunes for their stock-holders by selling diet plans, exercise plans and machines, and other physical enhancements like make-up, colognes (male and female), deoderants, tooth-whiteners, skin care and hair care products, dipilatories, and male enhancements. Good for them, as long as the products make us feel more attractive and don’t cause lasting harm, but I find it refreshing that recently we are starting to have plus-size models (even if normal-sized women are often being referred to as plus-sized), and allowing the 98% a few more aspirational role models.
Maybe it’s a step in the right direction. Sorry Ann, but Colin Firth these days needs a few Big Macs. 😉