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  1. #1
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    Red face

    *maybe Chabela can comment on this also*

    Feel free to discuss.
    __________________________________________________ __

    On The Catwalk, How Thin is Too Thin?

    By Juliette Terzieff, Women's eNews
    Posted on September 28, 2006, Printed on September 28, 2006
    http://www.alternet.org/story/42234/

    Spain's top fashion show made international headlines this week not for the clothes on display but for the size of the women wearing them.

    The Sept. 13 decision from the Madrid regional government to enforce a ban on underweight models for Madrid Fashion Week catwalks has sent shock waves through the global fashion industry and set off a chorus of calls to expand the ban and formulate a new industry standard. The government's decision is intended to promote a healthier body image.

    The unprecedented move marked the first time organizers of a major fashion show imposed weight limits in line with World Health Organization guidelines for healthy height-to-weight ratios used to calculate a person's body mass index, which estimates the portion of fat in the body.

    Over 30 percent of the models who appeared in Madrid shows last year were disqualified under the new guidelines that will likely prevent the participation of top models such as Brazil's Fabiana, Spain's Esther Canadas, Britain's Kate Moss and Estonia native Carmen Kass.

    "This is a great call to global action," says Lynn Grefe, chief executive officer of the Seattle-based National Eating Disorders Association.

    "We worked hard to restrict advertising for alcohol and tobacco because of the potential dangers to our young people, and fashion is now the only major industry without health guidelines," Grefe said. "It is high time we ask for some responsibility from within the industry for the impact fashion has on potentially life-threatening eating disorders."

    International Reaction

    Reaction from the international fashion industry was varied, but many governments seem prepared to pick up Spain's cue, as the enforcement decision spread through news outlets around the world.

    British Culture Minister Tessa Jowell publicly applauded the move to comply by the organizers of Pasarela Cibeles, Spain's premiere fashion event, while Letizia Moratti, the mayor of Milan, Italy, threatened a similar ban on too-thin models if the city could not negotiate voluntary terms with fashion designers and agencies.

    India's Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said his country is also concerned with stick-thin models and their admirers, and hoped Madrid's move "makes young girls focus more on being healthy and lean rather than starving and skinny."

    Edinburgh, Scotland, announced it would follow Madrid's lead, banning any model with a BMI of less than 18. A BMI of 18.5 or below is considered underweight by the World Health Organization, anything 25 or over is considered overweight. The average BMI for top models is 16.3, according to data from the National Eating Disorders Association. Top U.S. designer Michael Kors also jumped into the fray.

    "Thin is fine but it has to be healthy," Kors said at a press conference last week. "When I see a model come in and I can tell this is not naturally how they're supposed to look, we won't book them."

    Other Shows Stick to Status Quo

    Madrid is considered a major player on the European fashion scene and is no stranger to controversial shows. But the city lacks the clout of fashion capitals like Paris, London and New York, where the topic has been hotly debated in the last two weeks. All three cities went ahead with plans for their fashion weeks without imposing any weight restrictions.

    While some within the fashion world chafed at the industry being made a scapegoat for contributing to a rise in eating disorders, New York-based DNA Models' Chief Executive David Bonnouvrier said during New York's fashion week that the industry standard should focus on "beauty and luxury, not famished-looking people that look pale and sick."

    Cathy Gould, North America director for New York agency Elite, told journalists the ban was "outrageous and discriminatory" to naturally super-slim models and designers though she appreciated the sentiment behind the move.

    For decades health care professionals and eating disorder specialists have expressed concern over changes in the fashion, media and entertainment industries and their contribution to triggering eating disorders.

    In 1965, models weighed an average of 8 percent less than the typical woman in the United States; the average model now weighs 23 percent less than the average woman, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

    "No one is saying fashion causes all eating disorders, but the industry does set the standard young girls are holding up as an ideal, and that can have a real effect on those who are vulnerable to eating disorders," says Grefe.

    Eating Disorders Have Doubled

    In the United States the number of eating disorder sufferers has more than doubled since the 1960s, according to the Washington-based American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, with an estimated 10 million girls and women and 1 million men affected by anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating and other eating disorders.

    Anorexia is a mental illness that progressively damages the body, is fatal to between 15 to 20 percent of sufferers, and causes more deaths among females aged 15 to 24 than all other causes combined. Forty-seven percent of U.S. females in fifth through 12th grade say they want to lose weight because of magazine pictures and 60 percent say magazines influence their ideas of desirable body types, according to the Philadelphia-based Renfrew Center Foundation.

    "The worst part is that the images being portrayed in popular culture are completely unrealistic, airbrushed, manipulated . . . while putting a lot of pressure on young people to look a certain way," says Grefe. "Simply put, this is dangerous."

    Eating disorders drive many sufferers into isolation, overcome by feelings of deficiency in the single-minded obsessive pursuit of perfection. To allay the ensuing loneliness, many young people turn to the Internet where scores of Web sites are devoted to their friends "Ana," "Bella" and "Mia," cyberspace nicknames for anorexia and bulimia. While anorexia proponents cite the Web pages and communities they spawn as places to draw strength, health care advocates have spent the last decade condemning them.

    Scouring through magazines, clothing catalogs, newspapers, television and the movies, some eating-disordered women seize upon super-skinny celebrities for "thinspiration," a term used on pro-anorexia Web sites to describe admiration for their role models.

    Supporters post pictures of their thinspiration favorites on Internet sites and community discussion boards. Popular thinspiration celebrities include movie star Keira Knightley, tennis star Anna Kournikova, and models Kate Moss and Oksana Pautova. Even those like Mary-Kate Olsen and Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham, who have publicly admitted to their battles with eating disorders, are held up as templates for success.

    Juliette Terzieff is a freelance journalist currently based in Buffalo, New York who has worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsweek, CNN International, and the London Sunday Times during time spent in the Balkans, the Middle East, and South Asia.
    © 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
    View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/42234/
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  2. #2
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    I think it is awesome to preven underweight models. Will it prevent models from having to be skinny...no. But hey, as long as they are a healthy skinny I don't care. I used to live up to models because I used to want to be like them and I wish I was slim (not skinny)...just a little skinnier than Beyonce. But now since I am in my 30s, models don't mean much to me because I weaned myself from looking at fashion magazines because I got depressed because I couldn't lose weight, the fashions were getting ugly, I couldn't afford the clothes they wore, and it only made me a make-up and skincare product junkie. :Angry:

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    Well it's funny how they decide to to this AFTER a model named Luisel Ramos died in August of this year because she was STARVING HERSELF TO DEATH.

    Google her up you will see that she was only eating lettuce and diet coke for several months before her death. Because someone told her that she needed to loose wight if she wanted to make it real big.

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    I am glad so so so so glad they are doing something. Our little girls are suffering waaaay to much. For some reason I never wanted to be super skinny, I had a thing for food.
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    Wow, I just thought of something. You know how they test athletes for drugs? Do you think they'll now test models to see if their thinness is natural or artificially induced?

    On the one hand, I do think this is a great idea. On the other hand, there are people out there who are naturally thin. Doesn't this discriminate against them? (Perhaps not...if some test is introduced, as I said.)
    Hello, 2021. Glad to see you. Hope you're bringing us goodness and light this year!

  6. #6
    Chabela is offline Active Nappturality Member
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    Lightbulb

    Yes, as the firt poster said, I have something to say about all this:

    According to the sanitary authorities, the index of a healthy body mass should be between 18,5 and 22,5. You obtain that number dividing your weight (in kilos) by the square of your height (in meters)

    Example: I'm 1'77m and weigh 70 kilos. My index is therefore 22.34. I am normal.

    The models are required to have a minimum index of 18. That is below normal, yet many of them did not reach it.

    This is war. Last year they decided that models should be above size 36 to do the catwalk. (the sizes have a different system here) Most models had a 34 and still were there. If you go shopping, things here are just ridiculous. they change the size of the theoretical sizes. Size 42 (would be the normal size for a grown up woman, I have a 44) is hard to find, and if you can find it it's so small it could be worn by a twelve years old girl. The size of the models (34-36) is like for a barbie doll, and we are talking about girls that are taller than me.

    Back in the 80's I went to a model school and did a couple of catwalks. By that time I wore size 40 (yep, some kilos ago) and it was ok. I was thin like hell, I cant imagine if they had ask me to get down to size 34. And girls do it nowadys. The dream of every girl is becoming a top model. It's insane.

  7. #7
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    Part of me thinks they shouldn't have a weight limit because I think that fashion designers have a right to showcase whatever body type they prefer. I feel as if the onus should be on those watching to remind themselves that if they want to be healthy then they shoudn't aim to look like the women they see on the catwalks. It's pretty ridiculous to me that people are placing the responsibility on fashion designers as if watching fashion shows and purchasing fashion mags is something people have no control over.

    I understand the arguments made on behalf of the viewing public, particularly young girls. But I think it's up to parents to stop being lazy and start taking an active role in shaping their daughters' body image, and it's up to adult women to choose health over fashion. It's up to people in society to stop comparing regular women to professional models as if they don't know that it almost certainly takes an eating disorder and diet pills to end up 100lbs when you're 5'9.

    I'm quite sick of people refusing to assert self-control and blaming manufacters, designers, restaurants and everyone else for their probems.

    If designers want to make a 5'11, 80lb model the new face of fashion, they are well within their rights and I think they should be able to.

    Edit: And might I add that it's not just seeing fashion models that has young girls subsisting on leafy greens and diet pills to lose weight. Many eating disordered girls express that the comments, looks, and actions of those around them were the precipitating factors. It's dad squeezing daughter's arm and saying "you're meaty" that gets her looking at Kate Moss and thinking looking like her would be wonderful. It's mom always eating cabbage soup and cursing the kids she had for making her fat that gets daughter afraid to eat. It's best friend at school who's using dexatrim she stole from her mom that gives daughter ideas about how to lose 10lbs in a week. Focusing on fashion models is a convenient way to avoid looking at the real source of the problem: Home.

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    Wow, I just thought of something. You know how they test athletes for drugs? Do you think they'll now test models to see if their thinness is natural or artificially induced?

    On the one hand, I do think this is a great idea. On the other hand, there are people out there who are naturally thin. Doesn't this discriminate against them? (Perhaps not...if some test is introduced, as I said.)
    [/b]

    Why should they be tested for that. I can see athletes because you are talking about sports where you don't want anyone to cheat. But no modeling agency shouldn't have to monitor, how and why you are staying slim. From diet pills or you throwing up or starving yourself. I think they are doing enough to prevent underweight models from hurting themselves by being too damn skinny that it is too ridiculous. I don't mind the size 6 rule. But anyone smaller than that is too skinny. I mean people were complaing in the 80s and early 90s that size 6 was too small. Now they wear less than that. Size 0 and 2. I didnt even know that a size 0 existed!
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  9. #9
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    <_<
    That&#39;s how I feel about the whole thing.
    It is all TOO easy to blame some models and the fashion industry for a lack of female self-acceptance... but on to that later.

    For some reason people want to feel that being a slim woman is unnatural. Yes, there are 0s and 2s and even 00s. Would we feel better if the companies changed sizes so that the smallest one reads 50? I frankly don&#39;t give a damn as long as I can find clothes that fit me.
    So basically, we want the government to say - "you are too thin to have your job, so we are firing you". We are okay with that because they are "too skinny". Really? Y&#39;all really are okay with that? I guess since we are comfortable saying anyone under a 6 is "too skinny", then the government might as well make a rule about it right? Can we get a "you are too fat to do your job" rule too?

    I&#39;m sorry I forgot - its the SKINNY female canines who are eeeevvvviiilllll!
    :rolleyes:

    There are quite a few people who don&#39;t have the accepted BMI that are healthy. Human beings come in many variations - that is the joy of being human. This BMI thing is crap, because the very nature of looking slim and tall is that you weigh less than most people your height . From my understanding, BMI is calculated based on what the average person your height weighs and how much fat they have.

    My BMI is 16.5. YUP. You read right. 16.5. I am not pale, not sickly, not tired, not anorexic, not bulimic etc. I just happen to be a 6 foot 1 woman who weighs under 140 lbs, and has done all her life. And no, I am not the only one :lol:
    I am not crazy enough to argue that there are no models forcing their bodies to stay small. But, to say we can find that out by looking at BMI is crap. And the people in the industry KNOW this. They see these girls with no clothes on everyday and they are not stupid.

    Making the fashion industry a scapegoat is not going to solve the problem. The truth is that a lack of self esteem is the basis of our market economy. When people feel bad about themselves, they can be persuaded into thinking buying more crap will fulfill them. Then when they get frustrated, we throw stacks ans stacks of self-help books at them so they can be lulled into a false sense of control - while they are STILL buying stuff to make them feel better about themselves. And round and round we go as we get drowned in Pilates, and post pregnancy yoga, and porn, and butt implants, and celebrities we make into mini-gods then proceed to tear down like animals, and vacations we can&#39;t take or won&#39;t enjoy, and mansions that look just like all the others down the street, and coach bags, and weaves, and SUVS, and so on and so forth. The fashion industry is only a part of the bigger issue.

    Unfortunately we can&#39;t legislate self-esteem. Period.
    "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
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    I dont&#39; want to see too skinny or too fat models. I am plus-size and sometimes it is nice to look a fashionably dressed woman who is big but now...it is not. Mode was wonderful before they went out of publication. FIGURE replaced MODE. And I am looking at FIGURE at Jewels and I was thinking...damn these women are not just plussize but fat. I couldn&#39;t even buy it because I am all for being healthy. I don&#39;t want to support fat beauty. The same reason I don&#39;t buy fashion magazines because I don&#39;t want to support skinny beauty.

    I wish there was a magazine with a healthy medium. Frankly the only women I find to be beautiful are the women in the black men&#39;s magazines. Yeah, yeah, they look like video hos but they got healthy bodies that are gorgeous at the same time. Now if we can take these women and put them in fashion magazines.
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