Friday, March 28, 2008

Warning: Long and Rant-esque

I want to preface this post by saying the following things: First, I really try not to get too serious on this blog. Usually this is where I come talk about things like shoes and artwork that take my mind off of the real world at the end of the day. Secondly, I have been a loyal Vogue subscriber since about 2005, and although I have disagreed with their magazine several times, every month I trot down to my mailbox and am excited to see that month's issue taking up my entire mailbox (seriously, the September fall issue is huge).

With that being said, this month's issue pissed me off.

April is the yearly Shape Issue. This issue is the one that irks me every year because it features five body shapes: tall, pregnant, thin, curvy, and short. And every year the curvy girl is still just a slip of a thing! Let's check out one of this year's curvy girls, shall we? On the right is Shaila Freyer.
Now let me say this: Ms. Freyer is a beautiful woman. And she does have a bit of an hourglass shape. But if you asked me to describe her body type, I would not call it curvy.
Because I'm a bit of a packrat, I went back to last year's Shape Issue to check out the former "curvy" girls. This is what I got:
Ah, Scarlett Johansson. I have a bit of a girl crush on her. However, either she or JLo gets brought up anytime the idea of curves in fashion/entertainment/Hollywood. While both ladies are curvier than the standard body shape in those circles, they are waifs compared to most Americans.

But wait! Occasionally Vogue does give us a real-life curvy girl! I even have proof!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present exhibit A: Jill Scott has curves, and she knows how to use them. They even gave us a real life curvy girl with Scarlett last year:
Exhibit B: on the left is Ashley Graham, a plus size model and lovely lady if I may say so.
So you may be asking yourself, "Emily, they balance out the faux-curvy with real curvy, why are you so pissed?" Good question. I was even excited to hear that Queen Vogue herself, Anna Wintour, had made the following statement:
"I wish I could say the same for the young women who were just on the runways of the New York fall collections. Overall, they were pale and thin, and entirely lacking in the joyfulness and charm that once defined the supermodel. This, of course, is not their fault: Designers now near-uniformly favor a non-vivacious, homogenous ideal."
Queen Anna made this statement on page 98. Two hundred thirty-eight pages later, Vogue put these ladies on a diet.
If you follow fashion at all, these ladies need no introduction. They are the Mulleavy sisters, creators of the label Rodarte, which in my mind is one of the most innovative and interesting lines today. The first time I saw the sisters Mulleavy, I loved them. Finally, there was someone in fashion who looked like the people I live next door to, who hung out around models and trendsetters all day long and didn't look like the they were made out of the same mold. They were unique. They made me miss the days when Karl was chubby and Marc was an adorable dork. Then Vogue waltzed in with their magic skinny wand and made everyone shiny and pretty again!

Don't get me wrong: if the girls genuinely wanted to lose weight, then hooray for them. I am by no means advocating that everyone sit around and eat Twinkies all day. What I am saying is this - wouldn't it be nice if instead of sweeping in with a diet team, Vogue had instead taken the girls out shopping for beautiful clothes for curvy girls?

So listen up Vogue: I understand that fashion is aspirational. I understand that models are meant to accentuate the clothes and not the other way around. I get your point. My point is this- America doesn't look like you. And while we're cutting you some slack, how about giving back a little bit? Have an issue without a diet article. Show us clothes that come in sizes over an eight. And please, when you say you're gonna show us a curvy girl, make her actually curvy, ok?

Oh, and if you're listening... I wouldn't turn down a free purse if you wanted to send it my way.


Mikiye Creations said...

Sing it Sister!
Prior to the last 3 years I worked in the Beauty industry here in Hollywood for YEARS and it's difficult NOT to get sucked up in it. I can't tell you how many women would sit in my chair and were HUNGRY!!! Starving to be thin! I am NOT kidding when I say that I have had several actually FAINT! My favorite is when they ask for a "cracker" or something to snack on.

Yeah, give me pretty ladies that I can relate to! They ARE OUT THERE!

I had this argument years ago with an old roommate who was naturally statuesque and is a model...(and that girl could EAT) But she wanted the whole fantasy and I said the rest of the world would like to see a bit of reality sprinkled in there now and then...
I wonder if the 12 years between us is what made such a difference?

Marissa said...

Jill Scott is a great example of a celebrity that always wears beautiful plus size clothing.


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