Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Androgynous Models - bad for female morale?

Thanks to the nice lady Catherine for writing this amazing article.

Androgynous models: bad for female morale?
Kate Moss shot to fame as a slight-framed teenager, sparking further demand for lean beauties to model clothes. In recent years, the fashion industry has taken things one step further, with some companies choosing to use androgynous men to model women’s clothing. Jean Paul Gaultier was one of the first fashion houses to do so, dressing male model Andrej Pejic in a wedding dress for the 2011 Paris Couture Week.
For many women, seeing such slender - often boyish - figures modelling clothes might establish an unrealistic ideal. And the recent move into using actual male models arguably increases the pressure on women to strive for a shape which is essentially unnatural. Male models like Andrej Pejic deliver a certain look and physique that is simply impossible for many women to achieve. Then, when styles copying designers' items eventually hit the high street, there will inevitably be feelings of inadequacy amongst some; if women pick up a trendy new top but can't fit into it, it can only be bad for morale.
However, the blame for unrealistic ideals cannot solely be laid on androgynous male models. Indeed, it can be argued that having men modelling women's clothing actually highlights the fact that the typical frame needed to be a female model is perhaps more similar to that of a slim man. And this can only serve to relieve the pressure on women to look like those on the catwalk.
In fact, we can argue that the blame for such ideals should be shared around. During the post-Christmas period, pressure on women to slim down can be especially intense; we are surrounded by advertisements for weight-loss aids, resulting in New Year’s resolutions that aim to achieve the 'ideal' body type (research found that 37% of Brits cited weight loss as a top resolution).
Women’s magazines should also take some of the responsibility. They are packed full of celebrities with slender physiques, showing off their beach bodies on holiday. Whilst some famous faces may have been genetically blessed with slim figures, many will have spent a lot of time and money perfecting their body, and such resources are simply not available to the average woman.
Perhaps these magazines should devote more column inches to celebrating traditional womanly curves. There is certainly the demand for it. Indeed, stars like Kelly Brook and Rihanna have popularised the classic hour-glass figure, while a number of other celebrities have launched plus size clothing ranges. Gemma Collins from TOWIE, for example, has recently released a clothing range for fuller figures. According to research, the market for plus size ranges has grown 40% since 2007 and such an increase must reflect society’s changing attitudes towards body norms.
Till then,


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