My body is not wrong for modelling. It’s the designers who are wrong.
Finally I can say this after years and years of digging at my body for its lack of height, lamentations of “If only I were someone’s beauty ideal!” I am not the problem here. The problem, as I only just realized I believed as I was commenting on someone’s Facebook wall, is proportion and realism.
TO WIT: Catwalk ain’t got that.
Now, when it comes to fashion nobody short of the designers themselves can afford or would wear on the street, sure. It’s wearable art. But you might as well display it on wire mannequins. Don’t delude us that it’s meant to be worn by humans anywhere but the Met Ball. Another breakthrough, this one courtesy of The Devil Wears Prada: it’s all concepts, meant to trickle down. It’s all trend and idea. What if we took this and did this to it? And what if this were the color palette we wanted to see on more people?
If catwalk were really about showing off clothes for stylish but ordinary humans, it would grab diverse body types, and I do mean diverse in the sense of “many and varied”. I would be just as eligible to model as my friend who is much taller, more muscular, and has more va-va-voom. So we can safely say that’s not what catwalk’s about.
Should it be, though? And if it shouldn’t, why not? Refer back to wire mannequin concept: we’re automating everything else, why not this? Set up a moving track that circles around at a given pace, right, and put your mannequins on it. Don’t dehumanize real people by forcing them to become mannequins. Especially not since those real people are getting younger and younger until you’re pretty much preying on them. Judgment at 14, 15, 16 is not good enough to say “Yes! I want to aspire to this ridiculous body shape your recruiters will force me to achieve by hook, crook, or radically controlled diet!” Brain development isn’t there yet and may be stopped or hindered by said radically controlled diet. Body development ditto. You wonder how many of these girls keep their periods past their initiation into Model World.
So if you want tall, you have to consider that tall comes in many shapes. And if you want slim, you have to consider that slim comes in many heights. Yes, even when you cater to the super-rich, you have to consider that the super-rich have many and varied bodies.
What does it hurt, celebrating beauty in more than one form? Who does it hurt looking for That Face and That Figure in more than one place?
If the answer is only “our egos”, you’ve got some rethinking to do.