The fashion industry's default use of super-thin models is because we, the fashion-loving buying public prefer them - according to fashion publicist and new America's Next Top Model (ANTM) judge Kelly Cutrone.
Yep, below 0 sample sizes, models existing on cotton wool balls soaked in orange juice and never, ever looking like the air-brushed models who advertise the clothes we buy is all our fault.
In an interview with The Fashion Spot, Kelly said:
"If you're 5'6", just stay home. Don't pretend you're 5'8" or 5'9". If you want to be a beauty model, I guess that's fine, you can do glamour, but you're not going to do runway.
"If you're over 29 - 26 even - I would suggest you work regionally and not try to work nationally. These are the things no one ever wants to say, because they're mean, but it's true. "
Speaking about the industry's use of teeny tiny sample sizes and coathanger-thin models, Kelly denied that it was fashion that led the trends, instead saying designers respond to demand from the public.
"Society has a hyper emphasis on thin and that trend comes from the consumers — it does not come from the fashion industry. The fashion industry needs to make money, that's what we do. If people said, 'we want a 300 pound purple person,' the first industry to do it would be fashion.
"You look at the Dove campaign in Times Square - it sticks out like a sore thumb. Those girls in the white T-shirts and underwear, next to Calvin Klein ads. As a consumer, it doesn't make me want to buy Dove. I'm all for the real look, but as a consumer it doesn't make me want to buy clothes."
But it might be that Kelly just likes to tell herself this as revelations and horror stories that surround models and their body image stack up. Her 'advice' is particularly unhelpful as it aids the industry to continue without essential changes western society needs.
Catwalk model Kira Dikhtyar made headlines after revealing cocaine and cotton balls were on the menu for many models trying to keep their weight down, Eddie Murphy's daughter Bria added to the claims, saying she had seen models turn to drugs and eating disorders and last year Topshop dropped a photo of a 'too-skinny' model.
And whatever Kelly says, the tide has been turning recently. From Crystal Renn's mainstream championing of plus-size (read: normal) women in high profile campaigns, to Vogue's worldwide editors pledging not to use ultra thin and underage models in their shoots, it seems the industry is slowly cottoning on to the fact that actually, we'd rather see women represented naturally, without airbrushing and after having a proper lunch.
Research has found that women are actually put off buying products advertised by very thin models and celebs and another study showed that magazines with realistic images of women increased readers' self esteem.
Women's bodies will continue to be a commodity traded by the fashion industry but this seems to be a step in the right direction. And hopefully the effort already put in will help the models look after and enjoy living in those bodies.
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