womens black polo shirts Unrealistic expectations always in fashion
This combination photo shows, at left, an undated and digitally altered Ralph Lauren advertisement of model Filippa Hamilton displayed in a Japanese department store and posted on several Web sites, and, at right, a runway photo of Hamilton in New York from Sept. 15, 2006. The former Ralph Lauren model whose image in a roundly criticized advertisement was digitally slenderized said Wednesday Oct. 14, 2009 that the apparel maker did not renew her contract because she was “too large.” Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. is contending that it dismissed Hamilton because of a contract dispute and that the photo was mistakenly released. (AP Photo) NO SALES less
This combination photo shows, at left, an undated and digitally altered Ralph Lauren advertisement of model Filippa Hamilton displayed in a Japanese department store and posted on several Web sites, and, at . more
Germany’s most popular women’s magazine, Brigitte, recently announced that starting next year, it would ban professional models from its pages to combat the glorification of ultra thin women, and use “real” women instead.
Also in October, Polo sparked international outrage by Photoshopping out the true girth of size 4 model to create an image of an absurdly skinny body. Hamilton, who claims she was fired by Ralph Lauren for being too fat, told the “Today” show that the distorted photo of her could make young women “think that it’s normal to look like that, and it’s not.”
This season the popular “America’s Next Top Model” defied the fashion world’s height bias by selecting a group of contestants under 5 feet, 7 inches, the industry standard. (, the winner,
announced Wednesday, is just at the limit.)
These tidbits make me wonder if there has been a shift in the zeitgeist and the world is finally realizing that few women look like tall, skinny models and shouldn’t be held to that standard.
We’ve always known that, but it hasn’t stopped us from torturing ourselves over unrealistic expectations of beauty based on body type.
In June, I saw the “Model as Muse” exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which traced the evolution and influence of fashion models, beginning with the stars of Paris haute couture in the 1950s. They were chosen for a bone structure and carriage that made them perfect human hangers for the designer’s clothes, and they didn’t have to be pretty.
The ’60s also saw the rise of the skinny, flat chested model, ushered in by Britain’s Twiggy. Unfortunately for girls with a little meat on their bones, that image has stuck. It has become so prevalent that models have succumbed to heroin chic (1990s ) and anorexia. When Brazilian model died of anorexia in November 2006, she weighed 88 pounds and inspired the current call for reform. The following year, the of Designers of America issued voluntary guidelines to curb the use of excessively thin models.
The height standard may not be dangerous, but it can still mess with a young girl’s head.
My teenage daughter laments that there are no models her (and my) height 5 feet, 3 inches. So we thought “America’s Top Model” took a bold step having a contestant of similar stature. But when we tuned in, we found the experts critiquing girls for failing to convey the illusion of height and long legs in their photo shoots. Rather than bucking the industry standard, the judges dinged contestants for not conforming to it.
I saw an article in a fashion magazine featuring a photo of a sleeveless Michelle Obama that declared, “Arms are the new face,” and detailed ways to get biceps as buff as the first lady’s. So now women not only have to be pretty, skinny and long legged, we have to have perfect, muscular arms, too!