Whether it’s gender, age or size, models are always a talking point. They represent the style and fashion that everyone wants to emulate – they are there on the catwalks, the magazine pages, the websites – and they display clothes as works of art. Model size is an age-old debate, and the January issue of Plus Model Magazine has come up with some model facts.
Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.
With the average British woman wearing size 14 clothes, is it really representative to have tall, thin models, many whose BMI indicates they are morbidly underweight? Personally, I don’t think the BMI is a great indication in the first place – many athletes are accused of being overweight simply because muscle weighs more than fat.
50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.
I can see the difference between the women walking the catwalks and the women walking the highstreet. Models are meant to be “clothes hangers” on which the clothes are simply on show, and are therefore not necessarily meant to be exact representations of the average woman. However, for some, it is impossible to separate their image of the ideal body from what they see on catwalks, posters, and in magazines. I have honestly heard so many teenage girls bemoan their weight, before they have even finished growing, comparing themselves to twenty-something models who stand six-foot tall and whippet-thin.
Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia.
Of course there are the curvacious models who grace the front lines of fashion – and I absolutely adore every one of them, just as much as I adore those stunning “boyish-figured” models. They still show clothes as beautiful and works of art. And there is certainly more of an emphasis on a healthy weight and size in the modelling industry – but the argument is, is it happening fast enough?
Who’s to say what’s “too small” or “too big”? Not only have I seen women unhealthily thin, I’ve also seen them healthily thin… they are of a size that suits them and they are happy, comfortable and look great. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of the models on our catwalks are naturally thin – and natural is always best.
I think the call for more variety and more catering to the average woman is a good thing – but not only are models getting thinner, the population is getting fatter. Is changing one thing going to affect the other? Can we really say that one way or the other is right?
When is it time to change? Or do you think that it should stay just as it is?