Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fat Girl Slim

I've always thought of Raquel Welch as an ultimate symbol of American beauty. So when I came across this advertisement from from Mademoiselle magazine in July 1965, I was taken aback. Clearly the standard size in mainstream America was different back then and I seem to think women were healthier before than now. Healthy and realistic attitudes reflect healthy images. While that is my opinion, is an absolute fact that advertisements are effective, because even if we don't buy the products we are buying into ideals of beauty that they perpetuate. Just the other day I found myself in a situation at dinner, that made me really pause and think about my own ideals and how much they've been shaped by my love of fashion. Seated next to a teenage girl I thought "Cute girl, she could model seriously!" Over the course evening I observed her treat her food as if it was her worst enemy, then pretend to be sick as to draw attention from her condition. Then I witnessed her mother's frustration with her helplessness. Reality was that this girl was too skinny,yes skinny enough to be a model, and struggling with a real sickness. I was left to evaluate my own personal accountability in regards to this issue. I never really sympathized nor understood eating disorders before. But that's unacceptable seeing as though I work in an industry which quietly condones these conditions and I often post images that reflect them to a degree. Modeling is a profession in which 'not skinny enough' is The Standard. Lets be real The Standard transcends the entire entertainment industry. And today's most powerful women public figures have had struggles with their weight at some point, Oprah, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, ect. But this advertisement proves that this wasn't always the case so and doesn't have to remain as so.  Especially if we had more REAL influential women like Raquel Welch saying "Bitch Go Eat a Sandwich or get your Wate-On!"