The 5 feet 11 inched fashion goddess swathed in a sleek, million dollar designer gown struts confidently on the ramp. Amidst the applause, hurried flashing cameras and swooning, awe-struck audience, you cannot help but feel it is the world celebrating the idea of mesmerizing beauty and perfection. With a deep sigh, you turn off the television and then wonder what it takes to look like the glam doll on the ramp.
Women fantasize, obsess and sometimes hate (let’s face it) these gorgeous bombshells who seem to look like paper cut dolls and appeared to have step out from molds with perfectly shaped limbs, skinny arms and flat abs. Whether it be on the cover pages of fashion magazines or entertainment columns in newspapers, the fashion world overwhelms and never fails to surprise with its larger than life, glossy and glorified representation of beauty.
But, what kind of effect is this having on women and young girls who strive to touch the level of this perfection? What happens to teens battling with acne and weight gain and women dealing with cellulite and love handles? This starts a never-ending circle of fad diets, self-flagellation, mood swings, obsession to look skinny and as glamorous as those fashion divas dominating our world.
Elizabeth Jones, former editor of Marie Claire ( leading woman’s magazine) in her growing up years imagined that models were perfect and different from lesser mortals without the usual problems of cellulite, wobbly tummy, stretch marks and flab.
But when she attended a fashion show for the first time, this was her experience,
“I sat in the front row at a fashion show for the first time, and noticed with shock that Erin O’Connor had thread veins, Kate Moss had short legs and cellulite, and magazine cover star Angela Lindvall had bad acne.”
She raises a potent question –
“ Why are the flaws that make women who we really are erased before they ever meet the gaze of the woman on the street, the consumer? Why are the image-makers so terrified of showing us that even the most beautiful among us possess physical blemishes?”
While we strive to fit into the Size 8 skinny jeans and try squeezing ourselves mercilessly into cocktail dresses one size painfully smaller, we seem to be punishing ourselves for not “fitting” into the standard norm of the perfect vital statistics and body structures.
Where do our normal, logical, reasoning senses go while craving to be a skinny size zero or svelte size 8? Supermodels do pay a huge prize to look the way they do – anorexia, bulimia, self-starvation, surviving on water for weeks together, rigorous workout schedules and weakness. I do not want to generalize this norm for the entire fashion fraternity, but this holds true to a large extent regarding those long, flat-structured and young boyish-type bodies.
Many bloggers raise this question as to – When will models walk the ramp in clothes which are in the normal size ranges of 10 -12 ( small-medium)? If these clothes are being designed for the average woman, then why are they not tailored to fit them?
Avid fashion followers and social media aficionados say that this is a war waged by women against women. It is women who like to transcend great heights of beauty which lead to big fashion brands and retailers decide upon projecting surreal and impossible to attain beauty.
Fashion houses justify their act by saying that airbrushing and high definition images are all ways to promote their clothes. They remark the focus is on the clothing and not the model.
Also, some brands and magazines take a stand that they thought that people are aware of the measures undertaken to create perfect figurines of beauty. If placing a famous model or celebrity’s face to a mannequin like, unreal body is what it takes, then the method is justified.
Many designer brands start from as small as size 2 and do not go beyond Size 10! Have we set the bar so high that the average woman experiences inferiority complex because she don’t match the criteria projected on billboards and magazines?
Perhaps, the answer lies within us – We need to embrace ourselves for who we are. Rather than categorizing ourselves into “thin”, “tall”, “stout”, “short” ,”curvy”, why can’t we appreciate what we have and work within its boundaries? After all, you need not be a six inch heel sporting, acres of leg flaunting to look beautiful or glamorous! Sizing charts are a trap and “acceptable” standards of vital stats do not hold true.
What matter is a healthy body, clear mind and a regular beauty regime to glow naturally, look beautiful and be what you want to be!