London Fashion Week 2016… Where’s the fat?

Just to explain why you’re seeing a post that isn’t about me and what I made. This is part of my journalism course. Thoughts on London Fashion Week! 🙂

 

London Fashion Week 2016 is over; we’ve seen all the stunning skinny models swaying down the catwalk. Key word: “skinny”.
Why are they still so thin? It seems that in 2016 we are still seeing no change in the image of models – models showing us what clothing to wear and who to be.

The Guardian - London Fashion Week

Image credit: The Guardian, Feb 2016

I’m aware that anorexia and other eating disorders are not all about body image and wanting to be fashionably thin, so I’m choosing not to go that far into the health side of things. But we can’t ignore that our general self-esteem is influenced by celebrities and models looking unbelievably gorgeous and stick-thin – you can’t argue with that! Everyone compares themselves with what/who they see on TV/online/in magazines to some degree. It might not make you ill, but it can make you feel rubbish. Even my preschooler looks at a picture of a thin blonde in a magazine and comments on her beauty. Disney’s probably got something to do with that, too, but that’s beside the point.

Is it fair to be made to feel fat and ugly when you’re so much as a smidgen above a size O? No, surely? Yet we are still being exposed to images of people who are not actually normal!

the guardian feb 2016 lfw

Image credit: The Guardian, Feb 2016

As reported in the Evening Standard, Carole White, co-founder of London’s Premier Model Management has even admitted that designers only want “young, flat-chested girls”, who will flatter their clothing; the clothes should “fall as they were designed to”. “The designers want straight up and down – no boobs,” she says. Carole’s agency “scouts in schools” because she says the girls that labels want are “really young”.
So do we blame the designers? Are they limiting the type of models the agencies can use?
Call me pessimistic, but if it’s due to the big designers designing clothing only suited to young, slim, straight up and down body shapes, I personally don’t see them changing any time soon.

lfw the guardian feb 2016

Image credit: The Guardian, Feb 2016

The good news is that somebody (specifically a gentleman named Marc Levine) is trying to do something about it. As reported by Reuters, on Monday, Levine (a California state assembly member) proposed a new law to ensure that a physician certifies models to be healthy before they take part in fashion gigs. Modelling agencies could be fined under the proposed law, if they are found to hire models that are found to be underweight or suffering from an eating disorder.
Personally I think it’s quite a good idea and similar laws are already present in Madrid and Israel. If passed, perhaps the UK will adopt a similar stance. Hopefully it would help to prevent teenage girls from aspiring to be like the super-thin models currently walking the catwalk. But if the designers carry on designing frocks with no room for boobs and bum… what choice will the modelling agencies have?

You know what I think? I think the designers would look so good if they targeted their clothing at “bigger” (aka “normal”) figures. Imagine the attention they’d get from the press, the media, little old you and me. But they’re too dead set in their ways to care about changing.

 

The long and short of it is this: The fashion industry as a whole is to blame for the low self-esteem of girls. That’s unlikely to change. I will eat my hat if there’s a model with a bit of shape on her in the next LFW. It’s a sad thing, but I can’t see it changing its whole image any time soon. The fashion industry is in a league of its own. Campaigners are getting nowhere!