Body Image: Why We Value Size 0
THE 'FEMALE' IN ART
What is the image of the modern female? What is the body image? Is it based on the fashion model? Or maybe the friend from high school, or a colleague from work?
I asked these questions when I visited the Context New York Art Fair.
THE 'FEMALE' SINCE AMERICAN INDUSTRIALIZATION
"A MODEL WAS A SLENDER, SWAYING REED, SO THIN, ONE OFTEN FEARED THAT SHE WOULD BEND, THEN BREAK, AND DISSOLVE INTO A GRACEFUL, LUXURIOUS HEAP UPON THE FLOOR" -- BRITISH DESIGNER, LUCILLE (1910)
The industrial revolution used its machines to turn out size small, medium, and large. And with these sizes, came a competition...a competition to be the smallest and to wear the smallest clothing. So it is no wonder that our High Fashion models are size 00 in 2016.
Models have 'achieved' skeletal proportions. Models walk like the industrial machines that made them, robots that kick to make a dress flow down a runway. They give you blank expressions, just to make sure you don't feel emotion for them.
Models in France during the 1900's were given code names like "Pleasures of Love" and "The First Yes." High Fashion models began with the nicknames of prostitutes. And indeed, they all looked the same, reed-like with similar hairstyles.
So we ask: Has our treatment toward women as a sex object changed?
THE MODERN PROBLEM
The women painted above by Malcolm Liepke display a Lolita-esque sexuality. They have a sexy, brooding pout. Models often sell sex. The more models we see, the more we value sex.
Modern girls sometimes identify with models, especially due to the availability of photos on Instagram and other social sharing platforms.
Is the fashion model a 'model' of a human, a fake machine to be cherished for beauty? Or is the 'model' a model for young women, making girls feel as though they are inferior?
"FASHION IS ARCHITECTURE: IT IS A MATTER OF PROPORTIONS" -- COCO CHANEL
FASHION AND THE BMI DEBATE
Today, in 2015, France is considering a law to prevent anorexic models from walking the runway. Any tampering with the original photo in Photoshop, meaning an altering of body dimensions, would need indication.
Anyone running a model agency found employing undernourished models below a Body Mass Index of 18 would potentially receive a six-month prison sentence and a 55,000 euro fine.
However, the French fashion world has deemed the law “a dangerous confusion between anorexia and the slimness of models.”
SEX SELLS. BUT AT WHAT COST?
Kate Moss, untouched
"A FLOWER DOES NOT THINK OF COMPETING WITH THE FLOWER NEXT TO IT. IT JUST BLOSSOMS."
Comment below. We love to hear your thoughts!
If you like this article, you might like AC Moyer's book, All Sleep, available as Ebook on Amazon. It explores a fictional world inside the mind of a sociopathic model agent.