Monday, 27 April 2009

Are these girls really healthy (role) models?

I hitched a ride to a shopping centre with mum on saturday, where she as meeting up with a friend. I was worrying and panicing about bingeing and eating my way round the mall rather than acting like a normal person and actually looking in shops (most of which are clothing/fashion). But my fears of that had gone by saturday morning as by thursday/friday old eating patterns were resumed due to the reality (and horror) of my weight gain. But just incase i took a look at the centre's website to see if there were any events going on over the weekend. From 11am until 5pm there was a fashion show/catwalk etc to promote The News of the World's new fashion magazine/suppliment Fabulous.

Now fashion, clothes, make-up, nails, hair - well maybe not so much hair, but the rest of that list are really not my thing. I never have been a girly girl, in fact mum used to say i should have been born a boy (that was probably when i was up a tree or playing football!), and although if i'm going out i do make an effort, other than that i don't wear makeup and live in tracksuit bottoms. I often wonder though how much of that is me and how much of that is down to depression. When i was on my high last week after coming back from the coast looking fatter slightly healthier, i did put on a nice purple top i got from Next and a pair of jeans rather than tracksuit bottoms. But it really didn't last very long, and i know my mood has slipped back to where it was before that fateful saturday.

Anyway i thought the event would keep me occupied for the day with a bit lot of walking in between. As i expected it wasn't my thing really, but queuing in line to have a mini manicure by Nails Inc. killed plenty of time, not that the results lasted very long, as i managed to wipe the varnish off of 2 of the nails by picking up my bag as i left. It didn't bother me too much though as the baby pink colour that i selected looked awful on me, but then i don't think bright blue, orange, red or the few other bright colours (poor selection) would have looked any better!
As i was queuing Jenni Falconer and Marvyn Williams, introduced ex-Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon (I prefered her doing Celebrity Masterchef even if she does have a nice voice), and other challenges to win goodie bags. They then had a catwalk showing clothing, shoes etc from varoius highstreet stores including Next, Newlook, Dorothy Perkins and River Island. I think its safe to say i shalln't be rushing out to buy this years summer "must haves" unless i want to look, well i'm not sure what word to use to describe how i'd look, but it just wouldn't look right.
What did catch my eye though was the young models who were wearing the clothes (although some of them looked like they were missing half (or more) of the fabric! Sorry, grumpy old woman side of me coming out there). Most of them looked great on the catwalk despite the ridiculous shoes they had given them to wear.....

Maybe i'm wrong but they certainly seemed more like girls than women to me, teenagers i think, and most of them looked very pretty and more importantly healthy and happy (apart from one who looked like she really did not want to be there). Now i know this may seem hypocritical, but my issues with eating and food have never been affected by skinny models and the fashion industry, as is so commonly assumed. I think i have have been affected by the media in other ways though, for instance, constantly being told we are becoming a nation of obese people, or cut down on this, or don't eat that for a risk of such and such. But when i saw 2 of the girls on that catwalk, i wondered how the modelling agency could justify using girls whose ribcages were clearly showing and shoulder blades stood out a mile. Yes, they looked happy, but were they healthy? Compared to the rest of the models there was an obvious difference. How would you feel if you saw this girl at a fashion show?

She was my favourite of the 7/8 girls, but then that may have had something to do with the clothes they had given her to wear, and i wouldn't mind a pair of those trousers but i'm not sure they would work on someone of petite height rather than 5'9" which is the minimum height the model scout said they ideally looked how. So compare now with these two young girls.

Unfortunately with my shakey hands, zooming in and them moving constantly the picture quality isn't that great. However i think you can just about see her shoulder blades. Now this is where i wonder if my views of others are distorted as well as those of myself. You see i think my shoulders blade would show like that if i were to be wearing that top, and i know i'm not at a healthy weight.

My other concern was this young girl.

Now I'm sure this isn't just my warped brain. I'm sure she can't be this skinny and be healthy.

Again she looked happy, but i wondered what the other younger girls watching were thinking. There were all ages there, and to my eyes some of the younger kids looked a little chubby but then i remind myself that younger children do still have "puppy fat" and that not every child fits with the media's portrayal of a child being fed burger and chips constantly, or given takeaway through the school railings by the parents and playing on computer games constantly. This is where i am affected by the media more.

To be honest i don't know what the rules on "size zero" models are, as i don't really follow fashion, is just what i pick up via the News. I thought in the UK they'd stopped all that, but i guess that is mainly focusing on the high flying London fashion models. Maybe Select don't think it matters for smaller modelling events where there are likely to be just as many people watching.

As i said to mum when i bumped into her at lunch (which wasn't all a bad thing as then she knew i had eaten) she asked me what it was like, they were as healthy as i am. Mum's reply "That says it all".


There are more photos of the day's event here. I'm not sure how long the link will stay active for, as magazine tend to change things fairly frequently.

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