A Weighty Issue

Fashion models- yes we get it. They are thin.  Many, abnormally so. But then again, so is there job- one which has a physical requirement the same as a professional athlete does and really, no one blames the NBA or the NFL or MLB for athletes taking steroids to get bigger and enhance performance, and therefore their paycheck.  So why do people continue to isolate the fashion industry as the main culprit for young models closing their throat to anything that resembles food going in and only opening it to expel the contents that somehow sneak their way in?

Not surprisingly, a new crop of designers (DVF), models, and industry leaders (CFDA) have all stepped up to the plate to expound on the weight issue from their various point of view.  One of the more interesting dialogues is that of model Crystal Renn.  (Disclaimer: I love Renn, so none of my comments are fully unbiased).  Ms. Renn is widely known as the most successful plus size model ever. And by plus size, I mean a size 10, 39-40 hip (great, so in the U.S. where the average woman is a size 14, a size 8 model is plus size….).  At the heart of the issue is Crystal’s weight loss. Recently, Crystal has looked less plus and more model and boy, it has people up in arms accusing her of betraying the roots the brought her fame in the first place.

As you can see above, in 2005 Crystal was definitely on the more robust end of runway models.

Now, take a look at Crystal backstage at New York Fashion Week last October, 2010:

I recall being in the tent and seeing Crystal and people just ripping her apart. It was insane. Especially given the fact that everyone had read Crystal’s statement attributing the weight loss to embracing exercise for the first time in her life.  Frankly, I would really like to understand why it is the people do not focus on the fact that Crystal is now actually engaging in healthy behavior. Instead they complain that she has gotten thinner?  This is a sick world we live in.

Ford Models, not an agency to watch its girls get bashed, posted an interview today with Crystal responding the many critics that always have an opinion about size, and specifically, her size.  However, other major players including WWD have gotten involved in the discussion.  On February 2, 2011, Bridget Foley’s Diary focused on the weight obsession in fashion modeling and who really is to blame.  Her bottom line is that the health crisis is a problem that will require a multi-pronged solution that brings together models, bookers, editors and designers  to encourage healthy habits.  However, can’t people take responsibility for themselves?  Perhaps given the political and economic time we live in,  one where the government is expected to preside and monitor every action of the financial industry for decisions individuals make that have had severe and massive consequences, I wonder if a handful of models who are overly thin (and prepubescent) really is a matter that requires this much attention?

Let’s get over it and move on. After all, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week NY Fall 2011 starts on Thursday and I cannot wait!  I will be backstage at numerous shows bringing you candid snapshots from behind the scenes with beauty and fashion reports!  Unless of course, the models are too busy eating pre-show to give any love to the camera!


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