Whose Fault Is It?

In 'Fashion - What Is It?' I established that one doesn’t have to be a fashion slave to benefit from the fashion scene. But nevertheless: Fashion has an addictive component which is not easily avoided. I always wanted to know: ‘Who actually is it in the fashion industry, trying to make us slaves?’

Size '0'

Yesterday I got a bit closer to the answer. I saw a documentary on 'Size Zero Models'. I had heard about it briefly in the news when it was discussed to whether or not to ban them from London Fashion Week, but I didn’t really pay attention. For me models are always slim, so I didn’t realise that there was a new edge to this issue.

And this 'Superslim Me' was a hot topic that I was watching there. A lady, Dawn Porter, age 28, writer from profession, set out to change from a size 12 into a UK size 4 what is a US size 0. She got checked out from doctors, had all sorts of physical tests and it turned out that she was actually rather fit and healthy.

The task: To live on 500 kcal per day for 8 weeks and to follow a tough exercise regime at the same time.

Wow, did she go down hill! She lost 7 kg and had come down to a size 10, what made her look really good shape wise, but her count on white blood cells and antioxidants had gone down dramatically after 6 weeks so that the doctors told her to stop. She was risking serious infections and damage to cells what later on could cause cancer. She nevertheless went on and finished the 8 weeks term. The final tests showed her completely exhausted and not fit and healthy at all.

Health '0'

Throughout this time she tried to contact people from the fashion scene and tried to figure out how things work and who actually is in power there. It is clear that all parts of this business grow from each other, but who is the main driving force?

She went to see the model agencies which insisted that they only employ healthy models – thin but healthy – and that they only cater for a demand that is already there anyway. The designers said that they only want to have healthy looking people wearing their clothes as otherwise the look wouldn’t be right, but they should be thin because otherwise the look wouldn’t be right either. She tried to talk to the organizers of the London Fashion Show, but they wouldn’t want to talk to her – hmm?

Then the celebrities got their bit of the blame, as they are role models for young girls who don’t know what harm they are doing to themselves. But they are not the driving force. They only jump on a wagon that is rolling along. And the first ones to jump get the biggest publicity. As getting publicity and money is directly related they don’t actually care whether or not they are a good or a bad role model.

The driving forces

So who is it who starts it all? If you are asking me: It’s the designers! In my opinion they care less than nothing about people wearing clothes. They consider themselves artists, and artists don’t care about trite things like people’s needs and sorrows.

I saw a series about the 'House of Chanel' - A documentary about one season of fashion creation. It was amazing! The designer comes rushing in one day without previous announcement. Everybody knew he was due to come, but from all this idling around at the workplace they reacted like headless chicken, dashing around like hens in the barn when the fox breaks in. He jotted some drawings on a table, briefly explaining what his thoughts were about them and off he hovered. The seamstresses then created garments from those creative brainwaves, and he kept coming from time to time with changes - mostly when a garment was just finished, so that they had to start all over again.

He seemed to be completely and utterly in his own world and only out to impress his peers and other influential fashion people. If this were to happen in a completely separate artistic world I wouldn't care. But althoug we ordinary mortals will never see these creations, they will be downstreamed into the fashion we will find in the shops. If he goes skinny or A-line, the normal clothes will as well.

And then I remembered: 3 years ago when I started my quest for nicer clothes there were barely any skinny jeans around. Still a lot of very wide flare, although the straighter cuts already where there. The year after – Skinny Jeans! Eeek! Please no! Please leave me at least some flared trousers. Even a size 10 looks horrible in straight, tight legs and at that time I was a 14 and usually had to go for tapered – Eeek! again. Flairs are the only way for me to look decent.

So what timeline does that give us?

2 years ago the skinny jeans became a must in the UK and in all the fashion magazines celebs were depicted wearing them.
The size zero documentary showed that most of the US girls had completely bought into the ‘Size Zero’ idea, and apparently at school nobody bothers about marks, but it’s important to be skinny. And most of them are! To reach such a spread in the population that needs a bit of time to get there, doesn’t it?
The US usually are one year ahead of the UK. So they probably had this skinny jeans phenomenon 3 years ago. Enough time to get to the level of skinniness they have reached by now.
Now another year after skinny jeans became a hit and celebs had demonstrated how to do it, it has arrived in the UK and the rest of Europe. Models have become even skinnier to cater for even skinnier fashion. Now the European market is created for it: It's cash in time for the fashion industry.
You may want to observe the US youth and their health problems. Then give it another year and we have it here.

So, to all of you who would like to belong to this group of people: Have a close look at those models and celebs. You might like this 'being slim' thing. But what they are lacking is shape. I like being slim, don’t get me wrong there. But despite being well past my 40th I still want to be sexy. And this has to do with round-ish shapes. Skeletons are just not sexy – they hurt when you cuddle them.

My suggestion if it is your biggest wish to become slim: Become not less than a size 8-10 depending on how tall you are, do it very very slowly and do a sport that will build up some nicely shaped muscles. You will get rid of most of the fat while still being able to eat healthily, you will stay healthy and strong and you will be able to fulfill your daily tasks. You will be in control yourself, and not under the reigns of some fashion crazes who only see the money sign when looking at you. You will have a figure where you will be spoilt for choice on your shopping trips, and the clothes that fit you will look just fabulous on you. You will not only be incredible, you will be incredibly sexy!

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Author: Rika