Thursday, February 08, 2007

Skinny (The Sequel)

Or Fat Is a Feminist Fashion Issue

Has anyone read the book, 'Fat Is a Feminist Issue'? I haven't. It sounds awfully dull. And having only read the title, I can already say it is wrong.

An article in the NY Times suggests thin cat-walk models have set a dangerous precedent for women.

"In 1986, the standard size was 4 to 6," Ivan Bart, the creative director of IMG models and arguably the most powerful agent in the business, said on Sunday at the Diane Von Furstenberg show, referring to standard sample sizes. "Then it was a solid 4. Then 2 to 4. Then zero."

How confusing. The news is riddled with tales of gloom about how obesity is on the rise. So how can the population be getting simultaneously fatter and thinner?

I have a theory, and it has nothing to do with super-models or patriarchal domination. Just like handbags or cars, weight is a status-symbol.

A status-symbol is only effective if the majority do not currently possess it. A 'tipping point,' however, arises when the majority achieve this symbol (or a 'knock-off' version of the item). At that point, the Fashionable Set perform an about-turn, and do the complete opposite.

For example;

Not (Too Common-Place)
4-wheel drive vehicles
Stainless-steel kitchen appliances
Tiny handbag-dogs
The 'Brazilian' (no muff)
Getting fatter

Hot (The Complete Opposite)
Vintage cars
White kitchen appliances
Irish wolfhounds
The 'Shag-Pile' (rampant muff-rug)
Getting thinner

Thus, models are getting thinner because everyone else is getting fatter. And this time next year, Auckland will be over-run with pubic hair, and feral packs of unwanted Chihuahuas. God help us all.


Oswald Bastable said...

Possibly one of the more astute posts on the whole fat/thin issues I have ever read!

Mrs Smith said...

Thanks, love. I came up with the theory while at the golf-driving range today. Not sure of the relevance of that, but somehow, whacking balls excites the imagination. Perhaps I should give Benson-Pope a call.

stef said...

On that basis, as long as the junk food industry is big business thin will be in as it's hard to maintain and the majority will not be thin.

last few lines were brilliant.

llew said...

That's a very old book nowadays, I think it was superceded by Feminism is a Fat Issue.

But I didn't say that, you understand.

Tom said...

Its all about class identification and rationing access. When being tanned and skinny (and possibly riddled with parasites) marked you as peasant field worker the rich and beautiful defined themselves by being pale and fat (fat = lacking in any form of wasting affliction). All those fob watches on gold chains drawing attention to the prominent tummies they are stretched over you see peeking out of 19th century photoes and the like.

Now food is plentiful and with public health triumphant there has to be new ways of gatekeeping devised.

Mrs Smith said...

Thanks, Tom, most interesting. What a clever-clogs you are. Much appreciated.