They must be heroes. How else does one squeeze themselves into size zero jeans and still manage to breathe, smile and bend over? ESPECIALLY after having children. No matter how much weight you lose, there’s still skin, right? RIGHT??
I won’t lie. I am smaller now than I was before I fell pregnant and the same thing happened after having my daughter six years ago. That’s just me. That’s how I know that people lose weight and not always through dieting. People are all shapes and sizes and some people are actually, you know, size zero. I won’t be writing about how gross it is to be that thin (I know some naturally thin people) for this reason. BUT I am going to have a rant about the pressures women- and girls, ok children- are facing to try to achieve a pair of unreasonably sized jeans…
I read an article on the Guardian online, entitled Where are all the size 10 models?, which asks an important question of designers during London Fashion Week in February this year. Apparently, Maria Grachvogel’s autumn 2011 collection was compromised by the lack of real sized women and she was forced to re-make most of her garments to fit the models’ smaller frames. She’s found it difficult to find models big enough to fit her size ten samples. Now hang on. Size ten- big? Since when, in the real world, has size ten been big? After two kids, size ten fitting in the changing rooms is a real cause for celebration and always the first thing I tell my husband afterwards. Hell, even before kids, size ten was a pretty amazing feeling. But in this world of high fashion and high pressure, it seems size ten is equivalent to looking like you consumed one pie too many. And all this after the industry recognised the need to re-assess the rules when it came to hiring larger models and making samples that actually fit them.
The article does go on to say that, for some women, a small frame may be perfectly natural and that these women will of course require smaller clothes. But,
… “The problem, as Grachvogel points out, is that “this is an unachievable body shape for most women. It is absurd and frustrating that women are so obsessed with trying to conform to a body shape which is simply impossible for most of us.”
This is the part that worries me. I know, at the age of 33, that I will NEVER be a size zero and actually, I don’t think I would be happy to be that small. But does my daughter know this about herself? Does she know that being herself is way more important than trying to be what someone else says she should be? Of course not. She’s young and impressionable and she needs guidance. How far can designers and model agencies influence our children?
The article raises an interesting point:
“The size zero debate is emotively linked to several high-profile deaths among anorexic models, but Grachvogel is not convinced that anorexia is to blame for the shrinking size of models”
and claims that internationally, women are shaped differently and body frames are naturally smaller in Eastern Europe. Fine. But does that mean we can’t celebrate larger models too? Does that mean that normal, size ten- or maybe even twelve and fourteen- models can’t be considered good enough to model too? Designers like Grachvogel are only too willing to make the samples in larger sizes, but what can they do if none of the models can fit into them properly? Who is to blame? Who can make the changes that are needed here? Aaagh! It really is a “chicken-or-egg question of who is ultimately to blame” and one that regularly hurts my head. SO what do you think? Is it wrong to covet the size zero? Is it wrong to dump these girls for bigger models? Will anyone ever be brave enough to do it?