Monday, September 25, 2006

model citizens

This news story is irritating:
"I have never wanted to use girls that are too skinny. I prefer girls that show off my clothes in the best way," Armani told Reuters Television.

"Unfortunately though, the stylists and also the media have interfered and they now want models that are incredibly thin."

Yeah, Giorgio. This model in your 2006 collection--pictured at right--is far from incredibly thin. What a heifer.

The backlash from the modeling world and the media over Spain's recent ban on supermodels with unhealthy BMI levels sheds light on a larger issue at hand, which is our culture's refusal to acknowledge the growing pervasiveness of anorexia. At Fox News, Bill O'Reilly interviewed Robin Hazelwood, Yale graduate and ex-model.

O'REILLY: Yes, I mean, I agree with you that the Anna Wintours — is that how you say her name?
HAZELWOOD: Anna Wintour.
O'REILLY: Whatever. All of those people have got to wise up. I mean, because I'll tell you what. I don't know anything about women's clothes, thank God. I only have five pairs of shoes. That's the kind of guy I am.
But as just a human being, I don't want to see a woman who's 5'9" and 110 pounds.
HAZELWOOD: Right.
O'REILLY: That's not attractive.
HAZELWOOD: Yes.

Aside from the scapegoating--Armani blaming the media, the media blaming modeling agencies, everyone blaming Anna Wintour--the broader issue, I think, is the conflation of anorexia and bulimia with extreme mental aberration (not an uncommon anti-feminist tactic). This is something I ranted about in a spring review of The Real World. It's far too easy to discount a societal problem that victimizes women by pegging it on a handful of outstanding cases.

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