Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Skinny

Because I do not follow fashion, because I love beautiful clothes but I loathe fashion, I have not been paying too much attention to models (also because I hate them, like all women who are not models do).
But I have noticed that they don't look like they used to in their glory days, when Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell ruled the Earth like Tyranosaurus Rexi of the runway. I've noticed that lately they look like emaciated children from a Roumanian orphanage, with a few exceptions like Giselle Bundchen or Kate Moss, who actually look like women. I don't know who decided that models should look like the spawn of the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, with huge eyes and translucent faces, but I don't really care. All I know is they look much too young to be modeling and much too skeletal, and if you dressed them in concentration camp garb, Auschwitz circa 1945, you'd be calling an ambulance to Bryant Park. And perhaps the Human Rights Commission as well.
Clothes do look better on hangers, (as anybody who has ever been inside a dressing room trying them on knows firsthand) and models have basically become walking hangers. They have eating disorders, they don't eat, they take drugs, they are as abused as racehorses but without the mercy. And they don't even look good!
So I propose to designers to use actual hangers for their shows. With the technology of stagecraft available today, they could create interesting, long legged, long necked, size zero mannequins that could move or not, that could hover across the runway moved by rails like those at the dry cleaners, and that could make the clothes look as pretty as they want. This way, young girls would not be starving to death and being traumatized by body image complexes and other psychological abuse.
The article in New York Magazine that deals with this issue says that many of these teenagers come from Eastern European countries, whose bigger export seems to be women, be it for the sex trade or the rag trade. I don't see that much difference between a young woman who is enticed to prostitute herself and one that is abused the way runway models are. They are both made to feel worthless except for their looks. But people like that scary Diane Von Furstenberg who rose from the dead not long ago and that other zombie from hell, Karl Lagerfeld, two people who look like human remains in an advanced state of decomposition, are in a total outrage over Madrid and Milan demanding a minimum body mass index from models. Never mind that:
...a perilously thin teenage model, Eliana Ramos, would die in Uruguay, apparently of a heart attack, making it three model deaths in the past seven months. In August, Ramos’s older sister Luisel died after restricting herself to a diet of lettuce leaves and Diet Coke. In November, Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died weighing just 88 pounds.
If Mayor Bloomberg is so concerned about health, why doesn't he take a look at the runways? They should be closed by the Department of Health.

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