In New York last month, there was an outbreak of fashion week. Consistent with my policy of maintaining a safe distance behind the times, I made no mention of it until the danger had safely passed. Even now, I am at a loss as to what to say about such a prestigious event.
How do you describe the energy and sheer excitement radiating from the catwalks of New York City as they crackle with the passionate drama of skeletal women angrily parading outlandish garments that only 10% of the western population can afford and only 2% can fit into? How do you cram all the chic and panache, and other words you’ve never had a reason to use before, into a compelling, and hopefully heart wrenching tale?
Well if you’re me, though you’re probably not, you promptly change the subject, skipping over the fashion part entirely and talking instead about the participants themselves. That’s right, today we are going to talk about the catwalk prowlers, the fashion wear wearers, those defiant scowl distributors that make their living by dressing up and strolling around in other peoples clothes.
In an ironic twist of lexicon, these women are referred to as models, a word that most people use to indicate something typical or example-worthy within a population.
Which led me to wonder what exactly these women are examples of?
Compassion? I admit that I don’t follow fashion closely, in fact I’ve been known to cut across several states to avoid it altogether, but I have never heard of Catwalks for Cancer or any other selfless activity coming out of the design community.
Intelligence? This is hard to determine considering the absence of round table discussions or even question and answer sessions at most fashion shows. However, reliable sources, namely TV programs like Top Model and Beauty and the Geek, indicate that deep thinking, is not regular exercise in the workouts of the beautiful people.
Acting ability? As far as I can tell, the emotional range of a typical fashion model covers the narrow expanse between Severely Angry and Suffering Internal Injuries, with most lingering in the vicinity of The Designer Put Bloodthirsty Leeches In This Outfit With Me.
It seems to me that fashion models exemplify only the most physical of human attributes, those which comprise a small and relatively unimportant percentage of a person’s total being. And even in that limited, physical sense their vacant expressions and negligible body mass make them more anomalies than examples of the typical western population.
Now I don’t think I could address this topic without some mention of Tyra Banks, whose recent thirty pound gain has sent her on a round of TV and magazine appearances to defend her beauty and validity as a person.
While Tyra’s impassioned defense leads me to assume that there are some individuals in the fashion world1 that criticize her transformation, many people living on this world, praise the move as one from “stick creature” to “real woman.”
In fact, a carefully controlled and very scientific poll of three guys at work revealed that the population of Non-Visually-Impaired American Men That Work With Me find Banks even more attractive than before. Comments included…well, let’s not include the comments. Let’s just say the consensus was that more of her was more of a good thing.
Let me add at this point, that there is no reason for congenitally-scrawny women to feel in any way diminished by the thoughts shared so far. Actually, I would be afraid to diminish you any further, for fear that you would disappear all-together. Instead, comfort yourself with the knowledge that you are the way you are, and that’s okay. At this site you will neither be criticized nor idolized, unless of course, it seems funny to me at the time.
Around here, you’re just one of the guys, except for the fact that you’re a girl. So feel free to knock back some deep-fried ice cream2 as you peruse the contents of this site, secure in my acceptance of your emaciated appearance. But don’t forget the hot fudge sauce.
So I guess the moral of the story is that no matter how big, small, or even mutated you may be, don’t feel pressured by unrealistic standards of beauty. Be free to claim whatever shape and size you were given, as long as you don’t jeopardize your health.3
If the men in your life question your new found freedom and attempt to drive you back into the bondage of the beauty trap, tell them that the winds of change blow dust into the eyes of the stubborn, tell them that a real man would appreciate the real you, tell them whatever you like; just don’t tell them I put you up to this.
I have a high health insurance deductible.
- As far as I can tell, Fashion World is distant planet whose inhabitants are very tall and slim, and are driven by poorly understood biological forces to undergo a complete change of outfit every three-and-a-half minutes. It’s the sort of place even Captain Kirk would avoid. ↩
- You may have to use a straw. ↩
- It is important to note that size/shape freedom does not exclude exercise and proper nutrition. If you reach the point of self-acceptance where you can no longer use a single chair, public transportation, or toilet paper, you need to back up and try again. ↩