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Honest, one of these days I’ll start making real posts again, with paragraphs and everything. It’s like I’m reading too many blogs to get any blogging done myself.
NB: The sizing system for the UK is differently numbered from the US version, so that model would be a US size 10 if she's a UK 12. Which... doesn't make it any less repulsive, but I wanted to point it out.
I know; that's why I left her dress size out of my link text. And I figured the photo says more than a number would.
What's interesting is that she won one of those TV talent shows, aiming to find a catwalk fashion model, and while the judges said she was too fat (and putting it in that way is an insult in itself) she won the contest: the voting audience clearly disagreed.
Now, the catwalk fashion industry might say, "But we don't sell clothes to those people", and maybe they don't. Not directly. But the $1000 designer-label business is a tiny fraction of the whole, and they're dismissing a huge market.
What's amusing about the agency reaction is that there are designers who do nothing but make knockoffs of the (usually more conservative) catwalk fashions in real sizes and sell them in ordinary retail stores in quantities that would make a Parisian designer faint. And they make a lot of money doing it. Probably could make a lot more if they showed the clothes being worn by models who looked like human women instead of space vampires or famine victims. Snobbery does have a price.
Worse yet, those Parisian designers are now demanding the ability to *copyright* their designs and make knock-offs *illegal*. What will real people be able to wear?
Actually, I found the penthouse apartment funniest.
Huh. She's supposed to be too fat?
I knew the fashion world is bizarre and detached from reality and the sort of people who actually wear clothes, but this is really weird.
The "size 12" thing came out in february. Also, it's the Daily Mail, so there was probably something else going on that didn't fit so well with their populist spin...
Love the youtube video. Somebody should make one for Slashdot...
Just a quick question for the powers that be: I'm thinking about digging through the Making Light archives and doing a condensed writer's index of Making Light similar to the one I did for Miss Snark over at the Wyrdsmiths blog Snark Index and wanted to make sure that no one would object.
I am reminded of a letter I once saw in the Guardian responding to an article about fashion, which went something like:
"[Author] says the joke is that there has never been a major women's fashion designer who was actually attracted to women.
"No. The joke is that there was one: Coco Chanelle."
the judges said she was too fat
and lazy and greedy, which is kind of a humorous thing for someone who's been making a living wearing clothes for her entire adult life to say perched atop Rod Stewart's alimony checks.
Re: me at #8: I suppose I probably should have flagged that as off topic, and put an actual question in my question somewhere as opposed to just the implied one--that's what I get for posting during the middle of a round of insomnia. Still, the intent stands.
Probably should have gone in the open thread, too, but I think it's a great idea.
Open Thread, doh. What a good idea that would have been. I've really got to remember that my brain functions much better later in the day, and modify my behavior accordingly. At least I know not to operate heavy machinery.
The penthouse apartment gives new meaning to the phrase 'in the closet'. Perhaps it could even explain Narnia.
Kelly, there's a new open thread going up. Re-post the query there. It's an interesting idea.
Manhattan’s Lower East Side gets a drive-in movie theater!
"The drive-in will never die!"
- Joe Bob Briggs
Teresa, will do. And, Xopher, thanks for the clue and the idea endorsement.
Avedon #9: I realise that you were citing the Grauniad, but Coco's surname was 'Chanel'.
She's gorgeous. I also love how not-tanned she is -- that's healthy skin!
mayakd... Awsome bathing suit too, if one is into costume designs that seem to come from Irwin Allen's imagination.
Want to see the "perfect model"? Hold up two wire coathangers, one at shoulder height, one at waist height. Point is not for the model to look good, it's for the clothes to look good.
The problem is when people start seeing "two wire coathangers" as a standard of beauty.
Shadow Wolf, it's not Parisian designers looking to copyright their designs, but New York designers.
(Well, maybe the Parisian designers are as well. But they're not Chuck Schumer's constituency.)
I'd really like to see a sociological study which shows associations between fashions in body-size and other variables. It seems the preference was for voluptuousness up until the 1920s. Thinness became fashionable for a decade, and then curves were "in" again until the 1960s. Skinniness has been considered the ideal ever since.
I suspect it's related, somehow, to class. Thin is in when the poor are plumper than average (as in America today). When the poor are starving curvy girls become the rage.
Of course these fashions may depend a lot on the audience. I suspect (although have no real evidence) that fashion models are thinner than, say, the models in (male heterosexual) pornography, partly perhaps because the audiences have different standards of beauty.
Am I the only one who thinks the Drive-In is likely to run afoul of the law? Purchase of a DVD is for personal, non-commercial use.
Unless GrandOpening has something else arranged, they're likely to get a visit from The Law.
(Yes, I know Cory et al. might disapprove--and I might join him on the barricades, at least phosophordotically--but current law remains current law.)
Matt @ #24: I think you're right there. When I was in Vienna a few years ago, the local newstand put the porn and fashion magazines next to each other. (The proprietor didn't have a lot of space to work with.) I remember being struck by two things: 1) "Whoa! There's porn on display!" and 2) your observation: the women on the covers of the fashion rags were a lot skinnier.
She's 5'11" and 11 stone... which is 154 pounds. Only anorexics would think that is 'too fat'.
I really hate the fashion industry some times.
The Raul Gutierrez site has some delightfully good little personal essays that make me wish he'd discovered fandom back when he was younger and people were still publishing many fanzines on paper.
I've always felt that it was Grossly Unfair that so many talented fanartists were also excellent fanwriters, when I'd have happily settled for being either, but I suppose it has something to do with (graphic) Artists needing to both see and understand things.
That Youtube video is great, but to be truly reflective of the youtube experience, the comments would have to happen in reverse chronological order.
Have any of you ever seen a fashion designer's sketchpad? I remember being struck by how freakishly proportioned their (theoretically ideal) models were: eight or nine heads tall, with waists about half the width of their hips. No wonder they pick such inhuman-looking models--they're just trying to match their vision as closely as possible! Maybe our fashion industry's ills could be alleviated by something as simple as requiring life-drawing and anatomy classes for all Fashion majors.
I was arguing with a friend the other day that if your clothes only look good on two wire coathangers, then you really just aren't very good at designing clothes.
But I suppose the point is that the catwalk-design phenomenon is pretty firmly divorced from the real-people-wearing-clothes phenomenon.
Maybe our fashion industry's ills could be alleviated by something as simple as requiring life-drawing and anatomy classes for all Fashion majors.
it's more insidious than mere ignorance. they teach you in fashion illustration not to use the generally accepted rules of figure drawing. the instructors/textbooks will tell you right out: adult humans are eight heads tall, fashion figures are ten.
(i always objected to the "eight heads tall" rule anyhow; it seems to be suffering from the six-foot-man curse discussed here not long ago. i think it's better to just draw a lot of people from life until you get a feel for it.)
miriam beetle @ 30... six-foot-man curse
i don't remember if it was "curse of the six-foot man," or maybe "attack of the six-foot man."
you are cursed, serge! with PRIVILEGE!
miriam beetle @ 33... you are cursed, serge! with PRIVILEGE!
The privilege of growing up banging my head against the pipes hanging from the basement's ceiling.
miriam beetle @ 30: the standard is eight? Oh, whoops. I misremembered it as six when I was writing my comment. I usually just eyeball it when I sketch,* and I'd forgotten what the actual figure is. So modify my above comment to "ten to eleven heads tall."
*Though that kind of rule is still helpful when a drawing is just looking inexplicably weird and you can't figure out why. So thanks!
8 heads? Well no wonder I can't draw people; I was taught six and a half* back in school 15 years ago.
* Actually it's the legs and arms not matching with the body that's my real problem. Being, um, 6'5", I always had a tendency to add a bit of extra height to figures I drew.
In that interview, Jen Hunter talks about being so tall that men are generally not interested in her. I have an impression that tallness is much less of a detriment for women than it used to be.
Am I just plain wrong? Right about the US, but it doesn't apply in Britain? Women get more slack for tallness but 6' (or possibly 5' 11") is Just Too Much?
Nancy Lebovitz @ 37
I think you're right, as it seems to me that the tall women I know are less ignored by men than they used to be. It's hard for me to tell though, because height in women has never been a problem for me, and I have trouble understanding how that problem affects the way men see women.
I think everyone's going at this backwards. What should be happening is that you get someone Rubens-sized in life class, and then there is the assignment "design clothes for *this* woman", and oh by the way, you must also make them stylish.
(Actually, there's a lot of stuff that could/would look good on rounder women, but the current red-carpet favorite of silk charmeuse draped tightly across the belly--see one of the pictures in the link--just is not it.)
In tennis, women at least six feet tall are getting to be the norm (and a few of the men are six foot six or more), but the current world champion woman Justine Henin is a petite looking five foot seven -- who only seems tall to me -- and male superstar Roger Federer is of average height, whatever that means these days.
Sorry for the tennis references! Just can't help myself, at least until the baseball playoffs begin.
Faren.. Did you know that Robert de Niro is 5' 9½"? Did you also know that, as a kid, he was nicknamed Bobby Milk because he spent little time in the sun, being more interested in staying inside with books?
oops. i am probably wrong, then. i just knew that there was a "rule," & then fashion illustration had a "rule", which was like two heads taller. it's probably six and eight, then. didn't bother to look it up; i'm sorry.
like i said, i don't use the rule anyhow. also, i'm no good with numbers.
Don't forget the sequel to "If life were like Youtube comment threads"
Now with LOL catz...
I showed my husband the pic of the "too fat" model. He would like to tell said model, if she's very unhappy about the contract being rescinded, that she can call him at [DELETED] and he'll make it all better.
In all seriousness, this is why I will never, ever get rid of my old Mode magazines...
serge @20 Yeah, the bathing suit seems retro -- suits her 50's pin-up girl look.
What's especially telling (and skin-crawling) is that there's no way that bathing suit would ever look good on the "real" model. In fact, I have to wonder whether they could look-- well, not good exactly, but I figure they would have to put in bikinis to look emacitated but well-dressed.
Does any man think these walking skeletons are appealing?
Does any man think these walking skeletons are appealing?
i think we can deplore the treatment, & appreciate the beauty, of jen hunter without resorting to epithets against people with other body shapes.
on the one hand, i don't think it really discourages anorexia or the temptation towards anorexia. on the other hand, i think it is needlessly hurtful towards people who happen to be skinny.
(i'm comfortably sitting on the upper range of "not overweight," but my dad has almost no visible fat on him. he's built that way & it's healthy for him, but it doesn't stop random people from making moronic, offensive comments about his body.)
Nancy Lebovitz @37 and Bruce @38:
Speaking as a tall woman (six feet tall when I'm barefoot) who is in her mid-twenties, being tall is no advantage in some areas. One of those areas is romance, particularly when one is younger. I had most of my adult height when I was 13. High school was a date-free wasteland. In all fairness, I was an introvert with a large vocabulary and a volume of T.S. Eliot in her backpack. Even if I had been six inches shorter, I probably would still have been too scary for most of the guys I knew.
It seems to be a general rule that the older my male peers get, the more attractive they find me. I attribute this to growing confidence on their part. Another observable pattern, men who are around my height tend to find me more intimidating than either shorter men or very tall men. (Though there are exceptions to both these rules -- one of the longer running relationships in my past was with a man an inch shorter than me, and the current guy is three years my junior, though he is five inches taller.)
Finally, the only remotely appealing quality about Gaius Baltar is that he carries on a relationship with a woman several inches taller than he is.
Miriam, at 16 years old I was six feet tall and weighed 139 pounds. I've done skinny. The point of the "epithet" is that to my eye the whole arrangement is unattractive. It's not a judgment on the person, but simply a reflection of fact that this is, after all, an exercise in aesthetics. And while I'd never accuse my tastes as being those of a Red Blooded American Male, I'm given to wonder whose aesthetics are supposed to be being pleased in this exercise.
Does being 6 feet tall plus weighing 178 pounds make a man fall into the skinny category?
Serge 50: Hmm. I outweigh you by nearly 30 pounds and am five inches shorter. I'm only slightly chubby.
Using the ten-pounds-per-inch-of-height standard, you weighing 178 is like me weighing 128.
I would need to be hospitalized for malnutrition.
Yes, I'd say you're skinny. Not as scary-skinny as C. was at 16, but then teenagers aren't constructed like adults (they have much less bone mass, for one thing—perhaps that also explains why you're not in the hospital at a build that would be dangerously underweight for me; I have fairly massive bones).
Xopher @ 51... Yes, I'd say you're skinny.
Sniff... My only consolation is that Hugh Jackman is almost as skinny when he's not beefing up to play what's-his-name that TexAnne likes to see shirtless.
Six feet and 178 lbs. is within a few pounds of the recommended BMI, if I recall correctly, if on the low side.
C. Wingate, #49: You're getting into a dynamic that I don't think you've had enough exposure to recognize. May I unpack it a little further?
One of the things that happens a lot in discussions of women's body shapes and size acceptance is that people (and it's not always men, either) will come in and start talking about "REAL women" vs. "sticks with tits" and stuff like that. Now, this is usually intended to be complimentary toward women like me, but in the process it comes out sounding just as nasty and hateful toward women who are naturally slender as descriptions like "pig" or "cow" are to large women. Those of us who have heard this happen over and over again tend to develop a bit of a twitch about it.
Everybody has personal preferences, there's nothing wrong with that. Just... go easy on the disparaging language, okay? "Size acceptance" IMO means for skinny women too.
As to whose aesthetics are supposed to be pleased, I'd say it's those of the fashion designers, who demonstrably don't inhabit the same reality as the rest of us!
Five foot three, eyes of brie,
But oh! what those five foot could be,
Has anybody seen my girl?
Torn out nose, ripped up clothes,
Zombie yes sir! one of those.
Has anybody seen my girl?
Now if you run into, a six foot three,
Covered with fur,
Werewolf claws and razor-sharp teeth,
Bethcha' life it isn't her.
But could she munch? Could she devour?
Slurp my brains like a whiskey sour?
Has anybody seen my girl?
I'm not sure I'd describe Serge as skinny. He's actually filed under "muscular but not bulky" in my mental tagging system.
He sounds like Christopher Lambert, though that isn't really germane to this discussion.
abi @ 56... He's actually filed under "muscular but not bulky"
I like the sound of that. Meanwhile, here is how my 5-year-old nephew sees me. I also like the Kryptonian "S".
One of kids I carpooled with middle school had CF, and was unable to gain weight at anything like a reasonable rate. She was in the range of being as skinny as the less anorectic of these models. In an act of prepubescent gallantry I once defended her figure in the face of another girl's sniping.
So ordinarily I wouldn't approach matters from this angle at all. It's just that it seems weird to me that since the point is to present the clothes attractively, one would deliberately prefer a figure that calls attention to itself as being ill-suited for the display.
I would point out another dynamic in play here: that men are both more and less interested in female appearance than women would have them be. The end result is that under rigorously controlled laboratory conditions it is impossible for a man to say the right thing about how a woman looks unless she feels like it.
I think that was what I was getting at in #39: the clothes should be designed for the women, rather than using women that don't fit the clothes.
C Wingate @ 58... The end result is that under rigorously controlled laboratory conditions it is impossible for a man to say the right thing about how a woman looks unless she feels like it.
I guess I shouldn't have strapped her down on an operating table, with electrodes attached to her neck and a death-ray projector aimed at her forehead, while I exclaimed "It's alive! It's alive!"
I think the typical real-world adult is supposed to be 7.5 heads tall, the artistic ideal figure is 8 heads tall, and especially noble or heroic figures are 8.5 heads.
I'd bet that most fashion designers have taken life drawing classes. I know from personal experience that Cartooning majors at the School of Visual Arts take life drawing as a freshman year requirement, but that doesn't insure that their cartoons have accurate anatomy later in their careers.
Re the "Is Serge skinny?" discussion: here's a website that's trying to develop a photographic height/weight chart based on "real people" pictures. It's got a lot of blank spots yet that need to be filled in, if anyone feels like participating.
Unless I'm remembering wrong my Art Class at school suggested that in the Renaissance someone-or-other decreed that the perfect adult (male) body should be drawn as 5.5 heads. Our teacher then told us that people are a bit taller* today so to draw them as 6.5.
I'm not sure, but the head might have been in addition to this, which is then in line with Avram. I do remember from reading "So you want to draw SUPERHEROES!" or similar in a doctor's waiting room that 8 or even 9 heads is good if you're trying to create some kind of generic X-Men clone**.
* Or maybe our standards of perfection, as promulgated by my art teacher
** That's the look of the superheroes you'd come up with rather than the content of the plot.
Lee... Interesting. I look at those photos and the 6/180 guy doesn't look like my mental image of myself. I keep finding a better match in the taller/heavier men.
Don't forget that the camera is widely rumored to add ten pounds to what you see in the mirror.
joann... So I've heard. It makes me wonder how tiny Burn Notice's Gabrielle Anwar really is. As for my earlier comment, it may just be me readjusting my own mental image of myself. (Until about 20 years ago, I used to see myself as William Gibson on a weight-loss diet.)
Serge #66: William Gibson? Are you Joel Grey, too?
Not quite, ethan. I'm not Joel Grey, but, as you can see here, my hair is.
"Au cabaret! To the cabaret!"
Yes, Serge, I can see very well in that picture that your hair fathered Jennifer Grey and had a surprisingly lackluster guest-hosting appearance on the Muppet Show.
Very dashing! You don't look nearly terrifyingly skinny.
Not nearly terrifyingly skinny... Hmmm...
"…I used to see myself as William Gibson on a weight-loss diet" (#66)
Nowadays, this is Serge's self-image. I like it. (And hey, Serge was born on the day I was due! — a very rare example of my arriving early. He could have some of my spare avoirdupois if he needs it.)
Drat! My secret identity has been revealed. That being said, Mez, I always arrive early. Unless I come in late.
Some help for the metric-system people who'd like to contribute to the Photographic Height/Weight Chart. Here's a couple of online conversion calculators for height & weight: www.metric-conversions.org/ length/ feet-to-meters.htm; and kilograms-to-pounds
It's a bit depressing converting my weight from kilos to pounds, which more than doubles the number, and then having to round it *up* to the nearest 10lb column. Sticker shock indeed! It was even nicer in 'stones', which we used to use for people's weight in Australia (1 stone = 16lb). Trouble is all my recent full-length photos are in hospital gowns, which show little of the figure (not the bits you'd show in public, anyway), so I may have to remedy that ...
I thought one stone = 14 pounds. Are Australian stones heavier than English ones?
When I first started going to my gym, there was a digital scale with three settings: kg, lb, and sts. It took me quite a while to figure out what sts were.
For comparison purposes
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