24 December 2010

What if...

What if she doesn’t worry about her body and eats enough for all the growing she has to do? She might rip her stockings and slam-dance to the Pogues, and walk home barefoot, holding her shoes, alone at dawn; she might baby-sit in a battered-women’s shelter one night a month; she might skateboard down Lombard Street with its seven hairpin turns, or fall in love with her best friend and do something about it, or lose herself for hours gazing into test tubes with her hair a mess, or climb a promontory with the girls and get drunk at the top, or sit down when the Pledge of Allegiance says stand, or hop a freight train, or take lovers without telling her last name, or run away to sea. She might revel in all the freedoms that seem so trivial to those who could take them for granted; she might dream seriously the dreams that seem so obvious to those who grew up with them readily available. Who knows what she would do? Who knows what it would feel like?  - The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf
I love fashion but I do not like the distorted and confusing body image ideal it can and often does promote. Sometimes I get really uncomfortable talking about fashion or fashion magazines because of the worship of thinness. Everyone has their own issues with their bodies but when it starts getting into disordered territory it is really frightening. I think people throw around terms like "anorexic" too often, people almost use it as a slur. Eating disorders are a mental disease and the most deadly of all mental diseases.
Recently, a website came under scrutiny for pictures of model Allie Crandell. I actually remember Crandell from MTV's The City and she was very waifish then. I am not going to speculate on whether she has any sort of eating disorder or other health problems. I think that is something impossible to determine via pictures as any fashion photography now uses Photoshop and professional lighting. I have never seen her in person and I'm also not a doctor!
 I am very disturbed that the company that she worked with says that they are working with her and her agency to make sure to get her to a healthier size. The role of a modeling agency is to get models work. The role of a clothing company is to sell clothes. They are not doctors or nutritionists. Why do they get to dictate what a healthy size is for Crandell? I cannot imagine what it would be like to have so many people directly dictating how big or how small you should be.
I also worry about the public shaming they have done to this girl when they obviously hired her at a weight they thought was appropriate. I condemn the comments people have left on those pictures, saying things like "feed her" or "gross" does not help anything.  I guess it is somehow okay to be derogatory to a very thin woman even if you do not know whether she has a eating disorder.

Super Skinny Model Allie Crandell Triggers Weight Debate On Revolve Clothing Website


Courtney said...

i for sure enjoyed this post and totally got the word out on mine--i.e. i linked this post bc i loved it so. i hope someone reads it so you can get a hit or two on yours.

Francesca said...

thanks so much! I sometimes wonder if anyone reads this...