Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

“Like a bodybuilder – or any elite athlete”

I linked to Abbey Lee Kershaw’s interview for Today Tonight a few weeks back, but it definitely warrants more discussion, so now that the gods of YouTube have finally put up the video, you can watch it yourselves in its …

Mon, Mar 1, 2010, 09:19

   

I linked to Abbey Lee Kershaw’s interview for Today Tonight a few weeks back, but it definitely warrants more discussion, so now that the gods of YouTube have finally put up the video, you can watch it yourselves in its four-minute glory:

YouTube Preview Image

“That’s like asking a bodybuilder how they feel about the pressure to be incredibly muscley,” says Kershaw, audibly uncomfortable when asked what she feels about the pressure on models to be not just thin, but very thin. “An elite performer is always put under some sort of extreme pressure that the rest of society might not understand.”

The weight-in-fashion debate is not necessarily a female one, as there is the same pressure on male models to stay skinny as there is on female; and I’m not talking about Irish modelling, which is an entirely different animal. But there is no doubt in my mind that, as 90% of fashion is consumed and absorbed by women, we are the ones who are most at risk of being affected by fashion’s body image, if it is going to have effects.

Does fashion promote anorexia? (When searching for Kershaw’s interview, I came across several pro-ana videos, with discussions about wanting to find an “ana buddy”, yearning for the perfect size 00 (one size below 0; an Irish 2, which doesn’t exist). . . Is this a coincidence? Do clothes look better on very thin women than they do on plus sized? (And no, we’re not just talking about Mark Fast.)

I’d love to get a discussion started about this, and suggestions are more than welcome – we could discuss advertising, product placement in magazines, so-called “health and fitness” articles, catwalk shows . . . the possibilities are endless. Leave your thoughts, recommendations and so on, in the comments.

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