Wednesday, 25 January 2012

# 25 Skinny Ain't Attractive in the 1950s

I picked up on this on Facebook on Monday. I'd had no idea such a thing had ever existed. In an age where we are constantly bombarded with subliminal messages that thin is best and that we should be aspiring to the cover girl image (which does not exist incidentally), I was surprised to discover this kind of advertising.

But hang on, this is just another no win situation, right? Naturally skinny girls back in the 1950s must have miserably forced themselves to over eat trying to live up to this expectation. And then in the 1960s it was in with the Twiggy look - super skinny.

The Size Zero debate - things just got out of control
Size zero has been a continuously heated debate throughout the 2000s and now the vintage look is back in again in certain sectors. But it doesn't seem to matter where you sit if you're too thin or too fat, you will always be too thin or too fat and you'll never win the argument. There never seems to be a happy medium. And just when you are content with the way you look, the goals change again.

Even so, I'm pretty sure I've never seen adverts promoting weight gain as a way of being more popular or as a fashion statement. They are advertising 'attractive pounds and inches'! They wouldn't get away with it now. They're not promoting it as a healthy way of life after all but as a popularity stake.

Crystal Renn - once a plus size 'UK16', but now an 8 - 10
Being involved in the fashion industry means I am constantly coming up against stereotypes, victims of the system and stunning girls with amazing figures. It's hard not to notice that trimmer models will generally get more work and I don't think there's a lot you can do about it.

Size is not a modern obsession of course. In days gone by they just wore corsets (both men and women) which had its own set of problems. Extreme tight lacing was just one of the many issues tackled by a health conscious public and almost as unhealthy.

We live in a society obsessed with our looks. Why we have become so is anyone's guess but preening and perfecting does seem to be our lot. I guess we should all take it with a pinch of salt, but it's so often easier said than done.

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