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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The skinny on the fashionista frenzy...

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Image hosting by PhotobucketThe picture you see on the right is from the cover of the print edition of The Sun, which Walski picked up this morning on the way to work. The online edition (free registration required), of course, was something totally different. Our skinny model, it seems, was deposed - kinda like how Thanksin was. Actually, it was because of Thaksin getting the boot.

In any case, to put the pix into perspective, earlier this week, Madrid (the city, not the football club) imposed a ban on skinny models participating in Spain's top fashion show (as reported by Reuters). And there is a great possibility that Milan and London may soon follow suit in imposing similar bans.

The picture is from a report in The Sun stating that India has "joined in the chorus" of denying their ultra-svelte models from sashaying down the runways - Walski couldn't find the article from The Sun anywhere online, but instead found a very similar article, as reported in The Dominican Today (as in the country, not the Catholic order) .

Already, the fashionistas in Milan are trembling in fear (and not from low blood sugar) that this ban, already called for by the city's mayor, may soon be imposed.

What's the big fuss, you ask?

Well, for a number of years now, several health and feminist organizations have raised concerns about the growing trend of these ultra-skinny models being role-models for young girls, who are willing to starve themselves to attain the similar svelte, skinny look, often found in fashion and teen magazines worldwide.

Probably a good move by the fashion world, from the perspective of health, at least. But Walski cringes to think of the extreme alternative to these super-svelte beauties.
(terrifying alternatives, and more, in the full post)

Image hosting by PhotobucketNot the model alternative Walski has in mind...
(and not meant to offend fat people either)

The other extreme of the weighscale argument is, of course, obesity, which is a growing problem worldwide, Malaysia included. Walski doesn't know about you, but have you noticed that there are a lot, lot more obese Malaysian kids these days? Well, these cute over-sized cherubs will probably just grow up to be over-sized, obese adults. Complete with all the accompanying health risks, at no extra charge.

Walski's rude aside: And by the way, for you perverts out there, there are very, very few things that are more disgusting (not to mention degrading) than obese porn... yecchh!! Don't click the link if you're squeemish, or just had a meal. Don't say you haven't been warned...

Now, of course, the fashion world won't start going the other extreme. Or at least Walski hopes not. But there is a lot of truth to the fact that the ultra-skinny, waif-like, and frankly, not very healthy looking models, aren't the what the young lasses should emulate. Walski found an interesting blog post that talks about the relationship between young female self-image, dieting and the influence of skinny supermodels. While this problem is not that prevalent (yet) here in Malaysia, it certainly is a concern elsewhere in the world.

And what the fashion and media worlds is being called upon to promote, instead, is the naturally lean and healthy-looking sort of beauty - a look which doesn't need anorexia, bulemia or any other eating disorders to achieve.

Parents, however, bear much of the responsibility for how their kids feel about themselves. Some parents tend to go overboard when criticizing their children, particularly the girls, about how they're not as good looking as so-and-so's daughter, or not as slim, or not as smart... sound familiar?

And then there's the other extreme - parents who love their children by feeding them to death - literally. Unconditional love is one thing, force-feeding is another kettle of deep-fried fish altogether. If your kid says he or she is full, he or she probably is.

Of course, there's also the exhorbitant amount of sugar in our typical Malaysian diet (with the Malays in particular). That, and the increasingly prevalent culture of processed food over-dependence, is driving our population to the heavier side of life. Walski just hopes that come 2020, his vision won't be obscured by all the fat people we're probably gonna have if were not conscious enough of how we feed our faces...

In any case, the main reason the fashionistas are throwing frantic hissy-fits is because this latest move by the fashion capitals is going to really screw up their plans for the coming months.

But between appeasing the fashionistas, or towards a healthier self-image, Walski figures the choice is probably a no-brainer... (sly, subtle and mean pun intended).