“What I really don’t agree with is people who complain about it but still support it. You’re giving your power away. If people don’t want skinny models, stop buying the magazine with the skinny model, and believe me those magazines will change fast. It’s business.” That’s a quote from her in the Guardian on the state of unhealthy images of women in fashion magazines.
Who would have guessed the woman with a body the envy of many since the eighties would have such a strong opinion for the very publications (though she was careful not to name any specific magazine) that established her credibility? Here’s another quote from UK’s Vogue where she told the German magazine Bunte that she wouldn’t even be a supermodel by today’s standards. “I look too healthy. A body like mine with big breasts, normal thighs and toned upper arms would not be tailored for today’s runways.”
Somewhere Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld are rolling their eyes behind their Chanel shades over this.
I know what you’re thinking, ladies: it’s hard to take these words seriously considering they come from a supermodel who kicks it in Malibu Colony, combined DNA with husband, businessman Rande Gerber, to produce some pretty gorgeous kids, all the while snapping back into pre-pregnancy shape like it never happened.
But she has a point. The publishing industry, which is in a critical state, is seriously about business. It’s also a buyer’s market when it comes to your choice of reading material. We have the power now more than ever to persuade fashion magazines to think bigger than size zero. It’s a risky move but good for her for being honest and willing to talk about the reality of the very industry that made her.
I am 50/50 on the whole situation, since I’ve worked for a magazine and know how much airbrushing and touch-ups can occur to one photo. I don’t really buy any image that I see. But, I’m critical of an organization that wants women to feel like they aren’t good enough unless they look like a distorted image.
Which magazine do you think is doing a good job of promoting healthy body images?
This story was written by Wynter Mitchell for Tonic, the “good news” site.