A skinny array of models stream the runway like a river, some even exhibiting signs of undernourishment: naturally, the mind tethers the epitome of appearance with an unhealthy obsession over self-image transverse in all strata of society. The average citizen and ‘higher echelons’ share this, sometimes creeping and hidden, often limpid, issue. Weight loss products strew our computers and cellphones; our recently accumulated flabs are our first point of contact with friends, family and, even, the local shop-keeper, following a greeting:
“Hello! How you been? You have put on weight,” is orated before our lips move to answer.
The conspicuous aside; erudition is not pre-requisite to observe a hidden ingress of ‘body-image’ obsession. All diet programs and – I hate to admit this – even exponents of veganism, a movement galvanised supposedly by hypersensitivity for animal welfare, markets their ideas on this basis. Before and after photos are preliminary to “our diet will do this” – and so on; or elaborate and intricate arguments cement advocacy of certain diets.
The issue is not in existence with impunity and neither is it free of criticism. In fact, a recent foray by the fashion industry, primarily Elle, a hot, highbrow fashion magazine, has precipitated a gradual – effective re-traction from skinny models and unrealistic body imagery, which induce myopic, impossible attempts to refine one’s body to match photo-shopped, filtered snaps of models.
Candice Huffine lure potential customers of Elle, April addition: On the shelf, she weill be the only model that considered ‘plus-sized’, without the intrusion of the word ‘plus-sized’ or ‘curved’ over her face, or visible among the tumultuous background.
Attached to an Instagram post, she wrote: “For as long as I can remember, I dreamt of being a model,” Huffine wrote. “So my body type wasn’t ideal measurements, minor detail.
“I refused to be told I couldn’t become what I had always imagined and committed myself to working tirelessly for the day when my size wouldn’t dictate my possibility.”
A multitude of issues remain, of course. One-off inclusions, or only particular examples reached to, will never suffice to solve the discriminatory, and damn right! Insulting, arbitrary inculcation and inoculation of particular, chosen “pinnacle” image examples.
Consistency is required; generic models included; POC people properly portrayed, or interpretations embroidered to an accusation will manifest and infest: “it is a marketing gimmick” or some other atrocious idea, rendering the venture a ‘dalliance’.