Vogue Claims Underfed Waifs Are Out and “Fleshy” is In When it Comes to Models


In the venerable September issue of Vogue, yes, the one with an airbrushed Gaga gracing the cover, there’s a lively little jaunt down model memory lane. Surveying the landscape of models past and present, Vogue catches a glimpse into these ephemeral creatures we call models starting with Lauren Hutton and ending with the supermodels of our day.

Along the way we wax poetic about famous and infamous poses, every ethnic face that captured the cover, the girls who fell for rock stars (yeah, I don’t get that one either),and the models with the most Vogue covers. Nod to Ms. Hutton one more time.

But midpoint in, Vogue caught my ire. They claimed the post-waif model was replaced with the return of the sexy model. Um, hold up there a minute, Vogue. What now?

Post-waif did you say?

They’ve freeze-framed four models they claim got curve on—Doutzen Kroes, Nadja Auermann, Isabeli Fontana and Lara Stone. Each girl may be slightly bigger than a size 2—maybe. Yet they call them voluptuous and catch them in a couple of comments when they were made to feel chubby by stylists whispering about their over 0 sizes.

I have no problem with how these 0 plussers feel in their waif industry. I wrote a whole chapter in my book on the fashion industry and models in particular being force-fed a culture of size O sample clothes and then chastised for being too skinny or God forbid developing an eating disorder. In an industry in which we simultaneously blame the models for not fitting into the size 0 sample sizes that every designer puts forth while lauding the same designers who insist clothing looks best on an uber-hanger, how is it that Vogue can possibly allege the underfed waif era is over?

They even purport to recognize that the public embraces the curves and loves the shift from disturbingly frail to gloriously healthy. Has anyone seen this shift? But the best quote came from Nicolas Ghesqui’ere for Balenciaga, who said, “In real life, great clothes, in any size, look great on any kind of woman: skinny or curvy. It’s more about personal style and elegance.”

Yes, indeed it is. Too bad the industry as a whole is still going with heroin chic and underfed glam. Case in point, you nipped Gaga’s already incredible waist into cartoonishly freakish proportions, Vogue. Post-waif? Please.


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