Mad Monday: The Sartorialist and the One Body Type

I like fashion. I’m not that great at it (bandanas are still fashionable to wear to every event, right? Or was it scarves, hm…), but I enjoy it. I love street fashion blogs and Project Runway. Watching a designer take two yards of polyester, seat belts, and corn husks and turn them into a red-carpet dress is nothing short of inspiring.

But fashion has also bored me of late. You see — it’s all the same! Not the clothes … those are amazingly diverse, it’s the models that are identical.

It’s not that I don’t like the body type. Flat tummy little boobs minuscule hips with loooong legs is gorgeous. But it’s only one body type. If you’re born with hips and boobs, you don’t have a place in fashion.

There’s actually a simple explanation of why designers only hire 6 foot tall girls with the body of a jr high boy — and it has to do with money, OF COURSE. You see, designer fabric is terribly expensive, and they want to buy the least amount of fabric that they can. So they make all their clothing a size 0. *yawn* I think that’s a dumb explanation, and awful close-minded of the designers, but it’s the truth.

It doesn’t take a lot to clothe me. Or to feed me, for that matter.

She was all the rage – her only problem was that when she turned sideways she disappeared.

I think Compassion International needs to sponsor this model.

Now a lot of people/organizations are speaking against such obviously undernourished models such as the ladies in the pictures above. London’s Fashion Week banned size zero models (American size zero, the equivalent of a British size four, fits a 22-inch waist – the average measurement of an eight-year-old girl.) I think this rule is a bit off, since there are healthy and fit girls that are naturally a size zero, but I like that London Fashion Week is trying the new policy of: “You can’t model this week if you look like you’re about to drop dead any minute.”
I see a lot of drop-dead gorgeous girls out there that are a size 6. Or a size 10. Or *gasp* a size 14!! I think something’s wrong with our fashion industry if you call this girl a plus size model:

Plus sized model Crystal Renn

She looks healthy and fit, and why the heck wouldn’t designers feature her in their “regular” line-up instead plus-sized line up? It seems crazy to me. There are thousands of amazing types of bodies, and an entire industry uses only one type. It’s like if all modern painters decided that canvas’ were the only way to go — and so every painter just painted on canvas and soon you couldn’t be a popular painter unless all you painted on was canvas.

The Sartorialist had always been one of my favorite-favorite street blogs. He captures some really great everyday moments and some incredible fashion on his blog. But recently, he’s been on my bad list. For this post:

This is what he says about the girl in the photo: “I loved that she’s a bigger, curvier girl than most of the other bloggers who you see in the press and tend to represent the genre.”

Honestly, I would describe that girl as thin. And honestly, I find it lame that he called “bigger, curvier girls,” (aka, 2/3 of all girls) a “genre.” Grrrrrr. Just give different body types a chance, okay artists? Just like the Reneissance painters of old, revel in the beauty of body, the beauty each girl holds. Like this:




Now aren’t those girls gorgeous? And they aren’t even a size 0!

But there is hope for the future, and some designers paint on more than one canvas. Although I’ve been turned off of the fashion industry of late, and tuned out of who’s who and what’s next in Milan and New York, I’ve found a place of fashion that gives me lots of hope for the future.

It’s a place where designers and vintage clothing sellers represent girls of all body types, and they don’t call a perfectly healthy girl “bigger and curvier.” So if you’re sick of seeing one body type in fashion, then go check out , (my favorite store is Adelaide’s Homesewn). Also, two street fashion blogs that I absolutely love for their open-mindedness and variety are: and So go check ‘em out.

What do you think about the one body type in fashion?

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  1. I just went and checked out the post and you are definitely not the only one who took exception to the language he used there! I completely agree, she looks on the slim side of normal to me. I’m a UK 16 (US 12, I think) at the moment, and hate it, because 18 months ago I was a UK 8-10 but now I’m just starting to work on getting back down to that.

    By the way, I think the ‘genre’ he was referring to in that sentence above was the fashion industry, rather than ‘bigger girls’. But he sure has hell has taken some flak for the post in general, which I think is right. He acted as though he was being all equal opportunities by including this girl in his line-up. I is rolling my eyez…

    • EllieAnn

       /  July 25, 2011

      LoL! I iz rolling my eyez as well. And after a re-read, I think you’re right about the genre he wa referring to as being the fashion industry, thanks for pointing that out.
      And from reading your blog posts, I KNOW you are a healthy lady, AnneMhairi, I love that about you! Healthy mind and healthy body, that’s what we should go for. =)

  2. Those skinny models look just sick to me. As in literally ill.

    When my daughter was a toddler, to keep her quiet in my allergist’s office, we would look through the fashion magazines. I would point to the girls like the ones you have pictured and say, “She needs a snack. They haven’t fed her in a month,” and we would distinguish the healthy looking, naturally slim models from the ones the WHO would give a bowl of rice. My emphasis was always on whether they looked healthy, not whether they looked thin, and how good health is the most attractive feature a woman can have.

    One day, a woman walked in with a very, very skinny little girl. My daughter, then 4, saw her, pointed, and exclaimed in a projecting, theater voice, “She needs a snack.” Lol. Well, she did. That’s when we shifted the focus from fashion to manners.

    Thanks for your post. :)

    • EllieAnn

       /  July 25, 2011

      Oh cool! That’s such an important distinction to make with your kids. Some people are born skinny and small-boned, others become that way from eating disorders. I agree, the models look terribly unhealthy. I hope the industry will stop rewarding the mental illness that is eating disorders and get those skinny skinny models off the catwalk and to a Dr.

  3. Honestly, the “plus-sized” model was the only girl I though looked pretty at ALL, even a little bit. Also? I think I pulled a brain muscle trying to figure out what size I would wear in British clothing. My math might be a little off, but I came up with a respectable size 300 :)

  4. Leah Goins

     /  July 25, 2011

    Ellie, I nearly cried when I saw the pictures of those starving to death “models.” It is so messed up and sad. Talk about a corrupt industry, wow!

  5. Good post, Ellie. The supposed plus-size model looks normal. The other models are so thin and sickly looking, it’s heart breaking. I’m glad the fashion industry is finally having a wakeup call.

    • EllieAnn

       /  July 26, 2011

      I hope it continues to improve in that regard. I think it has a lot of catching up to do.

  6. Jordan

     /  September 29, 2012

    those skinny models look so terribly unhealthy! i live in london and the sizes aren’t too different, yet they are! i’m not fat, but not thin. if these girls want to model for the rest of their lives, they need to eat…

  7. shulana

     /  December 29, 2012

    hmmmmm well im naturally really skinny i dont starve myself i have a high metabolism and i dont agree with this posr

  1. Skinny beauty. « I write what I cannot say.

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