Media Monday: Adding Flesh

TEPF Volunteer

I’ve seen a lot in the media about fashion publishers taking Photoshop to an extreme to cut inches off already emaciated models. But this week I came across an article about fashion publishers adding inches to models frames. I have to tell you, this intrigued me.

According to an article published in the Herald Sun, some publishers covering the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney, actually “added flesh” to the models with Photoshop. For example, Sarah Willcocks, editor of fashion blog Style Melbourne said, “I don’t want my readers thinking bones are glamorous or beautiful.” Another industry insider said she was “concerned about the health of the models.”

Although it saddens me that the modeling industry may be continuing to promote unhealthy weights, it’s an article like this that adds a glimmer of hope. If fashion editors are interested in a more healthy-looking model, then the industry must follow suit.

And interestingly enough, right after reading the article about “adding flesh,” I came across an article published in the Wall Street Journal, titled, “H&M Makes a ‘Brilliant’ Move and embraces the curves.” Apparently in the past, H&M came under scrutiny for using “ridiculously dainty” and “overly-tan models,” but their 2013 beachwear collection used a model that is a little easier for most women to relate to size-wise.

The H&M model featured is Jenny Runk, and apparently she is fantastically outspoken—and I loved her quote used in the Wall Street Journal:

“I hope to be see more companies doing this in the future…I’m not just talking about blurring the line between our silly categories either, I would love to see more of every kind of woman represented equally in fashion and advertising.”

This week I received the latest style catalog from J Crew, and I have to tell you I was a little disgusted by how thin the models looked. Perhaps they have always been this thin, but lately, more than ever I’ve started to question, why does it need to be this way? And how could it change? So instead of of saying, “it’s just the way it is,” I wrote J Crew a letter about how unhealthy their models looked and let them know I don’t plan to purchase their clothes until they show more realistic looking women. Then I emailed my friends asking them to do the same.

We have power in numbers. If you are sick of seeing unreal Photoshoped women, email your favorite magazine or clothing brand. Tell them that you want to see healthy-looking models in all shapes and sizes. Forward the letter to your friends or post it on Facebook and ask others to follow suit.

I’m excited to see the positive changes in the way the media portrays women’s bodies in the (hopefully not-to-distant) future, and have hope that it will make a positive impact on the way girls and women view their bodies. How fantastic is it that everyone is shaped different? How amazing is it that we are each unique. Do me a favor: Give one part of your body that you generally criticize some love today, and ask one person you care about to do the same.