Those of you who are too intellectual (or too busy) to read the media gossip rags might have missed the latest buzz. Apparently, Glamour Magazine is publishing a picture of a model.
No, wait — not just any model. They are publishing a picture of a model who looks like a, well, less like a model and more like a regular person.
Lizzi Miller is described as a size 12 “plus-sized” model. That means she has what we euphemistically call “some meat on her bones.”
She is a very attractive woman, who happens to have a little extra on her belly and thighs. You know, just like the overwhelming majority of people in the Western hemisphere. Oh, hell, most people have quite a bit more than just a little bit extra, don’t they? But for some reason, fashion magazines constantly throw imagines at us of women who are a size 2 or smaller.
From the little bit that I know about fashion design, it seems that designers prefer to work with thin models because it’s easier to work with fabric, cuts, colors, accessories, etc. At least, that’s what I’ve read.
But that doesn’t explain why millions of us continue to buy various Conde Nast publications that show models — women and men — with musculature visible underneath 3% body fat, tanned, toned, and wearing clothing that costs more than a car payment — or in some cases, more than an actual car. Is it because we want to look like that? Is it because we think that we should look like that?
I don’t have any answers, but then, neither do sociologists.
It’s interesting to note that last year, a British magazine published a very graphical result of a survey in which men and women were shown pictures of women of various sizes, and were asked to rate them on attractiveness. Not surprisingly, women tended to favor the models with smaller bodies; the reasoning was that women tended to judge based on their own perception of what the “ideal” body type should be. More interestingly, the men tended to favor those models who were several sizes larger than what the women favored.
Ironically, the national average size is even a few sizes larger than what the men favored. I’m sure that this says something, but I’m not sure what.