This is a fashion industry rant. Again, you have been warned.
Ralph Lauren has fired one of their models, a woman who is 5 ft. 10 in. and weighs 120 lbs. and has been in a large number of their ads for being too fat.
They seem to feel she should look like closer to the photoshopped version they released for an ad in Japan:
I keep trying to find the words to describe this image of starvation presented as glamor, this deliberate choice to present a woman’s beauty as only reaching publishable quality once she has been stretched and squeezed out of human shape and it fails me.
I know this isn’t new. Everybody knows about the historical uses of arsenic, belladonna and white lead, about surgeries to have ribs removed and the ever-popular foot-binding. Less well known is that Victorian women also had foot surgery to fit into the narrow pointy shoes that were popular at the time.
And I know the perennial excuse is they’re just selling fantasy. But they’re not, because they sell the clothes that only fit the genetically lucky and the ones who have starved themselves to sickness. Because their industry drowns women and girls in chemicals, drugs and self-help lies assuring them that no, really, this photoshopped fantasy is within their reach, as long as they spend enough money, starve themselves enough and think happy thoughts while they’re doing it.
It’s just plain disgusting.