‘Real women’ in the Fashion Industry?

October 6, 2014 Opinion
black and white caucasian model

In light of the recent Instagram ‘blunder’ that was Stella McCartney’s quick snap of a thin model backstage, many individuals have taken to social media to voice their concerns regarding the designer’s choice in models.

Here’s a little context for those who haven’t heard about it yet.

The English designer received hundreds of disapproving comments on Instagram after posting the following photo of a thin model in a singlet from her new Summer 2015 collection.

stella mccartney skinny model instagram post

The caption read: “Worn well!! X Stella” which instantly created a stir among those who came across the post.

Words like ‘disgusting’, ‘scary’ and ‘appalling’ were used to describe the Asian model’s physique.

The photo was promptly removed and replaced with a photograph of Malaika Firth wearing the vest instead:

stella mccartney instagram malaika firth

While many fans praised the fashion designer for quickly addressing the ‘sickly ill’ model post, there were others who were not impressed by the change.

*sigh* You really can’t win, can you?!

Personally I think the bullies won this round.

It’s one thing to express genuine concern over the previous model’s health and wellbeing, but it’s a whole different issue when the sole reason those people take to their keyboards to attack another for having a certain figure/physique.

These people are so caught up in judging and comparing themselves with others that they seem to forget that there is no absolute definition for ‘real women’.

They’re forcing their individual ideals and expectations on others that aren’t warranted nor necessitated. That’s what I don’t like.

You want to know what the REAL definition of a REAL WOMAN? Here you go:

real woman quote

Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither. and otherwise

Who are you to say that another girl is not ‘real’ for being fat or thin? It frustrates me that people take it upon themselves to tell others what is and isn’t perfect. What the fuck is perfect anyway? Why are you comparing people with yourself and others?

To say that Ji Hye Park looked ‘disgusting’ in that photograph, or advising the designer to get her models help is not only narrow-minded but it’s also none of your business.

I understand that the modelling industry aren’t exactly advocates of mental, emotional or physical wellbeing but for people to diagnose a model with an eating disorder based off one photo is just idiotic.

So next time you point fingers and one-dimensionally define another person by their exterior, make sure you’re not just being a hypocrite and/or an ignorant bigot.

Featured Image: Author unknown

Much love,

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  • Reply Lisa October 6, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I agree with your post.

    I genuinely dislike when the term ‘real women’ is limited to only include women with a curvy silhuette, because it excludes all the other body types and shapes: Small, wide, narrow, flat and round, to mention only a few.

    It isn’t a justifiable way of body encouragement when you’re glorifying women on one end of the scale by shaming women who are on the other end. This isn’t a sustainable (in lack of a better word) method to change the beauty standard in the modelling industry, because it’s essentially bullying. I, with my petite straight silhuette, would also like to coexist with these “real women” and be a representative of my own gender.

    It is, as you say, quite hypocritical to define a person by their exterior alone. Actions based on assumptions are seldom a good idea.

    Calling anyone disgusting or scary regardless of their body type is cruel, and it displays a signifacnt lack of consideration of other people’s wellbeing.

  • Reply Mary October 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I totally agree with what you said. I especially hate when people say a model is “anorexic.” Some people don’t seem to realise that anorexia nervosa is a mental illness… argh, sorry it just really pisses me off. Your blog post was really well written and I love your definition for a “real woman” what ever that is… I think our society has become too polarised, it’s like you’re either too skinny or too fat. Where’s the middle ground?

    • Reply Leann November 1, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Mary, I think most people use the term ‘real woman’ as defense because it makes them feel better about themselves. People will say whatever they want these days and won’t give two hoots about how it makes other people feel. Like you said, people are quick to place the ‘anorexic’ label on a naturally thin woman and not realise that anorexia has nothing to do with what others see, but has everything to do with what an anorexic patient sees.

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