At an age where individualism is much more prominent in society, it is no wonder the fashion industry holds so much influence within our current world – much more than perhaps is healthy, especially in relation to clothing size.
With the first emergence of the supermodel ‘Twiggy’ in the 1960s, ideas about both female and male size have dangerously deteriorated, even her name is suggestive of a stick-thin figure – one which became iconic and lead to a change in the societal eye. Emancipated became the new healthy as figures such as Kate Moss began to crop up. A figure who is attractive but equally as unhealthy. Moss even quotes ‘nothing tastes better than being skinny’. Words which then became idolised by young girls, leading to a dangerous decline in mental and physical health.
One only has to flick through the clothes on ASOS to learn each model is on average a size 8, while the average women in the UK stand at a – very healthy – size 12. A whole two sizes above. And with fashion surrounding us all the time, on adverts and in stations. In shops and window displays, the size 8 then becomes conditioned to being an ‘average size’.
However, the inclusivity of those with larger bones is perhaps improving at a slow rate. With figures such as Kim Kardashian, who sports a curvier body type whilst also acting as an icon to so many girls, a much healthier view of the female body, whose curves are a sign of our natural ability to carry children and support life. A fact which the industry has lost, with the bodies of prepubescent children at the forefront of so many campaigns.
Efforts have been made by a host of brands like ASOS curve, or Topshop tall, to allow the emergence of a new vision of the female body. But while brands may include these ranges, where are these ranges on the catwalk?
Paris fashion week. All skinny thighs and chiselled jawbones. An army of lanky limbs, and a competitive air of comparison – something we definitely do not need in an age filled with more recognised anxiety than ever before. So at the moment there is definitely work to be done, maybe the industry could do with more women. In charge.
All the top designers are men
While on the outside the industry seems infiltrated with women. All the top designers are men. Gucci and all of the top brands are run by businessmen driving for profit, rather than taking into account the many people the fashion industry effect.
The whole industry is fundamentally built around a male view of the female body when our bodies are fundamentally different. It is no wonder the sample sizes on the catwalk are lacking the female curve.
The industry does seem to be taking the first essential steps to promote a healthy body image, but the negative impact of the FAD low fat and carb diets of the 1960s are still acting as ghosting this positive approach so many are trying to promote.
Last modified: 23rd March 2020