Wednesday, January 13, 2010

V Magazine: The Size Issue

Out on news stands today is V magazine's 63rd issue- infamously known as "The Size Issue". It's funny how the word "issue" has a double meaning. Because in all honesty, the fashion world certainly has an issue when it comes to size.

Everyone in the industry has their own opinions on this topic and just seeing the previews of the editorials on caused some heated arguments.

Just take a CLOSE look at one of the editorials from the issue, photographed by Terry Richardson. Please ignore the tackiness that generally comes with Terry's photography.

For those of you who didn't look close enough, there are actually TWO MODELS featured in this editorial. On the left is Jacqueline Joblonski who is a size 2, and on the right is Crystal Renn, who is a size 12. Both models are with Ford. Surprising, right? THEY BOTH LOOK FREAKING THE SAME.

Obviously this editorial is designed for viewers to make comparisons between the models. In my mind, I've come to the conclusion that a size 12 model can hold her own against a size 2 and make clothes look amazing. But now that V magazine has proven this can happen, will the industry change?

My prediction is probably not. I'm curious to see if V will be incorporating plus size girls in their issue from now on.

But do you want my take on the size issue?

Models are super thin nowadays because when it comes down to it, the clothes are the most important aspect. Models must fit the sample size. End of story.

Designers believe thin models sell their clothing best....and as long as they are making money off of super thin models, they will continue to employ them. Which is unfortunate...because many models take it to the extreme to get booked.

And I get that there are many sides to the debate. First of all, there is this "fantasy" side of the argument, which I understand. Average women are drawn to things that are unobtainable. There is something otherworldly about fashion models....they are much taller and thinner than the average woman. This aspect intrigues women and sells the clothes. Even I agree with this argument. I would never be interested in buying clothing that made me look *gasp* ordinary, so why would I want a model to be ordinary looking?

Nevertheless, people are jumping on the "plus size" bandwagon. Here is another look at photographs from the latest issue of V, by Solve Sundsbo.

BUT I am not one of those "full curves ahead" people....and by no means will I be jumping on the skin and bones bandwagon anytime soon. There should be a happy medium. Why do we have to go from one extreme to the other? Let's compromise! Think Lara Stone, Hilary Rhoda, Doutzen Kroes.

Lara Stone, star of the most recent Louis Vuitton Campaign.

Hilary Rhoda. the face of Estee Lauder

Doutzen Kroes, Victorias Secret Angel and bombshell.

Sample size should be 4-6. That way, models would still be thinner than the average woman (normally a size 14) . Also, there would be much less pressure on models to be so thin....which would allow them to live a healthier lifestyle...maybe girls would stop smoking all the time? Starving themselves? Just a thought.

Any opinions here? What do you think?


Tian said...

Awesome post---1 question, though. When you say the average woman is size 14, which country's size does that refer to?

Stefanie said...

First of all girls, I can't beleive how much you've grown up since you guys went to school with Jess (o ps this is Stefanie Bednarczyk). You're so enthusiastic about this. Keep up the great work!

Secondly - I love when models bring up the size issue. Sadly this voice is smothered by the money-driven industry. The most sensibe, and healthy thing would be is to increase, slightly, the sample size of modeled clothes. That way they're still small enough to make models look gorgeous, but realistic enough to make the average person look outstanding too. Impressionable teenage girls too wouldnt be as pressured to have eating disorders too look sickly stick thin.

Thirdly, you dont want fat models either. Clothes won't look as appealing and make it too ok with girls to relax and not watch what they eat and not excercise. Americans are overweight, don't get out enough, and this would be the more important issue to be solve. On top of that, I like the European mentality - instead of worrying about how the look and act and what they eat - Just Live Your Life!
Just be happy and enjoy!

I could keep rambling. Great issue & love the blog!

meggasus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
meggasus said...

Tian, I'm referring to women in the US, I think the average woman in europe is a little smaller...

Thanks to both of you for the comments! Love hearing what you think.

Anonymous said...

I've always been a fan of fuller-figured models. There's a great site with many images of Crystal and other plus-size models here:

They're all gorgeous.

The site's forum also has thought-provoking discussions about body image and the media.

LoliTa said...

LOVE that new editorial.
models are supposed to be thin, they're supposed to have an unattainable body, that;s the fantasy and charm of fashion! i wouldn't want to buy clothes of the model was my size or bigger

Anonymous said...

Ah...Great post. I love it. No, those models up top aren't any different besides the fact the model on the right is FAT.

Besides that, sure they're all the same.

And Vlada is naturally thin... Russian goddess.

Emily said...

you guys should check out the article in the new york about the mulleavy sisters, aka the geniuses behind rodarte.

while the sisters are two of the most successful american fashion designers right now, neither of them could ever wear their sample sizes, or even close. vogue magazine actually paid for the sisters to undergo an intensive weight loss program! how crazy is that? kate and laura are INCREDIBLE at what they do....vogue knows that and so does the rest of the fashion world. so why do they have to loose the weight?! i think this is an issue not only for models, but for the industry at large.
keep up the good work guys, i love reading your stuff!!