Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fashion Forward


In possibly the most drastic example yet of bringing the mountain to Mohammed, there appears to be a new trend in fashion (as reported by New York’s Metro newspaper)—women are having plastic surgery in order to wear the latest styles. As reporter Amber Ray notes, “skinny jeans are for skinny thighs,” and if you weren’t born with stick-thin gams, then after a quick procedure (en route to Bergdorf’s?), you, too, a la Audrey Hepburn, can bop around to “Back in Black” in the dark, tapered jeans introduced to the masses by The Gap.

The article quotes Dr. George Lefkovits: “‘What good is it to buy the latest designer pants if you still have the same body?’” It used to be that we chose clothing that flattered our physiques. In fact, almost every month, one fashion magazine or another will tell you what to choose—the perfect jeans (or swimsuit or dress) for your shape. Are you an apple or pear? Is your bust too big or too small? Legs too long or too short? Short-waisted? Hippy? Boyish? What is wrong with you? Because whatever it is, there’s likely an article of clothing that can obscure it. But now, the tide has changed, and it’s our bodies that are malleable in lieu of our wardrobe choices.

Still, Lefkovits argues that the ultimate goal of these procedures is not fashion-readiness, but creating a proportionate shape: “‘Regardless of what the fashion may be today or tomorrow, the body still has to be proportionate. So however fashion changes, the body will be ready for it.’” The mind (and the soul) may need some time to catch up. . . .

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

i felt momentarily psychic when i saw the picture of audrey hepburn in your second-to-most-recent post. i was just reading something about how audrey hepburn struggled with anorexia. so we're bringing in a celebrity from a past era who had an eating disorder to be the spokesperson for clothing? yet another reason to rage against advertising.
- nyc

PalmTreeChick said...

First of all, I hate skinny jeans. Um, they are so 1980's! That whole procedure to fit into them is ridiculous though. Absolutely nuts!

Roshni said...

Unfortunately it's all too often that we see this supposedly love-hate relationship between the media (i.e. those who decide what's ideal) and models/actresses suffering from eating disorders. How often do I stand in grocery store checkout lines, appalled at the close-ups and vicious lines regarding the anorexia of some poor starlet? These magazine covers supposedly condemn these women's weaknesses (and conveniently do not address where those weaknesses come from). Then only weeks later, the bodies of these same women can be found on more covers and spreads, only this time they're being praised for elegance, sexiness, and success. I would call this message ambiguous, but in my opinion it's actually quite clear: the pictures' descriptions might as well say, "She sure looked disgusting when she hit that too-skinny low (and it wouldn't reflect well on us if we'd praised her at that moment), but she looks so great now, so let's just forget her struggle, ok? I mean she looks GREAT!"
I just wish there were more emphasis on the health of such women than on the seemingly positive outcomes (i.e. even "sexier" bodies). Instead, the media conveniently forgets their own influence, and and the magazines simply contribute further to the ideals that probably helped to get those starlets to their low points in the first place.

flowerchild said...

my gut feeling is that GAP is not going to do well with this campaign. the skinny black jeans are just not where it is at. why did they bring them back? is it some sort of conspiracy????
alas, another doofusie thing madison avenue has tried to convince us of....

drstaceyny said...

nyc--interesting point.

ptc--uh-huh.

roshni--I agree--good take on the mixed messages we receive. Thanks for reading. : )

fc--maybe they'll be gone soon (only to come back in 10 years, or so).

littlem said...

With all respect? Dr. George is a jerk.

Who decided it was a good idea to quote him anyway?

Anybody checked to see whether his wife is anorexic?

littlem said...

You know what else I think is interesting? What Anon 8:32 brought up.

I NEVER had ANY idea that Audrey Hepburn was anorexic. I just thought she was a naturally small woman (I know that historically women were smaller than they are now, and I have tiny dancer friends that really eat.)

As much as designers and moguls croon and sigh over the "perfect Audrey Hepburnesque woman" to design for/have by one's side, I think the societal ramifications of such a thing are pretty darn enormous.

Emily said...

Having an eating disorder is comparable to this kind of plastic surgery. For me, starving myself was all about trying to reshape my body into something other than what it naturally was.

Just Be Love said...

I look at Audrey and the actesses of today and see the sickness in their body and eyes.

I struggled with my own anorexia, which any doctor will say is a metal disorder. Sure, the loss of weight is a physical act but mostly I think that by starving the body is to deny the mind of the body's relevance. And in the end the women whom suffer from this mind boggiling deciese, deny their woman hood.

Genetically, women are volumptious because of the most defining characteristic we have : baring a child. We need those beautiful curves to create and nuture. Even if someone does not choose to be a mother, our body knows what it needs to do. When our mind interfers.......

Sometimes I think that the surge in eating disorders has to come with the idea that women want more control and restriction from emotions...or the fact that having a more man-ish body equals more power/control/respect (what a man symbolizes today.)

I cheer on all the beautiful women underwieght or not to love what body comes naturally to them. Family and true friends will never lie when they say that "you look so healthy!" (healthy=beautiful)

Be healthy and you are beautiful.

sugar4586 said...

Obviously, no one can be proved right or wrong here, as Audrey is (unfortunately) no longer with us. BUT.
Audrey was never diagnosed with anorexia. It is, however, a well known fact, that the time a body most needs food is in the teenage years. If you don't eat in your teenage years, you will be unhealthily skinny the rest of your life. Audrey Hepburn spent HER teenage years in the Netherlands in the middle of the Dutch Famine. She says her brother would clutch his stomach and scream, he was so hungry. Audrey began to convince herself that she wasn't going to let food control her life. She didn't need food to live. That is why Audrey was always so skinny.