The ad for Chanel’s store reopening on Spring Street has been released, which features plus-sized model, Crystal Renn. All together, the ad is very disappointing. The ad shows male model, Baptiste Giabiconi, lying down shirtless next to fur-covered Crystal Renn. Except, the image is cropped; only the upper portion of Renn is shown. Her complete body is cropped out! Chanel obvious doesn’t have a problem with Crystal Renn’s appearance since she walked the runway in their last resort show. Even Jean Paul Gaultier used Crystal’s full figure in his fall campaign this year.
Personally and from an artistic view, I think that the photo, even though it is nicely photographed, has an awkward flow. It abruptly stops, making the figures float in space. But the greater problem I think is the way the editing will reflect on Chanel. Because they’ve cropped Crystal’s curvy figure out of the photo, they are supporting the trend of sickly skinny models. Chanel could have easily made a stand and used Crystal’s body in the picture to declare all body types are beauty. In this case, I feel what Chanel did is just as bad as Ralph Lauren editing their models thinner.
This also raises the question of why use a plus-sized model in the first place if you are only going to take the photo from the chest up? A skinny model would have been just fine as well. If I were Crystal Renn, I would definitely feel hurt, but most of all cheated.
Skinny vs. Fat
Fashion, haute couture, mode. Whatever you call it, it brings to mind certain images–images of sickly skinny models dressed in designer clothing. However, it is hard to be eager to participate in the fashion realm and not support the use of overly skinny models. Personally, I think that the fashion industry has moved too far into fantasy. Of course, there is always an element of fantasy in design, but the idea of women is being greatly distorted. The photoshopping, the fad diets, the airbrushing. It’s all gotten out of control. I believe it is okay to enhance images or to correct a flew flaws here and there. But when models’ bodies are re-sculpted with computers, the line has been crossed. It is almost as if the natural beauty of the human body is being robbed. The women in advertising should be healthy; they should have bodies that can be achieved through regular eating and exercise.
As much as we don’t like being told what to think or what to do, the fashion industry tells us what to think about. They tell us what clothes we should think are luxurious and chic and what image of women is beautiful. These thoughts of perfection and beauty bombard us everyday through television, magazines, newspapers, blogs, websites–any form of media. Even media and political figures and fashion designers express their thoughts on beauty in interviews. Designer Karl Lagerfeld once told Focus Magazine that…
No one wants to see curvy women. You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly.
As much as no one wants to believe it, but using doctored images is a real threat. With media nowadays, information is more than easily accessible an the cultural image of beauty is being rapidly passed around. Research has suggested a correlation between eating disorders and the media: with the increase in media communication, there has been an increase in eating disorders.
Obsession with Thinness
Approximately 24 million people in America suffer from eating disorders, which means 1 in 5 women struggle with some form of abnormal eating. Sadly, these disorders aren’t just effecting women, but children as well. Reports have shown that eating disorders are beginning as early as 11 years old. In a recent study, 80% of 13 year olds claimed that they have attempted to lose weight and 50% of girls ages 11 to 13 said that they feel that they are overweight. There is no acceptable reason for girls this young to feel that insecure about themselves. They are already going through a troublesome part of their lives that they shouldn’t feel pressure to look a certain way or be skinnier.
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