Nothing new, but I’ve had that Ralph Lauren Photoshop debacle on my mind lately. This year-old slide show is from the New York magazine Web site, and features “before” shots of bare-faced models, and “after” shots of them made up for the Milan Gucci show. The transformations are pretty dramatic, but there are other striking things about this: mainly, that these girls look awfully gaunt in their au naturel state (though, it must be said, they are still, er, lookers). But they look particularly unwell to my eyes, like they’d been partying all night. And maybe they had.
I am something of an agnostic on the heated body image debate fashion models tend to ignite. Yes, many of them are WAY too thin,and present bad role models (though I’ve never really believed in that concept). But to me, the extreme body modification implicit in their business is not all that different from what’s expected of athletes, especially in dimension-focused sports like basketball and especially football. Not to mention that the opposite of obsessive thinness is a true epidemic of obesity that is ruining the health of, and killing, people in far greater numbers than anything eating disorders cause.
The commodification of people’s bodies is at the root of this, which is sort of self-evident and not really helpful. OK. At bottom I blame capitalism. There, I said it. Next subject.