Monday, October 09, 2006

Fat Cat(Walk)

A controversy that sprung up a couple of weeks ago in Spain caught the attention of both Lindsey and I. Seems as though anorexic looking models trying to make it in the fashion world (of Spain) have been banned from their catwalks. I was sort of shocked...you mean models can be too skinny? Isn't that their job? Aren't they walking hangers? What is too skinny in their eyes? Is it this:

I hope it is, because girl needs to eat a sandwich.

Anyway, and the real point of this post, is to commend Jean Paul Gaultier. I remember being a little kid and loving him because he made cone bras for Madonna and I also remember he had a really weird perfume bottle that I always thought was interesting. But, now, I have a whole new way of loving him and it's because of this:


Girl looks fierce! JPG sent this plus sized model (said to be a size 20...but I have my doubts) down the runway at Paris Fashion Week obviously in some sort of response to the recent controversies over banned skinny models. Awesome.

But, I'm still not sure what the purpose was of this. What was JPG trying to say? Was he saying "look how horrible fat models look and therefore shouldn't be a part of high fashion"? Or, was he sticking it to the man? I hope the latter.

I'm not saying that all models should be fat. Sometimes, I even have to admit that the couture clothes look better on a thin, healthy looking model. Thin, not scary skinny. But, this is a move in the right direction I think, and I applaud Jean Paul Gaultier. Hey, maybe my dream of pageants and catwalks isn't that far off.

124 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought what he did was horribly insulting to women. To me he was saying "really you don't want thin models- well fine- how does this look???!!! no so good eh!" Fashion creates images/
expectations of what's beautiful and maybe i'm jaded but I can't believe he's saying that fat model is beautiful - he must be mocking us! If he really wanted to applaud the ban on too skinny models he would have thrown some variety in there, a couple of size twelves, sixteen's and twenties - looking hot in his regular clothes, instead of this one spectacle in lingerie...(no way is she a size 20!)

Anonymous said...

I saw this model interviewed on TV and she said she is a size 28, not 20. Anyway, I have to agree with the 1st commenter about this not really seeming like such a positive thing. He (the designer) seems to be saying that women can only be 1 of 2 sizes - extremely underweight or very overweight. What about the rest (most?) of the women out there? I think if I ever saw a woman my size (12-14 depending on the brand) on a runway, especially if she were short, I would just about keel over. Of course, for that to happen, clothes would need to be designed for a VARIETY of bodies, not just walking coat hangers...

Anonymous said...

Isn't it just like fatties to hate someone for doing something that may be nice. He may be doing this to show how wrong it is, but he may just be doing it to, as the poster said, sticking it to the man.

Rachinda said...

You have to admit that girl does look awesome though

Kate said...

Does anyone but me find it ironic that the walking skeleton is wearing what appears to be a tablecloth?

bloomie said...

Don't hate Mr. JPG. He's used Velevet D'Amour and other plus-sized models several time before and the whole Milan thing.

You can see more about it here http://www.smh.com.au/news/fashion/gaultiers-largesse-reply-to-skinny-debate/2006/10/04/1159641392975.html

or here

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2004070003-2006460207,00.html

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you one thing -- the Gaultier model certainly looks like way more fun to hang out with! StarvyTards are just tedious to be around.

Anonymous said...

The skinny model looks tragic, but the fat model looks deformed. This is JPG's idea of a joke - the day his diffusion line includes size 30 I'll believe he's serious.

Heather said...
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Heather said...
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Heather said...

I think that the fat model is as disturbing as the uber-skinny one.

I am a size 18 and as comfortable as I feel with my appearance when I take the time to get dressed up, that confidence does NOT extend to lingerie! I do not think thighs rubbing together (mine or anyone elses) is remotely attractive.

I dislike the extremes that these models represent. We need a happy medium....maybe someone who is the average of both models' weights??!!

Anonymous said...

a) How does the extremely fat girl look better than the extremely thin girls? Extremes on either sides are usually never attractive, though it would probably be a lot easier for the thin model to gain weight than for the fat model to lose it.

b)Kate, it's funny that you have the gall to negatively remark on anyone else's appearance...You do have a full-lenght mirror in your house right? You have no neck and ressemble a slug.

c)Funny how fat acceptance people jump on any opportunity to ridicule what they deem as "too thin" while all the while arguing that no one can be "too fat" to be attractive.

Fluffy said...

I was surprised at the negative reactions here. Maybe it's the shock of seeing a size 28 in lingerie and realising that - OMG! - it doesn't look good at all.

Heather said...

fluffy, you shouldn't be so surprised. I can't speak for everyone here of course, but at least for me, size acceptance and attractiveness are separate issues. I have come to terms with the fact that I am fat and that I will stay that way unless I make drastic changes. That doesn't mean that I think my fat is attractive. Just the opposite!

I know that I can dress a certain way to accentuate the positive and hide some of the negatives. What that boils down to is basically...covering up the fat. No way would I let it all hang out for all to see. I know it doesn't look good!!!

Jenn said...

I must be one of the few who actually think the large model looks great! If I were JPG, though, I would have dressed her in a gorgeous vintage evening gown with her hair done differently....just a thought. I also think that this uber-thin to quite heavy could have been used to "shock" not because the fat model is unattractive, but because of the two extremes.
I am hoping that they will use more "average size" models. That would be nice. Sizes 8-18 would be nice.
I think the skinny model looks like a drowned puppy. sad.

Dolly said...

OMG! What is with this Anonymous person????? Personal attaks like calling someone a slug is so JR high! If all you have to say is negatives then WHY in the world do you read this page? Grow up and grow a set and Post your name and photo!! Are you afraid that you may receive the same crap that you dish out?!

Aimee said...

FYI people--the super skinny model is not fromt he same runway show as the fat model...just to let you know.

And that super thin model is scary looking, thin people are scary, but that ultra skinny model looks scary. just a fact.

And be nice to others...jesus!

*Manda* said...

I'm not going to even get into the petty bickering that's going on, because I don't think this should get turned into a sh*t slinging match, but...

I find it kind of sad how many women here are so insecure that they can't believe that JPG would put a fat model on the runway just to show that beauty can be in all sizes or just because he can. Why does he automatically have to be attacking someone?

We talk about fat acceptance and all this crap -- well we've got to accept ourselves before anyone else is going to, and if you're so insecure that you can't believe someone your size can be put on the catwalk, then you're going in the wrong direction.

Kate said...

Kate, it's funny that you have the gall to negatively remark on anyone else's appearance...You do have a full-lenght mirror in your house right? You have no neck and ressemble a slug.

I never said anything about the model's being "unattractive," you read that in based on your own biases. She's a beautiful girl, regardless of her weight, but she doesn't look healthy. If she didn't look so exhausted and jaundiced (which could just be a function of the lighting, but it's there), she'd be breathtaking, in spite of the fact that you can count the poor girl's ribs. Even if she's naturally that skinny, she's still a walking skeleton.

I never denied that I'm fat, and never claimed to be attractive, merely that not being attractive isn't grounds for being vilified. It's a terrible picture, and I chose it on purpose to encourage the sphincters to self-identify.

Just for the record, the double chin runs in my mother's family. I had it even when I was underweight, and I suspect that it will turn into the same turkey wattle that my grandmother had.

Funny how fat acceptance people jump on any opportunity to ridicule what they deem as "too thin" while all the while arguing that no one can be "too fat" to be attractive.

Once again, what we've said ad nauseum in a nutshell is:

-- that "attractive" is subjuctive, what you find attractive isn't necessarily attractive to every other person, and vice versa

-- a persons's attractiveness (or lack thereof) should not be the means of determining his/her worth as a person

-- one should treat even those one finds unattractive with some basic manners.

Why do you find that such a difficult concept?

Anonymous said...

I think the larger model is much more attractive. Even if they were wearing the same outfit I would vote for the larger model. I like the way she struts, she's working it. The skinny model looks like she's been beat up or physically abused, which could be the result of lack of calories, but whatever it is it ain't pretty. I think we should see more of all sizes in all types of garments on the runways... but then, no one asked my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the video clip? Honey, she wasn't *strutting*, she was waddling. Everyone at that show knew exactly what Jean-Paul was doing. He doesn't show his collection on fat models, he just sends one down the runway as a publicity stunt.

A creative designer could make a huge success of doing a collection of larger clothes for real-sized people. That's what I'd like to see on a catwalk.

Kristen said...

Wow, you cant see that he's making FUN of obese people?

He made a girl who is a size 28 walk down the cat walk. Why not a size 12? Why not a 14? Oh, yeah, because he's making fun.

I'm not the first commenter to point this out. But what shocks me is that both of you are not pointing out what he did and how it was wrong. I really thought both of you had more intelligence than that and could see, after all your posts about a life time of being made fun, what was empowering large women and what was just a plain smack in the face.

Or maybe you did realize and just wanted to stir up your controversy? I mean you have your doubt about why he did it, but I think you need to be realistic about the fashion world and their standards.

They will never be normal.

Anonymous said...

Kristen,

I think you're a little sensitive.

Anonymous said...

Kate, calling someone a walking skeleton is an insult. In no place on earth would a thin person take kindly to be called that. How can you judge what looks unhealthy for skinny people when you deny that extremely fat people can look unhealthy? What if I see someone struggling to walk down the street because of joint pain from their excess weight and remark that they look unhealthy, directly because of their fat (not to his/her face)? Is that acceptable?

Anonymous said...

Kate, calling someone a walking skeleton is an insult. In no place on earth would a thin person take kindly to be called that.

Yeah, how is calling someone a "walking skeleton" somehow more acceptable than calling them a "slug"? It's OK to bash thin people, is it?

Fluffy said...

It's a terrible picture, and I chose it on purpose to encourage the sphincters to self-identify.

Huh? Are you now saying you're so full of self-hate you deliberately chose an unflattering photo of yourself? How does that align with your FA principles?

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that they will use more "average size" models. That would be nice. Sizes 8-18 would be nice.

Jenn - On what planet is size 18 "average"? It's obese.

Anonymous said...

Just own up to it, Kate. You insulted the skinny model on her body size. Then you tried to backpedal and say she doesn't look "healthy."

Apparently it's a mortal sin to call a fat woman waddling and wheezing down the street "unhealthy," but it's ok to call an emaciated woman that?

cherree said...

Even if she's naturally that skinny, she's still a walking skeleton.
And yet, if anyone said Even if she's naturally that fat, she's still a walking whale. everyone would jump at their throat. I'm glad you said this though, it really shows your true colours.
And the tablecloth comment? Why do you just assume that skinny people starve themselves?
Shouldn't we then just assume that fat people eat cheesecake all day long?

Laura the Live said...

Looks like the trolls have invaded this comment section again...WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS!

I think the plus sized model also looks fierce...however, I also think that JPG was making a statment (i.e., "would you prefer this?").

The fashion business is geared toward the idealized woman. Unfortunately the current western standard dictates that it is a size 0 with no boobs and is androgynous in appearance. This is a phase and it will shift again. People are fickle and their tastes change all the time. Just think back 100 years ago when women were fashionable only if they were plump.

C'est la vie.

Giraffe said...

Okay, this is my first comment on this blog ever. I'm usually too shallow to make an effort for these arguments, but I have confidence in my ability to gauge what is attractive and what is not so want to speak up here. I'm a size 6-8, not fat or skinny, and I obsess about style and shopping - just want to say that the bigger model actually looks good.

Fat may make universal attractiveness harder, but the two things aren't mutually exclusive. Based on the picture I'd say that her hair, make up, attitude, clothes, everything is well-done. The lingerie is a good idea because often heavier people look better when they show curves and shapes.

The thin model has a beautiful face and I don't know for sure if she's unhealthy or not, but I think she'd look better with her body covered up (lots of layering, she can pull it off). Skin-showing is not for her because her body is not really an asset at this point.

Emma said...

The SMH story seemed to indicate that JPG sent a fat woman, some dwarves and "other freaks of nature" down the runway. He was not being flattering or trying to break the skinny mould; he was calling fat chicks freaks of nature. Nice work, JPG.

cherree said...

Oh, and, by the way, I think what JPG did is cool. But I don't think he did it because he is all about fat-acceptance. He did it because of the shock value. He has always employed some unconventional models, and it's more abot being different than anything else.

Jenn said...

My comment about saying it would be nice to send women 8-18
(btw: size 18 is a plus size, but it is still a very common size. ) To you, it may seem obese, but that's subjective. Some people see a size 12 as obese, when it is far from that. Some larger people (size 20 and up) would consider size 18 to be a good size.
I am so sick of the trolls! Make them go away! They are a total buzzkill :0(

Fluffy said...

But I don't think he did it because he is all about fat-acceptance. He did it because of the shock value.

Absolutely. This image has flashed around the world and here we all are discussing it. It's not as though he actually makes clothes for women of that size

Anonymous said...

(btw: size 18 is a plus size, but it is still a very common size. ) To you, it may seem obese, but that's subjective.

I was using the word "obese" in the medical sense - there's nothing subjective about it.

Size 18 may be common, but someone that size would still be obese, ie their BMI would be 30 or over. "Morbidly obese" is defined as a BMI of 40 or greater.

Before everyone howls me down by saying the BMI scale is flawed because it doesn't factor in bodyfat % (ie you can have a high BMI if you're very muscular) I'd like to point out that I've never seen a muscular size 18 woman.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to point out that I've never seen a muscular size 18 woman.

Well, if you took your hands out of your pants once and awhile and went out and took a walk and LOOKED at more people, maybe you would, asshole.

Anonymous said...

Yeah so I'm size 8-12 (8 women's sizes, 12 in junior's/younger people's sizes) and I'd have to say that 20 probably isn't obese... probably. I'm not actually overweight according to BMI, but I'm often treated as such because my thighs are huge... doesn't matter though, I'm still not "officially" overweight. So if I'm not officially overweight, I doubt somebody 3 sizes up from me would be obese, unless they were a lot shorter than me.

Anonymous said...

uh...18 would definitely be obese. i was obese at a size 12, and im 5'2", only 2 inches shorter than the average woman.

Puncher of Donkeys said...

I agree with fluffy, who agreed with someone else.

All attention is good attention.

Whatever his motive, he's causing a stir and it's not "did you see the big model?"
It's "did you hear what Gaultier did?"
I applaud him because he didn't fork out money to an advertising consultant (I assume) to come up with some shitty ideas.

There's no such thing as altruism...

Jenn said...

To the Trolls:
If you dislike fat people, why do you come to this site? I just don't get it, why aren't you off occupying thin loving sites? What kind of sick self satisfaction do you gain by coming here and insulting larger folks>

Im not saying you don't have a right to, but is it that you have to make yourself feel better about yourself and masturbate your ego by telling people how "obese" they may or may not be?
To call people slugs and point out "flaws" in their physicality?
You should be happy there are fat people around so you have someone to insult and be able to say to yourselves "Ahhh...at least Im not as fat as her" and feel justified in that?
Wouldn't it be depressing if there was nobody out there for you to villify, and, in your mind justly so....it's all in the name of health and BMI isn't it?
Not only are you a bunch of self appreciating sanctimonious assholes, but you are annoying in your self importance. What do I give a SHIT what you think is obese or not? I don't give a crap what your opinion is.

(spoken with sarcasm) How dare some people here say that girl looks like a walking skeleton! How dare they after all the insults they have endured by the idiots who think they have the right to say what they want because they don't fit the perfect size 6?
I have news for you: The girl DOES look like a walking skeleton. She looks repulsive to me, just as an obese cheesecake eating fatty looks to you. If you are entitled to spew your vile opinions at us larger folks, well then you have to be prepared for us to do the same.
You people disgust me.

Haystacks said...

Actually, when the average sized women is 12/14 8-18 sounds pretty "average" If you look at it mathamatically.

I think the girl looks good. But that is not why he sent her down the runway. I assure you a bunch of assholes laughed at this. This is him advertising himself. I would also call this girl bigger than a size 20.

I have to comment on earlier discussion though. There are natrually very skinny people out there. But the girl in that picture was clearly ill. Gaunt is rarely a natrual look for anyone.

Also I laugh my ass off at all the designers who say that the madrid thing is prejudiced against the "natrually skinny" just talk to the models themselves and find out what they are doinging to stay that "natrual"

If any of them are consuming 2,000 calories a day (and not doing drugs) I will eat my hat.

Kissing2bclever said...

Calling a thin woman a walking skeleton is just as rude as calling a larger woman a cow. I think it's sad we can't see the beauty in EVERYONE. Instead of pointing out the positives in someone, we point out the negatives in someone else. Instead of saying JPG's model looked great and noting how nice it is to have a variety of body types together on the catwalk, we have to say how "disgustingly thin" the models behind her are.

Everyone should be encouraging diversity on the runway so that we're all represented.
-Jenn

Anonymous said...

What do I give a SHIT what you think is obese or not? I don't give a crap what your opinion is.

You missed my point, Jenn, I have no opinion on what is obese. I was quoting the medical definition. If that applies to you, then I'm sorry.

Haystacks - Velvet D'Amour said in an interview that she is a size 28, that she is "probably 290 pounds" and is 5'8".

Jenn said...

Actually, I am no where near a size 18. No apology necessary.

Anonymous said...

You know I was shopping with a very skinny friend in a vintage store where the largest size they seemed to carry was an 8. Suffice it to say, I was looking at the accessories. And this girl came out of the changing room and I was so skinny that I made some nasty comment to my friend about wanting to feed her.

And she turned to me and said, Rachel, you are always talking about fat discrimination and how we should embrace and love our bodies, it should run both ways. For all you know, that girl is sick with anorexia. And I realized that she was completely right. When I make snide comments about wanting to feed a skinny girl it is just as bad as someone making fun of a fat girl eating something high in calories.

The gist is, judging someone by their body and making nasty comments - whether fat or thin is bad. It sounds very third-gradish, but it's what's inside that counts.

BTW I think Velvet looks FIERCE!!! And partially what makes her look fierce is that she walks the runway well and owns it and is comfortable in her own skin and that is what is important. Because if you ask me confidence is what makes you attractive and what makes me get hit on more often than some of my smaller friends. I'm hot and I know it.

Jmale said...

Wassup Yall,

I am an avid reader of your blog and i love it! To the topic I think that a whole lot of yall women care a little too much what some designer does at his/her clothes show. If you like the clothes then buyem and love'em, if you dont like them then dont buyem. In addition, the fact that this dude put a thick chick on the catwalk is great, but you still must realize that just because he sent out a thick chick doesnt mean that others will follow suit. As a side note I want to post a discussion topic to yall, "Why is it that you ladies are so self-concious? I KNOW that it is alot more stressful on the dude's side of the equation, cause he is the one who is ,9 times out of 10, the one who has to initiate the relationship process (e.g. asking a chick out and deciding, providing for the date, and follow up phone conversations). I am not saying that it is easy in your shoes, but at least if you dont get noticed by a guy, there will always be another five waiting their turn to get a chance to hollla at you." In closing, please dont think i mean any kind of disrespect toward yall and remember that if you always are true to yourself then your beauty will be visible from the inside as well as the outside ( and make no mistake, all of you are so beautiful I wanna hug yall all at the same time).

Stay cute Lil Mamas

cherree said...

It's a terrible picture, and I chose it on purpose to encourage the sphincters to self-identify.

Honestly, really honestly, I wish I could understand this. I don't agree with you on some things, but I really wish you could explain this. Why? Masochism?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, really honestly, I wish I could understand this. I don't agree with you on some things, but I really wish you could explain this. Why? Masochism?

Cheree - yes I commented on that as well, and would also be interested in Kate's response. Of course, I don't know what Kate looks like IRL, but I think it's a lovely photo - she looks beautiful with a lovely smile, great skin, nice hair and a pretty outfit - I love the effect of the patterned dress with the sheer patterned jacket.

So what's the deal, Kate? You preach "love yourself the way you are" yet you say that. I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

YAWN YAWN YAWN.

The skinny model looks bad. The fat model looks bad. Trolls come here. Kate loves her quasi-intellectual arguements. What the hell else is new?

Anonymous said...

We all know couture shows aren't about the models being conventionally beautiful anyway; it's about an image, about putting something interesting and different up there and getting people to talk about your collection. I had heard there were other unusual models in this show too--older women, and men in very heavy makeup--but they didn't get quite as much press as Velvet did. I think that JPG's use of her is just one part of a much bigger work of art/marketing.

Kate said...

As I don't judge people's worth based on their bodies, I meant the "skeleton" comment to convey that her bones (especially her ribs) are prominent, a fact, not as an insult. Apparently I offended many you, and for that I sincerely apologize. I think that the difference between that and calling someone a "cow" or a "whale" is that the latter is generally intended as an insult. A skeleton is at least a human element; the terms "whale" and "cow" are completely dehumanizing. (I am perfectly aware that that distinction is pretty fine and is based on my own biases, I'm only human, so you needn't waste everyone's time pointing out the obvious.)

I have never, and would never, say that fat people never "don't look healthy." If I saw a fat person who looked as exhausted and jaundiced as this woman does, I would agree that said fat person didn't look well. As far as the "joint" example that was proposed goes, I know more jocks than fat people with joint problems, and since my own joint problems are a result of fibromyalgia, not my weight, I would probably think that you were making assumptions in that case.

As for the tablecloth comment, that was intended as in insult, but of the designer, not the model, who gets paid to wear whatever freaky $#^+ they dress her in. For the record, I think that the lingerie that Velvet is wearing (with the exception of those kick-ass stockings) is fairly ugly, too. The corset might be OK, but it's hard to tell with that hideous peignoir over it. I admit that, as much as I love fashion, I don't get the appeal of a lot of the so-called "high fashion" creations.

And to those who questioned my comment about my photo (and thanks for the kind words Anonymous 5:20), it's not masochism, in fact quite the opposite. Having been told my entire life (by family and strangers alike) that my appearance is the primary element on which others will judge my worth as a person, I chose a photo that would weed out people who would dismiss me because of it; I don't really care to know them anyway. That's what I meant when I said "to encourage the sphincters to self-identify." I originally used a Gardulla the Hutt (http://members.aol.com/Hggmw6/images/TPMGardula1.jpg) on-line avatar (and still do on a couple of sites), but my only RL friend who saw the humor in it is even larger than I am so, after numerous complaints, I changed it in most places.

I don't see anything inconsistent with "loving myself as I am" (still a goal, not a reality at this point; 40+ years of conditioning doesn't go away overnight) and seeing myself realistically, or even unflatteringly. The fact that I can see my self as the fat-haters see me and still being able to find joy in life as I am is the essence of size acceptance. Would I like to not be censured by society? You bet, but not at the expense of enjoying what little free time I have.

Heather said...

In just about every thread, someone (sometimes anon, sometimes not) makes some lame "the reason you are fat is because you can't stop stuffing your face" comment. And then someone always responds with "if you hate fat people so much, why are you here".

It's obvious that they are here to insult people and start a war of words. And it works. Every....Single....Time.

If the trolls were ignored (totally ignored, by everyone), they would lose all interest and go away. Really!

Anonymous said...

Kate, why in the hell would you think that writing these missives is a good idea? You never say anything concisely.

lurky said...

Why is it always the trolls that complain about post length? It shouldn't be that hard to speed through a few paragraphs. Well, for most people, that is.

And, omg! Know what I just found?! OMFG, seriously, over there!!!---->

A scroll button.

I may be wrong, but I *think* you can "scroll" through things you want to "skip" with that.

I *think*.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a troll. Come on, Kate loves her hear herself talk (write?).

Stacia said...

I saw the first photo of the skinny model on the blog "Pearl Swine" a couple of days ago. They gave me the link to the entire slideshow of the fashion show on Yahoo, and believe me, that model stood out from all the others. No other model was as thin, gaunt, or featured the unhealthy skin color or bags under her eyes. She is NOT the epitome of a runway model. She's an abberation and I wonder why she was used at all.

As for attractiveness, it's subjective, now isn't it? The model in the top photo is wearing an outfit I find unflattering, she looks unhealthy and I speculate that gaining weight wouldn't take care of the health problems.

The larger model looks gorgeous, IMHO. Her clothes are more flattering, her attitude is positive and radiant. I don't find just being fat to look unhealthy in my opinion, and she's got no other signs of being unhealthy.

Anonymous said...

This poster has the point I wanted to make:

"Just own up to it, Kate. You insulted the skinny model on her body size. Then you tried to backpedal and say she doesn't look "healthy."

Apparently it's a mortal sin to call a fat woman waddling and wheezing down the street "unhealthy," but it's ok to call an emaciated woman that?"

Seriously. Either it's fine to comment on someone else's body or it isn't. The bony model looks exactly as unhealthy as obese people look to me. Why is one ok and not the other?

zenaide said...

It's not ok to say mean things about fat people because there are lots of them and societal pressures make their lives suck. It's ok to say mean things about skinny people because there aren't as many of them and their lives don't suck due to soceital standards.

Or at least this is the attitude that seems to have been taken by a lot of posters.

Anonymous said...

Hey, even Velvet d'Amour said the ban on underweight models was stupid and that people shouldn't be discriminated against on the basis of size. (I'm paraphrasing a lot, but that was the gist).

Stacia said...

I think the point most of you are missing is that as fat people, we know that just being fat doesn't make a person unhealthy. YOU may see fat and automatically think fat = disease, but that's not the truth. People project things, such as the claim any fat woman walking is also "wheezing" and that proves they're unhealthy. Velvet doesn't appear to be wheezing, yet the stereotypical, pre-conceived notion that fat = disease means some people really DO see the photo of Velvet and project that stereotype on to her. They think they're seeing an unhealthy, wheezing woman with mobility problems, but they're not.

On the other hand, a green-yellow complexion, white lips, dark brown bags under the eyes... yeah, those all say "unhealthy" in a universal sense. Weight doesn't enter into it.

And there is a definite difference between saying someone is skeletal and calling someone a cow or a slug. A comparable word to "skeletal" would be something like "bulbous". Factual and descriptive. There is nothing factual about "cow" or "slug", those are simply insults.

Let's not forget that it's socially more acceptable to look like the model in the 1st photo than it is to look like the 2nd model. The proof is right here in the comments.

Anonymous said...

Gotta say, some of you guys are complete dumbasses. Someone can be size 18 and not be "obese."

I am tall and weigh about 195 but my BMI is several points under 30, thus I am not obese. And I wear a size 18. No, I am not "healty" or "normal" weight but I am not obese.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if "skeleton" is factual or descriptive - many insults can be factual and descriptive, too. The word "obese" in and of itself is factual and descriptive, yet I don't know many people who would take kindly to be called obese critically.

I don't think Kate looks very healthy in her picture, either. It looks as though she might have trouble moving around well, as if she might be out of breath from exerting the energy most people routinely do, that she probably has pain on her joints due to the stress of the extra weight etc. I'm sure she wouldn't like anyone else giving reasons as to why she looks unhealthy, yet she feels free to do the same to others.

Anonymous said...

I think the fat model looks hot! Not entirely convinced about the hair style, but otherwise i would definitely be eyeing her up if i saw her in real life (sorry - testosterone fuelled male - find it very difficult no to stare at women i find attractive). The other girl does kinda look like she ain't eaten/slept in about a month, but if that's what fashion designers are calling beautiful these days, then who am i to argue?

defunkt1 said...

I think, in the context of trolling on Fatty McBlog, "obese" refers to anyone who takes a dress size in double figures and has the timerity to stand up for themselves.

I personally favour the simple descriptor, fat, since obese is a purely medical term, indicative of attendant health problems that may well not obtain. Naturally, the troll contingent will maintain that they do, or soon will, despite not having access to the medical notes of any "obese" person who posts on this blog because it fills them with a sense of superiority.

Anonymous said...

But is a size 28 healthy? She doesn't look healthy at all to me.

Yes, you can be fat and healthy. You can be "skeletal" and healthy too. But not many people who are overweight or underweight are as healthy as those who are within the correct weight range.

There's an awful lot of hypocrisy here and sizeism here.

Anonymous said...

Gaultier didn't pick a plus-size fashion model, he picked a girl who regularly does photo-shoots where her size and shape are shown as grotesque. And he didn't dress her in his own designs but in fat-porn stereotype lingerie. She is quite happy with this because she gets paid well. Whether it does anything for fat acceptance or even tolerance is another matter. Showing a size 28 as the alternative to size 00 is a joke. If he had wanted to include larger women in his show he would have hired a size 14 model.

As for health - well, of course you can't tell much about a person's health from appearance. But if you are carrying a lot more weight than you need to, it puts more strain on joints and on some organs, and makes treatment such as surgery far more difficult. Refusing to acknowledge that is just perverse. Velvet and those like her are in for a very uncomfortable time when they get older.

Anonymous said...

The WORST insults are the factually "descriptive" ones. Like I call someone a "whale" or "cow," that won't sting as much as "You look EXACTLY like Chris Farley in a wig on an SNL sketch from 1994."

Just admit "walking skeleton" was an insult.

Anonymous said...

Also, it's like, if your GOAL is to create a world where size-related insults are unacceptable, you aren't helping your cause insulting the skinny. You just make everyone's body size fair game.

Yeah, that chick is way too thin. But if she and Velvet were in a bar in jeans and a tee shirt, 90% of men would be more interested in the skinny chick.

Anonymous said...

Make that 98% of men

Anonymous said...

MOre like 99.9%...depending on personality, of course.

Anonymous said...

The point you all are missing is that runway models are such because they are just that thin AND healthy. They are genetically long and lean and tiny, but their bones don't poke through, their skin looks beautiful, their hair is radiant, most of them you can't even see their ribs, and their breasts may be small, but they are there. The problem is not that models are thin. It's when people who cannot get to that size and maintain their health attempt to get there. The first model literally looks unhealthy. I think it was a poor choice to have her work the show in that state, both because she looks bad and doesn't do anything for the clothes, and because the way her body looks distracts from what is supposed to be the point of the show -- the clothing.

Anonymous said...

Make that about 20%, guys. There are only so many necrophiles in the world.

Stacia said...

Not sure why I should even be commenting to all the anonymouses there who can't even come up with a doofy fake name, but first off, I didn't call anyone skeletal. Secondly, if you think "skeletal" is worse than "cow", be my guest. You're not making it very compelling for anyone to care what you think, though.

buffpuff said...

The point you all are missing is that runway models are such because they are just that thin AND healthy.

That may be the ideal but it's far from the truth when certain supermodels who shall remain nameless get arrested for snorting half of Bolivia up their noses; meanwhile the death of a malnourished model was what caused the initial brouhaha in Madrid last month.

A stylist I know told me that during a recent Balenciaga shoot, the only person tiny enough to fit into one sample garment was an eleven year old so that's who they used. Do you think that's healthy precedent to be setting?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the fat model doesn't look attractive at all, but it has nothing to do with being fat. I think her body is out of proportion. I've seen very heavy women size 32, who are proportioned nicely. Also I think she is made up to look harsh. I think it is quite possible to be fat beautiful woman, it's just that this one isn't.
But I'm betting that the average big woman looks more like her. Maybe that's the point? Whatever the point is, and whatever I think of her proportions, I'm glad he used a fat model, I think it's a great idea.

Tara

Haystacks said...

As a person who happily enjoys free speech, I think people should be able to write whatever they want on these things (within reason. It should try to pertain to the blog article.) But if you are going to write something disparaging, don't be anonymous. Sign Your Name! I have yet to see an anonymous post that was not agumentative or slightly agressive or rude. I don't care what you say but good manners says that unless you are going to leave a harmless comment you should sign your name. It is hard to give credit to someone who makes personal attacks but then refuses to write their name.

Gina said...

I Find it interesting that Elena Miro did a fabulous show -- with plus models -- and no one is talking about that. I think Jean-Paul is looking for publicity, and Le Petit Pirate of Fashion is certainly getting it. I don't think I (at size 18) or Velvet, for that matter, would be able to march into his showroom and buy anything other than accessories, though -- which is the true measure of his committment to real diversity in fashion. The very idea, though, that putting someone over size 0 on a catwalk is revolutionary tells us just how far we have to go.

I wish that designers would pay as much attention to flattering the fat form as they do draping the skinny one. And why does 'flattering' always have to mean tie belts and drapes? I'm a woman, not a window.

Anonymous said...

I thought obese was just a polite way of saying fat.

OK then, if a FAT woman has arms that begin halfway down her torso, no waist, a big belly and a big butt, and legs that rub together, how do you think any designer could deal with that other than with a variation of a tent? JPG put Velvet in a corset! And a negligee, so her back view is disguised. You can't make a silk purse, etc.

Anonymous said...

Can all you skeletal cows stop harassing the anon posters? I'm certainly not telling you people my real name, and I can't be bothered to make up a fake name. So get over it.

Obviously you people are having trouble with the logic of anon posters if you resort to giving them shit ... for being anon. Congrats for being Puffball1983 or whatever, but that doesn't make you "brave." Please get back to the discussion at hand and get over yourselves.

buffpuff said...

Anon at 1.57, according to my handy dictionary, obese is defined as "grossly fat or overweight". I would say that was judgemental rather than polite, especially in view of the whiff of pseudo-medical gravitas that invariably accompanies the term when aired on this thread. (Such as, "not many people who are overweight or underweight are as healthy as those who are within the correct weight range" and, "Velvet and those like her are in for a very uncomfortable time when they get older", the latter courtesy of a direct descendent of Nostradamus, obviously).

Somehow it's escaped your notice, 1.57, that fat people come in as wide a variety of shapes and sizes as thin people. Some have very pronouced waists, some have big bellies, some have big arses, some, like myself, have quite slender limbs...while some slim women have chafing thighs. It's perfectly possible to design clothes that flatter the larger form; compare, for instance, the very different ways the designers on Project Runway dealt to the challenge of dressing a larger woman. Two of them went the shapeless tent route and were castigated for it, the other two came out fighting.

...and as for "arms that begin halfway down her torso" - what are you on? Velvet's arms look to start in the exact same place the skinny gal's do.

Puffball1983 said...

The problem with anonymous posters, 4.13, is that it makes it very difficult to tell people apart – and thus determine who you are conversing with. It has nothing to do with courage.

Anonymous said...

On my fashion and design degree course one of our projects was to design for a range of plus sizes - UK 16 to UK 32 (US 12 to 28).My group decided to emphasise shape, and we created a range of clinging, body-conscious clothing in vivid colours. We thought they worked artistically and stylistically, and we were given excellent grades. But our models (other students at our college) told us afterwards that they hated them and would never go out in public dressed like that. They all wanted the safe, classic, body-skimming clothes - well, tents, really - that the other groups had produced. Maybe we were just rubbish designers, but my subsequent marketing experience has tended to coincide with our models' theories.

Buffpuff, you're right, there is a range of various shapes even among the smaller sizes, but nothing like as much as among the larger ones. Small sizes tend to vary in their details by an inch or two, larger ones sometimes by as much as six inches. This makes production of tailored clothes which actually look fitted very difficult. Lycra has helped, but it doesn't solve every problem.

In the Uk the plus-size market has really taken off, and even mainstream producers are routinely offering size 22 (US18). There will be more upmarket clothes in larger sizes as soon as manufacturers are convinced the customers are there (at present there seems to be a price threshold above which it is not easy to sell plus-size clothes, which does not apply to smaller sizes). So ignore couturiers and their publicity stunts. Live your own life in your own body - and go shopping!!!

Anonymous said...

I post anonymously because I have no desire to have someone drag up out-of-context quotes from my past comments to make a point, like they do to Kate and Buffpuff all the time.

You know what I'd love to see as an entry on here? "Would you pay a fat tax if it meant nobody could harrass you about your fatness again?" Because I totally would, assuming I could afford it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the anon posters her are fat chicks too (sometimes) - it's just that when we detract we get a bunch of righteous poo from everyone.

Mimi said...

(Formerly known as Gina's sister - Gina was anonymous 6.10)

I wish I could tell Kate and Buffpuff how much I admire their courage and dignity in standing up for themselves and other fat people. I don't always agree with what they are saying, but when I read some of the asinine responses they get I am never left in any doubt whose side I am on.

This is a brilliant site: there is nothing like it based in the UK as far as I know, which is why Gina and I lurk here so frequently. She is jealous of me because I am short and I am jealous of her because she is slim. Sibling rivalry at its best.

emily pound said...

I think the fat model looks awful. While I applaud JPG for even acknowledging fat women in fashion for WHATEVER reason, instead of simply putting his nose up and pretending we aren't here, like the rest of them do, the woman in his show looks like a parody of a woman. She also looks like a whore.

That being said, the skeleton model is far worse. I thought I have seen some anorexic women before, but she took the cake (pardon the pun, of course). The sight of her actually scared me. She wouldn't need a costume on Halloween to frighten anyone.

buffpuff said...

As a fellow Brit, your post really interested me, Anon at 6.10. I'd love to have seen your designs – and those of your fellow groups. Perhaps, after so many years of drab, unimaginative clothing choices, the average plus-sized Brit is simply not yet confident enough to see her true potential?

I have to say, as a UK 20-22, I'm really not seeing much in the way of a plus-size clothing boom on home turf, (though I'm cock-a-hoop about finally being able to buy clothes in Monsoon). Frankly, with the loss of Richards and Etam nationwide; the closure of Dickins and Jones in central London, the mysterious strategic removal of the Liz Claiborne brand, (including Elisabeth), from the UK and the ever-shrinking, consistently dull range offered by H&M, things looked a whole lot more lively 20 years ago.

buffpuff said...

Thank you for the compliment, Mimi, and thanks for identifying Gina as your sister! Was she the same Gina who posted about her sister on the 'crimson and clover over and over thread'? If so, big hugs to both of you.

There have been a few largely miserable attempts to launch fat-discussion sites in the UK but none of them were much cop. I briefly joined one community, (fatisthenewblack), but there were more trolls than members and an eternity would pass before someone would reply to a post. There's definitely more going on Stateside at present.

Anonymous said...

I am an overweight man who is neither a fat-hater nor a fat acceptance person. Here are my thoughts on the controversy.

(1) In this case, I think that the overweight model is more physically appealing than the skinny model.

(2) But, I think that the overweight model is not very appealing.

(3) I think that the skinny model would have to gain a modest amount of weight to become "hot," but the overweight model would have to lose quite a bit more weight to become hot.

(4) I understand the emotional need to draw a line between insults based on thinness and fatness, but I think that the moral and intellectually honest approach is to refrain from insulting people based on their slender appearance if you do not wish people to insult heavier people based on their appearance. Trying to convert insults into comments about health only drive the point home, since some overweight people (like me) appear rather unhealthy.

Anonymous said...

Oy--what a thread!

The skinny model is a beautiful woman who, for health reasons, should probably gain some weight. The fat model is a beautiful woman who, for health reasons, should probably lose some weight.

I do wish the overweight model's body was as socially acceptable as the underweight model's body, though.

And boy do I wish that health issues surrounding weight weren't so linked to looks. I think when we are able to divorce being too fat or too skinny from aethetics, people can really start to improve their health.

I often see really thin girls that are gorgeous and very large girls that are gorgeous. BUT--I do agree that there is a point where someone can be so malnourished or so obese that it can mask whatever physical beauty they have. That point is different in everyone's minds. I'm more forgiving on the fat end of the scale, and judge more harshly on the thin end--but that's just me. Most people, on the other hand, find a little bit of fat appalling but are willing to put up with a whole lotta skinny.

I can't knock any poster who thinks that anthing above a size 12 is disgustingly fat--that's an opinion. But it certainly doesn't give them a right to call names and otherwise behave badly.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.smh.com.au/entertainment/archives/fashion_season/006613.html

The above is an interview with Velvet. I actually think she's rather attractive and that her costume was appropriately designed for what it was: "sexy nightie." The duster/peignoir thingy helped, as did the structured corset.

Btw, re the "designers for the fat" who couldn't get fat people to like their designs -- I don't WANT anything that is "vivid" or "bold." I want something in black or dark blue or very dark grey that is loose enough to be comfortable but tight enough to len d structure. Very classic and minimalist and clean looking.

For very fat women, the most flattering outfits I think are akin to maternity wear. Empire-waisted. Tighter around the boob area, looset around the middle.

buffpuff said...

I actually LOVE clothes that are bold and distinctive and always have – though stem-to-stern cling does my short-waisted apple shape few favours. A clingy tube skirt under a short, loose-ish, Japanese-influenced tunic top works though; a pair of skinny or bootcut jeans under an a-line shift; a sweater-dress over leggings, or, I agree, a true Empire-line, preferably cut low to flatter the twins. (I've tried maternity clothes a few times over the years but have never found anything that worked. They're always cut to have more stomach than I do so, far from simply skimming over my least favourite area, they simply make me look pregnant).

As for vivid jewel-like colours and wild prints...bring them on, baby! While I don't mind a bit of dramatic black, (preferably combined with vivid accessories), and quite like simple minimalistic shapes, I really don't want to be invisible.

hackdoll said...

Interesting post, and the comments are absorbing as well. If I can weigh in, I've actually got a question.

Shopping seems to, in some way, be a nightmare to a significant number of women. I have a friend who can never find shirts that fit -- they're invariably too wide in the shoulders, or too loose in the stomach. And my problem (if I may complain) is that most places I've been seem to stock only one, maybe two pairs of any outfit below a size '5' (which seems to be the standard 'small' size). There can be ten each of the S, M, L and XL standard sizes for every one XS.

But I didn't come here to brag -- my question is this. When I do find an XS it's always with the other sizes, and always looks like a trimmed-down version of the larger garment. Why, then, are all the 'plus-sized' clothes I see always a different style altogether? I don't think I've ever seen a top or pants or skirt available in everything from size 3 to size 25.

Is it the stigma? will girls genuinely refuse to pull their size 8's off the rack if it's sitting beside a size 28? do fashion designers seriously not assume that anyone over a 20 will want their clothes, or do they not want anyone above an XL to wear them?

It's puzzled me for a while, so if some kind soul could please explain it to me, I'd be grateful.

Shara said...

Do fashion designers seriously not assume that anyone over a 20 will want their clothes, or do they not want anyone above an XL to wear them?

The latter. That's why the more expensive and "exclusive" the designer, the narrower the range of sizes they offer. High-end designers also know that their clients don't want to see a plus-size woman wearing the same outfit they paid a lot of money for - that would ruin the image of exclusivity.

Anonymous said...

It also doesn't even look like the same design in a larger size because all the proportions are out of synch.

Anonymous said...

The majority of larger-sized women also tend to be shorter than average, which makes arm, leg and hem lengths problematic when designs are sized up. Weirdly, it makes more sense to size up petite ranges. Except you then have to consider enlarging design details in proportion, and this gets way too complicated.

Shara said...

It also doesn't even look like the same design in a larger size because all the proportions are out of synch.

Exactly. And that's why designers tend to not make tailored clothes, like suits, in plus sizes.

buffpuff said...

From whence comes the theory that the majority of larger women tend to be shorter than average? I've never come across it before, much less noticed it with my own eyes.

Anonymous said...

Sizing surveys! And retail figures!It wasn't a criticism for God's sake! It's just the main reason plus size clothes are so hard to get right! Jeez, it sure is hard to discuss this when everything gets taken as some kind of insult.

Anonymous said...

JPG did it as a joke. He insists that skinny models are not anorexic but just have "skinny bones".

Anonymous said...

If Kate spent as much time on a treadmill as she does blaming being fat on genetics and not taking any responsibility for her size, she could probably lose half her weight. But hey, rationalizations are fun.

live your life on the computer and respond to every single comment - it's not your fault. It's everyone else's. Boohoo, society is wrong and awful and a person's obesity shouldn't determine their attractiveness or health.

But it does. I think your overzealous defenses indicate that you know it, and you know your rationalizations are just that - rationalizations.

Anonymous said...

If someone else has already said this, forgive me, I missed it. The point really isn't appearance, the point is the first model is so emaciated that she's at a level of unhealthy comparable to someone who is so morbidly obese that they have trouble moving around, and not a size 28 who can strut down a runway. She's way past "skinny".

And to the commenter earlier on in the thread who said size 18 is always obese, 'taint so. I am 6 feet tall with a fairly large frame, and if you boiled me down to bare bones, my skeleton would still be wearing a 12 or 14. Yes, there are a few couture models who are as tall as I am, and are able to wear single digit sizes, but that body type is not the norm. They're rare and unusual, that's why they're couture models.

zenaide said...

JPG did it as a joke. He insists that skinny models are not anorexic but just have "skinny bones".



actually, karl lagerfeld said that, which, since i know a bit about the both designers, makes a huge difference.

Anonymous said...

I work for a large national clothing design company that makes the same designs in misses and plus sizes, but often they'll change the pattern to make the plus size version simpler, because it's just more flattering. They take off ruffles, change a wrap top to a faux-wrap, stuff like that. It really is an improvement in most cases.

Anonymous said...

It's also cheaper.

buffpuff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
buffpuff said...

Anon at 1.27, kindly unbunch your panties. I didn't say your claim was insulting, merely that I'd never heard it before or noticed it myself and therefore wondered from whence it came.

The reason I think it's factually incorrect is because, surely, if it was true, dedicated plus size manufacturers would be knocking themselves out to produce predominantly petite ranges? I'm shortish at 5' 3" and have hell's own job finding stuff to suit my proportions whether I'm shopping at home or in the US. I can't believe, since chains like Lane Bryant and Evans make money from catering to fat women, they would wilfully ignore such a fact – if fact it be.

It sounds more like some lame excuse from the mainstream fashion industry to justify their reluctance to cater to plus-sized shoppers.

Anonymous said...

Thin people are scary? What? Not everyone who is thin starves themselves or is trying to be thin. Some people just exercise and choose their food carefully; some don't and are still thin. I'd like to say fat people are scary but that would be mean and hypocritical so I won't. Even though I'd really, really like to.

Anonymous said...

the truth is anyone not 5 feet five and size 4-10 is not well catered for. Business just goes for the highest profit at the smallest cost. But they don't seem to hve a problem with providing a range of fittings as well as sizes for men. Maybe because their fashions don't change so much?

Tina said...

If Kate spent as much time on a treadmill as she does blaming being fat on genetics and not taking any responsibility for her size, she could probably lose half her weight. But hey, rationalizations are fun.

live your life on the computer and respond to every single comment - it's not your fault. It's everyone else's. Boohoo, society is wrong and awful and a person's obesity shouldn't determine their attractiveness or health.

I think your overzealous defenses indicate that you know it, and you know your rationalizations are just that - rationalizations.


I totally agree. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4.05, I respectfully disagree about there being a range of men's sizes. Once you get into big and tall, there's very little selection, in my experience. (My BF is big & tall, and even when we find stuff we like online, it's often sold out). Plus-size women actually have far more options than "plus-size" men, I think.

Anonymous said...

Fat people are ok but I don't think anyone wants to see them on a cat walk :shrug:?

FatMom said...

Thin people DO look better in clothes. That "plus" sized model is no 20, I can tell you that. Puhhh-leeeze! Interesting choice for JPG, though. BTW, that model in the post after this one...GROSS!

enough! said...

Kate and buffpuff: can you please just ignore the trolls? Just ignore their stupidity please! They obviously have issues, they won't change, let's just stick to reading intelligent posts and let's ignore them, they are not worthi it. Let them wallow in their hate.

Neekeela said...

I don't really want to get into it with anyone--but I have a technical question about the model in white:
Are those ribs on the side of her body or skin? In my browser, I can't tell cause the sides of her body look like they have ridges of some sort and I have never seen anything like it before, except sometimes old skin kinda hangs like that off an arm or something. I guess I don't get out much.

You know, cause I'm busy rolling around in a big vat of chocolate...

Kate said...

Those are ribs covered by skin; On my browser, there doesn't appear to be anything in between the two.

Jessica said...

to me there is nothing with being a F.A.T modle or a skinny modle but as you can see from your pic she has gone too far i like this its very eye openign!! !

Anonymous said...

the skinny model photos are photoshopped to make her look thinner. A lot of pro-anorexia websites do it.

Look at the way her dress is hanging in back - photoshop.

troll said...

ditto.

Nina said...

The bone-thin model is gross, and so is the fat model. They might look better fully covered, so I don't have to see protruding bones or protruding fat. They need to use average women on the runways, though I can understand why they use skinny girls...Walking angers, and all. Still, I think most models should be a nice, average size 10 or 12. Keep 'em tall, that's fine, but give them SOME meat. Just not so much that you focus on how lumpy the model is, instead of the clothes.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Hm, the skinny girl looks like she's scared of something. I kind of want to give her a hug, but I'd probably hurt her. And Ms. d'Amour looks like she has a bird's nest on her head. Who thought that hairdo was a good idea?

Anonymous said...

I say to each their own if you don't like Velvet then don't look. Personally, I dont like the way she has her hair in that picture but the rest of her looks FINE. I find it very refreshing that she is comfortable and confident with her body as well as her inner self. Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder and I must say that I am enjoying the view !