Modeltypeface in The Sun!!!
Hello all! Well this is exciting – Modeltypeface has a mention in National newspaper The Sun, debating whether or not Paris should have a law against models with a BMI lower than 18.
I stand up for my modelling sisters (and brothers) by saying that pointing the finger at us is a very easy bit of scapegoating, and a way of assuaging the media’s ‘Size-0’ tirade, whilst achieving nothing useful at all.
A BMI is a pretty nebulous way of assessing a person’s health. I’m now barely a BMI of 18, and I eat a lot (judging by the shocked looks on people’s faces I’m at dinner with…), exercise most days and allow myself treats. A lot.
So when I was doing catwalk in Paris as teenager, I was the right measurements for catwalk despite having the same hearty appetite as my older brothers and a metabolism that I can now only dream of (in fact I probably ate more in those days!). I was definitely under this BMI of 18. So is it fair that I would have been out of work?
I do think that us skinny folk get the finger pointed at us lots, and we’re just meant to take it. “You’re so disgusting. I can see your ribs!” “Men prefer curves anyway,” “Stick insect!” “Anorexic!” These are all things that people have felt they can say to me without wondering whether maybe that’s hurtful for a person to hear throughout their life.
Skinny people can be bullied as much as anyone else, and saying that all people under a BMI of 18 are so disgusting that they should be illegal is hateful body fascism.
HOWEVER. Am I going to blithely sit here and say that there isn’t a problem in my industry? Because there is. Billy Mehmet, a New Faces booker, has said that she’s cried in the past when seeing the pressure that her “perfect,” girls are put under to compete with far thinner models who end up booking the shows. I’ve seen some agencies put unhealthy pressure on models to lose weight through unhealthy means (10 day starvation diets, ‘just go a bit Ana for a week or so’ ‘maybe stop exercising – you look a bit too muscly’ – I’ve seen it all).
But the answer isn’t by banishing ‘skinny’ people. We need to…
1) See more variety on catwalks. More shapes, colours and ages – that’s why I love the organisation ‘All Walks Beyond the Catwalk‘.
2) Combat the sample sizes, which get smaller and smaller each season, meaning that models have to lose weight each season in order to work. Rather than give an arbitrary BMI of 18 (pfff), give a minimum size for clothes in shows – a size 6 and above, for example.
3) Make information about nutrition more readily available to models. Many models are very young and away from home for the first time, and clueless about cooking and what to buy and eat.
If the people imposing this ban really care about our health, they could introduce a law that said that agencies must have a nutritionist come in and talk during each show season, so that models can stay lean healthily.
4) If you really want to see change, how about tackling the food industry – advertising, misleading information on packaging, trans fats and hidden sugars? Oh wait…The Government make loads of money from that, don’t they…
If you’re gonna weigh models to pass them for work, you’re gonna see a lot of girls sewing weights into jeans, eating a tonne of carrots and downing 3 litres of water in 2 minutes before weigh-in. Is that a healthy improvement?
I agree that change needs to happen, but not with hateful finger pointing and erroneous blame-throwing at us ‘skinny models’.
Here’s the article…