Skinny Models Banned From Fashion Show

Speaking as a member of the horizontally enhanced, and also as someone who appreciates women who don't snap like brittle twigs when you hug them, I have to say -- 'bout time. But there's some interesting comments in the article I find telling.

First, you've got the ones complaining that this is, somehow, a violation of their rights. Huh? From freedom of speech to freedom of appetite, rights liberate you from the fear of jail or fine or death -- not from adverse reaction. If, for perhaps the first time in recent memory, the uber-skinny are finding themselves socially unacceptable, that is not a violation of their 'rights' -- there is, after all, no such thing as a 'right' to be a fashion model or to participate in one particular show. (If anyone argues there is such a right, then, fly me to Milan, baby, and make sure you reinforce the catwalk. I ain't thin.) You also have to love the idea this somehow violates the artistic freedom of the designers. Huh? "If we can't design for walking sticks, we can't design at all!" This is akin to complaining that the near-total collapse of the markets for Hypercard and 4D violated my rights as a programmer, by forcing me to learn other languages to keep up with what the market wanted.

And now, from the other side of the loony-tune aisle, comes those who feel this is a matter which must be legislated. Uhm, what? Ideals of beauty are about as far from the purview of the State as ideals of faith. If the fashion industry wants to idealize severe malnutrition, let them. (Given the difficulty such underweight women have in bearing children, evolutionarily speaking, this is a self-correcting problem.) The government -- of Spain or anywhere else -- has no right to decide what body types are acceptable. (I mean, sheesh, if that precedent was set, I could be barred from California for life!) I think that Ms. Gonzalez' comparison to smoking is apt -- once you set the precedent that the government can legislate private behaviour, there are no barriers of morality or sanity -- just political will.

If fashion shows, and designers, wish to react to private pressure to stop presenting starvation as an ideal, then let them. If fashion models want to keep starving themselves and showing off their non-existent ass...ets to anyone who wants to pay to see them, let them. Just keep the government out of it.


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