russell smith talks about virtual beauty – a new beauty contest of virtual models. more interesting is the point he makes about the body image of women. it certainly is no longer men who are at fault for women’s compulsion towards self-starvation.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not men, on the whole, who determine the beauty ideal in fashion magazines. The readership of fashion magazines, like the editorship of fashion magazines, like the audience for fashion shows themselves, is female. Fashion models tend to be much skinnier in women’s magazines than they are in men’s magazines. Compare the curviness of female models in, say, Maxim with the bony, ethereal elegance of those in Vogue. Any fashion editor will tell you that if you start shooting normally healthy women in fashion spreads, it is female readers, not male readers, who will complain about “overweight models.”
That may be a fact, but where did these women get the idea that only sickly thin women are beautiful? The Renaissance era saw beauty in big, full women. What made that change?