I got my fall Talbots catalog the other day. I like their stuff. Ultra classic with an occasional pop or embellishment. Half way through looking at it, I realized they had this model in several of their shots--the red haired one. And in this particular shot, I see (gawsp) a slight bulge. This model must be at least a size 10, possibly 12.
I was pretty pleased with Talbots. So many companies talk about having a positive body image and being healthy, yet they still have their size 2 models in all the shots. So go Talbots! for putting a totally normal looking woman in there. Talbots does sell Womans sizes, so that is probably why they included this particular model in their fall catalog. Nothing more annoying than shopping for plus size clothing (which starts at size 12. Really? Because 12 seems pretty average to me.) and seeing some size 2 girl staring disdainfully out at you from the computer screen. Since I never shop Talbots due to a pricing dispute between Talbots and I (namely I think their pricing should be about 50% less) I decided to go on their website today to see if they have fab deals in their sale and outlet sections. Pricing is more agreeable, but still not my buy price. And there, I found THIS model.
I understand some people are thin. I grew up amongst 4 naturally thin friends. Fortunately I had three naturally not thin sisters with whom I could lament the treachery of biology Still, it is never easy or pleasant to be the fat girl. Not that my friends would EVER have said or hinted at that. I have really good pals. It was just a fact of life. Probably one they never even thought about much. (Do naturally thin people notice other peoples weight as much as naturally un-thin girls do? Hmm...) Growing up in this naturally thin group, I understand that some people are just really thin. Even when they eat a lot. But this here model looks unhealthy. Her arm looks awkward. My naturally thin friends never had arms like that. Or at least I never noticed them if they did.
I think Talbots probably should have air-brushed some fat on her. Do they have a fat-ify button like they have the thin-ify button? Sometimes I honestly think that the fashion (and Hollywood!) world's fascination with ultra thinness is part of the reason the rest of America is so overweight. Since they are portraying as beautiful a state of thinness that is a biological impossiblity for most healthy people, people just give up.
There is no way I will ever be model thin. At my absolute thinnest, when my collarbone was starting to stick out awkwardly and I was toying with an eating disorder, I was a size 12. To be smaller than that would be verging on (if not flat out) unhealthy for me. And yet I was not even in the recommended weight range for my height. About a year ago, I read an article in the paper on a study that showed people who were overweight (10-20 pounds over their recommended weight) were actually healthier and had longer life expectancy than the people IN the recommended weight range. I just googled this and came up with a mixed bag of reputable studies showing being overweight increases or decreases your life expectancy. So take your pick. Still, there have been enough reputable studies to show that being overweight is actually better than being a healthy weight, that it might be time to reevaluate what the healthy weight IS. I am not sure this will empower people to make better choices, but it might.
I have very soft, crammed together teeth. As a result, I have had my fair share of cavities and extractions. The dentist I normally went to was sick one day, so a different dentist attended to me. The normal dentist always told me my teeth were in a terrible state and I needed to take better care of them because I was on the fast track for dentures at 30. The new dentist said my teeth weren't so bad, but I did need to be careful of them. I took a lot better care of my teeth after the new dentist than the old. I think the medical world is doing the same thing with weight. Americans DO need to weigh less. But doctors often resort to scare tactics--listing heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressue, trying to scare people onto the treadmill. I don't think doctors understand that this is depressing instead of goading. And a lot of people have an emotional component to their eating. If they are depressed, they eat. Being told that they are doing some things right might make people feel like more of a grown up, more confident in their choices, and interestingly enough make them make better choices. If society ever wants to follow through on this positive body image campaign, they need to change the tone of the weight discussion. Overweight can't be always Bad! Bad! Bad! in the medical world, and translate into, "You are beautiful at a size 14!" in the real world. Something's gotta give.
So keep the average models, Talbots, but let the ultra-thin ones go. They are depressing me with their awkward arms.