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Spanish fashion show bans underweight models

Organizers of a top fashion show in Spain say they will reject overly thin models who protesters say encourage eating disorders in girls.

The Association of Fashion Designers of Spain said it wanted to project “an image of beauty and health” for the Madrid show, which runs Sept. 18-22, rather than rail-thin looks.

Medical associations and women’s advocacy groups protested last year’s show, saying some models were too thin.

The show is using the body mass index or BMI, a calculation of weight in relation to height, to measure the models. About 30 per cent of would-be participants at a previous event failed the test.

World Health Organization experts recommend a BMI of between 18.5 and 25. The show has hired medics to check models. Models with a BMI of less than 18 will be turned down.

The fashion industry has a responsibility to portray healthy body images, including fuller-figured women, said Madrid’s regional government, which sponsors the show.

Role models for young girls

Fashion shows “are mirrors for many young women,” and the women who stroll down the catwalk are role models for young girls obsessed with thinness, said Concha Guerra, deputy finance minister of the regional administration.

This is the first time extremely thin models have been excluded from a major international fashion show, said Jesus del Pozo, a designer who is part of the Spanish association running the show.

The fashion industry is being used as a scapegoat for eating disorders, responded Cathy Gould of New York’s Elite modelling agency.

“I think it’s outrageous,” Gould told Reuters. “I understand they want to set this tone of healthy, beautiful women, but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer?”

The focus should be on designers’ collections, not model size, a spokeswoman for the Spanish fashion designers association said.

So far, other major international fashion shows have not followed the Spanish example.

Who could be arsed that these toothpick models are discriminated for this one fashion show? It’s about time they have a taste of their own medicine – they are the culprits of discriminators against fat people. Kudos to the Spanish Fashion Week for celebrating a healthier image of the woman’s body.

Comments on: "Wow, who finally dares to discriminate against skinny people?" (13)

  1. “Who could be arsed that these toothpick models are discriminated for this one fashion show? It’s about time they have a taste of their own medicine – they are the culprits of discriminators against fat people.”

    Who is the “they” that you are talking about here, sulz? Surely it can’t be the “toothpick” models themselves that you are attributing such thoughts to. And if that is what you mean then I ask you: How they fuck would you know what a skinny high fashion model was thinking about a fat person who isn’t even in the industry? IMO this statement makes you sound like you have a persecution complex.

    Having been a model myself, I truly find it hard to believe that the “skinny” models are discriminating against “fat people” or for that matter that they are thinking about them at all. My educated guess is they are all caught up in the glamour of the industry standard and in achiveing it to keep their place in a very competitive job market . The fashion standards aren’t set by the models and of course you know that.

    I’m glad the fashion industry standard is moving away from the super thin look but I bear no malice towards the young women in it. I hope you feel the same way too because it wouldn’t be healthy to hate people you have never met nor to speculate on what they are thinking (if anything) about you.

    You have developed a focus on blogging on the defence of being fat theme and I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable about that. Perhaps you’re in a state of denial about what both the “skinny” and the “fat” are words truly mean. They both mean unhealthy and in both cases the unhealthy person can make the required changes to become healthy, provided they are not in a state of denial about their condition.

    sulz: first of all, self apologise for the sweeping statement – in retrospect perhaps should not post when am running late for class and hence did not think it through before pressing the publish button. but self stand by the opinion that there is a discrimination against fat people by thinner people, maybe not all but many, and because of them ‘many’ there exists that discrimination. you can ask, “where’s the evidence?” but it’s something deep down we all know exist though we have no concrete proof; this is self’s opinion.

    “Having been a model myself, I truly find it hard to believe that the “skinny” models are discriminating against “fat people” or for that matter that they are thinking about them at all. ” that does not prove that such discrimination does not exist, and sometimes it can be subconscious. this is merely your opinion, but self can see your reasoning.

    “You have developed a focus on blogging on the defence of being fat theme and I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable about that. Perhaps you’re in a state of denial about what both the “skinny” and the “fat” are words truly mean.” in the first place, self do not know where is the fine line between thin and fat. by calculating your bmi? don’t genetics have a factor in that as well? so if a girl whose family are blessed with high metabolism and hence cannot help that she looks like she’s perpetually dieting even though she eats healthily, does that mean she’s underweight and therefore unhealthy? why can’t the opposite too be possible? am not saying that this is the case with self’s body, but for such people. self’s fat posts is about self’s fat and not necessarily everyone else’s fat. if you feel uncomfortable with it, well, this is self’s blog.

    discrimination starts when someone is different from the norm. how can a fat person be begun to be discriminated if not by a slimmer person? surely fat people don’t discriminate fat people first. remember, it was once vogue to have more than enough flesh on one’s body. and this discrimination is continued by the next generation of slim, thin people and will continue to go on.

    please keep in mind that this post was never intended to direct to anyone in particular, much less you – so do not see what warrants the expletive you used as if this post was directed at you. am very offended because self would never, ever use an expletive directly to anyone, no matter how angry or offended am.

    this post is not about the question of fat and health – that should be another matter. self reiterate that discrimination against fat people is very prevalent amongst their slimmer counterparts – heck, it’s even proven that fat people discriminate against their fellow fat people! and again, self apologise for the sweeping statement, but will not edit it.

  2. You used a lot of words to try and reationalize and justify a persecution complex and a bias you hold against “skinny” people.

    You dodged the real point. That point is that being excessively underweight or excessively overweight is not healthy and should not be upheld as a beauty standard in any country.

    Certainly you can agree to this last sentence, right?

    sulz: if you had use a lot less words yourself, self wouldn’t have wasted time trying to answer what self thought was your many questions and just say no, do not agree with you at all. beauty is very subjective but it doesn’t mean that if one is too thin or too fat it is ugly. no one should be make to think they look ugly just because they look a certain way. what is ugly can be considered beautiful by others, perhaps in the future or the past if not now.

    if you refer to ‘health standard’, that is a different question. if someone too skinny or too fat was being promoted as the ideal body shape, of course that is the wrong message to send out to people. the problem is many do not care to be healthy but to look beautiful.

  3. What warrants my use of the expletive is the many times as hostess of this blog you have used the same or similar language in your postings sulz.

    And it is you who have said that in essence you wouldn’t say bad things even if your mind was full of them. I do not have this hang-up. I call things as I see them.

    IMO your offence taken regarding my comment is probably stemming from the discomfort you felt for me directly calling you out on your unsubstaniated bias towards people you call “skinny,” which in turn is based on your own ambivalent perceptions and your own labelings of your”self” as being “fat”.

    Please, please consider giving up this struggle you have about justifying your own weight by pointing fingers at people who seem to be underweight to you and saying negative things about them. It does nothing for your character which I know to be a good one.

    As your friend I don’t want to see you hold such an ingrained prejudice that it will holds you back from developing into the fullness of the person you can be without such biases, and holds you back from making all the friends you can make without holding such biases. I want to see you become the best person you can be. And I wouldn’t be a true friend if I didn’t speak up in defence of your true “self”.

    Namaste little one
    Be blessed and be a blessing to others.

    sulz: this is quite an oxymoron, but self’s usage of expletives are used in context that this is own blog and it is self’s private space, albeit it is public. what have referred to is that fact that self do not condone using expletives towards any person in cyberspace in direct conversation with said person. this is a provocation to self.

    admit am biased when it comes to this issue, and am not going to justify that except that is not easy to stay politically correct with an issue close to heart. also admit that have a lot of body issues – the writing of many essays about it already speaks for itself. but at least can accept other people’s opinion and not think that self’s opinion is the only opinion and others as mere excuses. and will not justify the fact that can use expletive directly towards others just because have used them in own blog which is self’s private public space. you call it “calling a spade a spade”, self call it “unnecessarily provocative and hurtful,” and remain so.

  4. In part you have said … “will not justify the fact that can use expletive directly towards others”.

    For the record sulz I am not trying to justify anything nor do I need to. The use of the expletive was not directed at your “self” as you erroneously claim. The expletive was used in a question I put to you.

    Here it is. “And if that is what you mean then I ask you: How the fuck would you know what a skinny high fashion model was thinking about a fat person who isn’t even in the industry?”

    sulz: though it may not be done directly, it was done in direct conversation and that to self is provocation enough. there is a reason self always claim to be hypocritical for thinking bad thoughts about someone but not verballing them because these emotions are fleeting. to say what self feel at the moment may not be true the day after, so that is why this blog is filled with profanities.

    I asked you how would you know what is in the mind of another person sulz. So what’s your answer to that question (expletive removed)?

    (1) crystal ball?
    (2) ESP?
    (3) augury or divination?
    (4) other?

    there is a reason self made the apology and that was for this.

    I did not tell you to f off so why you are pretending that I did?

    now who’s putting words in self’s mouth? never did say you told self to fuck off. said you were being provocative, there is a difference.

    Why are you manipulating the facts to justify your choice to feel hurt?

    oh, so am manipulating now. apparently using an expletive not in direct context to the person is not reason enough to feel offended. well, if that’s how you feel, that’s how self do not feel.

    Don’t you think the title of your blog article and the last paragraph could be a result of these factors below?

    (1) dissent with the standard of beauty set by the fashion industry and their customer base?

    I am a dissenter.

    (2) a subjective bias against underweight people being upheld as “beautiful”?

    I have always felt sorry for people who are either under or over weight because the people I know who fit into these categories tell me (a) they are very unhappy about how they look and (b) they are also very concerned about their health.

    (3) a poor personal body image?

    I had nothing to do with the genetics that produced an hourglass figure for me when most women are pear, ball or stick shaped. And there have been times in my life when I have wept buckets of bitter tears because I wanted people like me for inside “self”, rather than for my outside “body”.

    (4) a paranoid belief that “skinny” people discriminate “fat” people?

    There have also been times in my life when I was aware that other women rejected my friendship because of the way I looked and the paranoid belief they had that I would take their men away from them. I even know for sure that some women did still say such stuff about me because my friends stand up for me and tell me when they hear such crap.

    (5) a fear of becoming a “fat” or a “skinny” person?

    I have a low grade fear of becoming skinny because the illness I have and the treatment for it tend to kill my appetite and nothing is harder than stuffing down food when you already feel full.

    (6) suffering from the ridicule of other’s who have chided you about your own body weight?

    Until I was 25 I was continuously ridiculed by other kids and adults too for being “skinny” even though I ate lots. Since then I have been ridiculed by some women because I look better than they do. Setting genetics aside, it’s not surprising that I look better than they do because they over-eat and do not exercise. But I take my diet and exercising very seriously so I can stay healthy.

    I don’t understand why you are choosing to be hurt and to pretend that I directed the expletive at your “self” when I didn’t do that. It’s not fair that you are manipulating the facts and trying to make me out as having said something personally insulting to you when I didn’t.

    have replied this to one of the questions above of similar nature.

    All my best to you at this difficult time. I remain your friend and I think the best of you.

    am not going to reply ‘factors’ because have already discussed them.

  5. @sulz – Interesting. I read something about the Spanish Fashion show decisions. IMO, it isn’t actually the models that set the standards for thinness or otherwise, it is the actual fashion industry. Models have to look the way the industry demands, otherwise they are out and out means bye-bye career. And they often have a very short modelling life span anyway.

    sulz: noted, as tt so nicely pointed that out in so many words.

    I agree that fashion models (some of recent) have been looking so thin as to appear unhealthy, but I question the decision to ban them. I think it’s rather hypocritical, since if it wasn’t a “standard” set by the industry the girls would hardly have to live up to it would they? I can’t see any other fashion houses following the Sapanish example either. For one thing it’s unfair to the models and the designers. And, in the main, designers only design for thin people.

    they had to be hypocritical in this case because they wanted to promote a healthier image of body shape. as you pointed out, it is the designers who really dictate how the models should look like, so it is not particularly the organisers of spanish fashion week who are hypocritical.

    While I don’t agree that the skinny models or people are the culprits of discrimination against fat people, (not so skinny people discriminate against fat people as well) I can in part see where you might be comming from, in that in your opinion the skinny girls don’t have anything to complain about since they are – skinny. Are fat people discriminated against? Quite probably. But they can’t always be discriminated against, because there are plenty of people who you might term “fat” who are living and working and enjoying their lives just like anyone else. Having said that, someone who is fat who has been on the receiving end of the discrimination would say, “yes they have been discriminated against”. And they know what it feels like.

    we agree to disagree, then, but can see where you come from too.

    Of course if you are talking just about the fashion industry – you might call it discrimination but they fashion industry wouldn’t – because even if you are slim, you may still be too “fat” to be a model. Youll be told to lose the extra weight. Have you seen someone suffering from Anorexia nervosa? They often look bone thin. But they see themselves as “fat”.

    We live a world where one aspect of the standard of beauty standard is to be thin. So, it isn’t the model’s fault. If you feel it is, you’ll have to give some examples of how they (the skinny models) discriminate).

    as said before, that sweeping statement was really referring to thin people in general and have apologised for the ambiguity.

    To my mind their only worry about fat would be if they were in danger of becoming even a tiny bit fat, because they know then their careers would be well and truly over.

  6. “we agree to disagree, then, but can see where you come from too.”

    What are we supposed to be agreeing to disagree with about?
    Are you saying that every fat person is discriminated against and isn’t living the life they want ?
    Or that it’s skinny people who are the culprits of the discrimination against fat people?

    “as said before, that sweeping statement was really referring to thin people in general and have apologised for the ambiguity”

    So, if I understand correctly you are saying that all thin people discriminate against fat people? In what way? It still seems to be to be a very sweeping statement.

    sulz: wouldn’t say that all fat people face size discrimination, but most of them do without even realising it sometimes, whether in the workforce (surveys have proven bigger-sized employees receive less than their slimmer counterparts for the same job, and that bosses actually prefer ‘healthier’-looking employees, ie. not fat), airplane seats (being forced to pay for two seats but not enjoying any more perks in certain airlines, while parents with noisy children do not have to pay for causing other passengers to suffer their children’s antics as well), or the romance department even. this does not apply to all cases, of course, but believe there are such discrimination even if there are no conclusive proof.

    “But they can’t always be discriminated against, because there are plenty of people who you might term “fat” who are living and working and enjoying their lives just like anyone else.”

    the same can be said about these models who are discriminated against by the spanish fashion week, can’t it? the question is probably how much better will their quality of life be without discrimination (the fat people, mean).

    still believe that someone skinny or rather not fat who started this size discrimination, it wouldn’t make sense if someone fat started it. this is just self’s opinion.

    you’re right, it is still a sweeping statement, but it is how self really feel. of course all cannot be taken as literally, because for every rule there is an exception or two. feel that discrimination can be an unconscious matter so doesn’t mean one who claims s/he does not discriminate does not do it. and not only thin people discriminate fat people, there was a survey that discovered fat people discriminate against other fellow fat people too.

    and admit that am guilty of all kinds of discrimination too, the subtle everyday kind – race, gender, intelligence, even size.

  7. @TT “I don’t understand why you are choosing to be hurt and to pretend that I directed the expletive at your “self” when I didn’t do that. It’s not fair that you are manipulating the facts and trying to make me out as having said something personally insulting to you when I didn’t.”

    At the risk of getting in the way of the cross fire, and a hurt and angry sulz, I’ll add this @ TT: I can see that from where sulz is standing it really doesn’t matter whether you understand why she feels hurt or not… she perceived certain things you said as a hurt and a personal insult, that’s what she received. You clearly do not feel it was insulting or have even meant it to be. But she most certainly did or at least that’s what I understand. It is all about perception. Whose is more important?

  8. I think that the ban is unnecessary. There are real women, who are naturally that thin, and completely healthy, and all the women who are on runways insist that they are healthy. The ban should be whether or not the models are healthy. If the famous clothing designers really want to try and set a good example they should make a show with women of all different sizes. Tall, short, thin, fat, stalky, curvy…. then they would really be setting a good, realistic example of life and the women in it.

    sulz: you know, that’s a really nice idea to implement… even the plus-size model featured by jean-paul gaultier, velvet d’amour, promoted the idea of size diversity in fashion models. it would definitely open more doors to women who don’t fit the current stick-thin requisites but are just equally as beautiful (such as the plus-size models in elena miro’s fashion show).

    however, if the ban didn’t happen, there wouldn’t be more calls for healthier-looking models or diversity in models, would there? we’ll still be stuck with the same mould of models.

  9. Your article is very informative and helped me further.

    Thanks, David

    sulz: thank you. you’re not spam, are you?

  10. This discrimination against skinny models is unfair just as discrimination against fat people is wrong. People should be happy with the body they’re born with and not blame other people or the media for their low self esteem. There are people who are naturally thin and others that gain weight easily. What’s most important is that everyone has a healthy diet and exercises according to body type for better health no matter what the body size. Also look at what you eat. Eat your fruit, vegetables, meat, and carbs. Don’t overdo sweets and junk food for your health, but have a bite of it once in a while. Try eating every 4 hours with smaller portions. Just because the media projects thin models doesn’t mean that you should lose all judgement and start starving yourself or exercising like a maniac. For example, look at the popularity of breast implants. Just because it’s out there it doesn’t mean that everyone with small breasts will get implants. Lets start with self confidence, and ignore negative criticism from stupid people.

    sulz: what you’ve said is sound and true, but don’t agree about blaming people and media. they do have an affect on people’s self-esteem. that said, they of course cannot be entirely blamed for people facing weight problems.

  11. abbeytales said:

    This isn’t an issue about discrimination at all: it’s about the bigger picture.

    It is about a small part of the fashion industry FINALLY stepping up to the plate and admitting that they are, in part, at fault for the warped body images and the subsequent eating disorders that many young women in western culture have had to face since the days of Twiggy and Audrey Hepburn.

    The message: Don’t idolize SICK people.

    Of course the fashion industry is going to be mad. They have just lost a little bit of control. And ironically, Anorexia and Buliemia are disorders that thrive on a sense of being “in control”.

    Still a long way to go in this fight…. but more than just fashion ppl are taking a stand. Keira nightly just came out and said she was airbrushed.(Read it on Short News, I’ll repost that in my blog for you guys)… and one of my fav indie artists took a stance on this 2. She’s making a video with real women as part of her beauty-is- not-a-dress-size campaign. Here’s the link to the blog:

    http://abbeytales.wordpress.com/music-news/candice-jarrett-starts-truth-campaign/

    This was a really interesting thread!!! Thanks for sendin it my way 🙂 Feel free to send me more of your posts to read. Thx! ::hugs:: Abbey

    sulz: thank you for sharing your thoughts and the related link. it’s good to hear a perspective with real life examples to boot.

    glad you enjoyed reading it. 🙂

  12. Poor skinny model. They don’t know how to enjoy their life. Good model must not always skinny. And…if there’re people enjoy watching skinny model that’s because they enjoy those models being suffer.For me, being natural is the best. Is you’re naturally thin just be thin if you’re naturally chubby that’s ok.

    sulz: thanks for your comment.

  13. a5506725@nepwk.com said:

    Some of the comments are hilarious. You people are disgusting, saying things like “skinny people are finally getting what was coming to them”, etc…. Bunch of lowlives on here.

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