Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is there a bit of hypocrisy here?

Alex Perry, fashion designer and TV model mentor, has copped a barrage of complaints since describing a size 8 model contestant (Allisander Moone) in the show Australia's Next Top Model, as

"overstuffed baggage"

Following many complaints Perry claimed he wasn't referring to the model, but the clothes she had had chosen for her!   He also says he is not a "fattist"!

For a so-called "professional" designer as well as model mentor, Perry should have the ability to speak about models and how they look, and what they are dressed in, in a much more sensitive even if straight-forward way, than to use the words "overstuffed baggage".   These people have such an influence on how women see themselves - and they know it!   

The discriminatory words he has used to describe Allisandra are bad enough.  But when it comes to other young women who read about this and hear it spoken about, how are they going to feel?   They're going to feel that they too are "overstuffed baggage", and they'll start the treadmill of losing weight at any cost, so that they'll be seen to be "normal".   They'll lose sight of the fact that they are lovely as they are and they don't need to be harrassed by innuendo by people like Alex Perry.

Perry, by the way,  has just released a 10 piece "corporate" line of fashion,  in sizes up to 16!    Of course he'll do well in sales, and again he knows it.   But there seems to be a contraction there - is it OK to use words about a model size 8 that could break any person's spirit and then expect women of similar size and bigger to go and buy his clothes?   He (and others like him) probably do!

What is normal anyway?   My best friend is short;  I'm taller.   One friend has beautiful naturally red hair;  mine has streaks of grey.   Another friend is naturally skinny and has a figure that any model would like to have;  I'm a large and deliciously curvaceous woman.  But we're all normal.

So let's get off this stupid and degrading way of describing women in a way that makes them (and us) feel as though we're "different" to the extent of being out of contention when it comes to being understood and being accepted within all frameworks of life.  

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