40 In Fashion

the 20th century corset


artwork by Mats Gustafson

i am so tired of the fact that every model in every editorial is anorectic. i just can’t get inspired by this.. i don’t want to post it on lolita because i do not want to be an enabler of this  ideal. and i will not accept that this is made the norm. weight has become the 20th century corset – another way of strapping the female body up and keeping it under control. the models in the editorials are weak silhouettes of women – ghostlike droids with meaningless impressions..

manipulating women means manipulating half the population on earth. businesses are cashing in making billions of dollars on womens unhappiness about themselves – of course they will keep pushing the boundries of what is considered beautiful. the manipulation goal is a homogenised population where everybody is made to fit one (ironically enough) model. a brilliant way of controlling half the population – making them weak and self-absorbed. something that will most definitely keep them from paying attention to politics, conflicts, consumption..

and i am equally tired of arguments such as: all bodies are different. sure they are – the bone structures are absolutely different. but please, go back in time about 50 years. where are these super slim people? where are these bony legs? being naturally slim does not mean not having any body fat. it means being petite and small but still having the normal attributes such as an indication of a stomach, a chin, cheeks..

of course i’m affected by this. we all are in one way or another. but the difference is;  some of us will keep fighting while other will keep accepting that women just need to starve themselves to death to be pretty.

we need to keep assuring each other that women do not have to be stick-thin to be beautiful.

this is my assuration: don’t fall for the billion dollar businesses manipulation. there is nothing wrong with you.

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  • Reply
    13/03/2012 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Katarina, I just came across this blog and post.
    Although your point may be valid, I have to say that I’m sick of people catagorizing every skinny girl as being ‘aneroxic’ or having ‘weight issues’. From a person who is naturally skinny, I get alot of comments from people who loves bashing on skinny girls just because they think it’s okay. But it’s not. It makes us insecure about your body as well just like when someone tells a curvy woman she is fat. When you say “the models in the editorials are weak silhouettes of women”, it feels exactly how it does when someone says “Real women have curves.” I’m 5 foot 4 and 37kgs, I’m naturally thin and it’s almost impossible for me to gain weight. Does that mean I’m not a “real woman” and don’t deserve to be called beautiful?

    I defintely am strongly opposed to young girls devolping body issues because from what is potrayed in the media about skinny models, but all I’m saying is that we can’t beat this whole issue of girls being insecure about their bodies if we are just shifting our view point from one end to the other of what is deemed “the ideal body” women should have. We are still belittling people that have different bodies from ours. Nothing changes.
    To me, it does not make sense at all. It does not demolish the issue of girls being insecure of their bodies, and I think that is what is important. If people were to be comfortable in their own bodies, only then will this problem be resolved.

    To overcome this issue, we need to get rid of all weight discrimination and stereotyping that claims “chubby people are lazy and lack self discipline” and “skinny people are unattractive and aneroxic” altogether. What we need to do is to promote a healthy lifestyle, see the beauty in every bodytype and not discriminate againsts a certain kind of bodytype- be it big or small.If you are allowed to love your ‘curves’, why am I not allowed to love my ‘bones?’
    Of course, easier being said than done. The media has all the power anyway.

    Wow, haha. I seem to have written an essay! Oh well. I love your site anyway. Bisous x

  • Reply
    15/07/2009 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you

  • Reply
    joanna goddard
    15/05/2009 at 4:56 am

    oh, so well said. thank you! xo joanna

  • Reply
    14/05/2009 at 5:04 pm

    As a clothing designer, i always choose models with actual female definition to exude the character of my clothing. I’m not stick thin, im a healthy slim (american) size 8 and learning to be happy with that on a personal level. Its so hard to feel 100% good about it when you have these unrealistic ideals to live up to- especially when, in addition to being bone-thin, these women are airbrushed to look even more perfect and less like life. Thank you for your post- it made me feel as if I am not alone. I love your blog!

  • Reply
    09/05/2009 at 6:59 am

    Thank you for this! You have no idea how timely this was for me to read! I do so love your beautiful blog!

  • Reply
    05/05/2009 at 9:35 pm

    You have NO IDEA how much your words have helped me.
    I suffer with bulimia and am in the process of recovering.
    Thank you for the encouragement and civil point of view, from the bottom of my heart.

    • Reply
      06/05/2009 at 11:43 am

      thank you for sharing that! i wish you all the best in you recovering process, from the bottom of my heart.

  • Reply
    03/05/2009 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you… so much.

  • Reply
    Zoe Pedziwiatr
    03/05/2009 at 4:14 pm

    I have been reading about this all semester, actually. There are a couple of really good books (that you might have already read) that I have really found to be essential, as well as an essay by Margaret Miles.

    They are:
    The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolff

    The Obsession: Reflections on the Tyranny of Slenderness by Kim Chernin

    Carnal Abominations: The Female Body as Grotesque by Margaret Miles

    anyway, you are right about all of this. There are too many parallels between anorexia and Victorian corsets to count. Also, an epiphany I had about all of this is that it might not be that our culture is so much body obsessed, but rather youth obsessed. Men are allowed to have salt and pepper gray, and they “get sexier as they age”, while women are lucky if they make it past 35 on the cover of a magazine (and even if they do they are airbrushed to look 10 years younger). The obsession with female youth means that it isn’t really about bodies being thin, so much as it is about bodies appearing prepubescent and denying the essential female body. The female body looks the way it does because it is meant for birthing babies. Our “purpose” when it comes to our bodies is motherhood, which is associated with age. The body associated with Motherhood(age) is being denied, and the body associated with prepubescence(youth) is being celebrated.

    I really enjoy your blog

    • Reply
      03/05/2009 at 4:25 pm

      thanks for the interesting comment! i’ll definitely check up on the books you recommended! regarding the youth part – it’s a very interesting way to look at it!

  • Reply
    03/05/2009 at 3:00 pm

    I know many models who now look so much better that they are not models and eat in a matter that provides them with some nutrition and provides more weight and shape. I have always felt that the anorexics were less attractive, plus they leave bruises on your hips when you are in a relationship with one. :D

  • Reply
    03/05/2009 at 1:49 pm

    Thing is, the evolutionary reason for womanly curves is all about babies- the stomach and hips to cushion and protect them, the breasts to feed them…

    Personally I want my body to be skinny and curve-free because it’s empowering, it means I’m all sport and action, and I’m not just… lying on my back.

    • Reply
      03/05/2009 at 3:32 pm

      interesting point but at the same time, what’s wrong with babies and womanly curves? it’s not about lying on your back, it’s about being a female and having the attributes of one. having curves is not the same thing as being lazy.

  • Reply
    02/05/2009 at 3:27 pm

    Håller med, bra skrivet. Jag har slutat försöka bli smal och börjat träna för att bli stark, för det är mer värt att kunna bära hem sina matkassar än att inte äta.

  • Reply
    02/05/2009 at 3:30 am

    This really made me feel wonderful. Thank you.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 11:58 pm

    Well ladies, if we all agree on this, let’s go out there and start a revolution. It is us as consumers, fashionmagazine/blog readers and aesthetics, who decide what we want to see,buy and what is considered beautiful. We are not victims. We are creators. If we want change, let’s make it.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 11:23 pm

    Aaah yes, thanks for this. I’ve felt this way for soooo long!

    Could someone please tell me what is attractive about keeping these models in preadolescent girls bodies. Don’t grow up they say, remain looking like you are 12… regardless of whether you have grown 6 more inches developed breasts, hips, a bum please hide that you are woman and pretend you are a little boy!

    I talked about this with a friend in the fashion industry… she said the girls need to be hangers…. Please! Actual hangers would be a lot less expensive to hire, and I NEVER buy something because it looks good on the hanger!

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 10:30 pm

    thank you so, so much.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you for saying this. I am also tired of all this fashion editorials where the models seem sick and the fashion shows where one sees walking skeletons! There are so much beautiful women with true curves, but nobody seems to have the idea to show them.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 9:47 pm

    I actually think the ENTIRE population is being manipulated.
    Soon, people won’t know what people look like. I think. They’ll go outside and wonder where all those models are.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 9:17 pm

    Thank you. The fact that you published this on your blog is evidence enough of your good intentions. I really respect that.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 8:39 pm

    That was just so beautiful! Okej, I have to write in Swedish. Det var helt fantastiskt bra skrivet måste jag säga! Tack för en så vacker text.

  • Reply
    Ms. Jenn
    01/05/2009 at 6:06 pm

    Amazing! Thank You so much for this post. I whole-heartedly agree, and I’m glad that you don’t find it the “ideal” like so many others now do.

  • Reply
    Alisa Wetzel
    01/05/2009 at 5:57 pm


  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 5:07 pm

    I adore your posts on Monica Bellucci & Marilyn Monroe, by the way. Hips are beautiful, not a burden.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 3:13 pm

    Fantastiskt. Skrivet så bra. Jag håller med dig i vartenda ord.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 2:51 pm

    nice blogg…

  • Reply
    Diana Lia
    01/05/2009 at 2:35 pm

    Well, Marylin Monroe is a cult icon famous mainly because of her good looks. Perhaps she weighed more than models do to today, but the fact remains, she’s a tradiotional beauty; long, slender and with a symmetrical face. I do not see how that stands in contrast to the pictures you usually upload, at all. The fact that Marylin Monroe is supposed to represent a ”normal” woman just shows, once again, that our vision is warped.

  • Reply
    Slices of Beauty
    01/05/2009 at 2:11 pm

    Love your blog!

  • Reply
    Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese
    01/05/2009 at 1:43 pm

    Now I love your blog even more! Very nicely stated. I’m a curvy girl and the only way I could ever be model skinny-waify would be to literally starve myself. The Norma Rae and Claudia posts were so beautiful. You don’t have to be a size 2 to be sexy!

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 1:19 pm

    very well said.

  • Reply
    Diana Lia
    01/05/2009 at 12:49 pm

    I’m a follower of your blog and I like it alot, but I have to say that this post is most hypocritical and provoking even.

    From what I have seen, you almost exclusevily post pictures of very thin and beautiful women according to the prevailing ideals. I’ve only subscribed to your blog for a couple of months, but I havn’t seen ONE single picture of a so-called ”average” woman. All I can see is ladies with long legs and a perfect bone structure. So when you post something like this, where you say that you do not want to be ”an enabler of this ideal”, I go into shock, because of the paradox between what you write and seem to think and what you actually do.

    • Reply
      01/05/2009 at 2:12 pm

      i understand what you mean but i don’t agree. there are numerous of monroe-posts on lolita and when i post a picture from an editorial i usually crop it so that the clothes are in focus, not the model. regarding the fashion photography-category; yes, there are several girls that are very thin – that’s because there aren’t many other editorials to choose from. and that’s also why i seldom post fashion editorials nowadays.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 12:31 pm

    thank you. each time I read something like this, I feel better. thank you, really.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 12:06 pm

    Håller verkligen med dig. Det är påfrestande att bara se ett slags ideal vart man än tittar, svårt att inte må dåligt ibland. Synd att man slösar bort sin tid på något så ytligt.

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 12:05 pm

    I really appreciated this post, thank you for addressing the issue of suppressing women through looks. It starts so early, 10 year olds who ask if their stomachs stick out after eating, it’s so sad and sick. Skinny is normal, normal-weight is fat, everything has moved place. Makes me very concerned about the young people growing up.


  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 12:02 pm

    wise words!

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 11:59 am

    Ååh, jag önskar att alla gjorde samma sak som du! Stå på dig, och tack!

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 11:37 am

    I agree with you!!

  • Reply
    01/05/2009 at 11:33 am

    Truly inspirational!
    Well said!

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