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If consumers really cared about the ubiquitousness of Photoshopping, if they really cared about skinny models on the catwalk, then we'd vote with our purses. This hasn't happened in the decades that we've been jibber-jabbering about these issues because those with genuine concern are a in the minority and b not in the target market for overpriced ego strokes.

Truth be told I don't have that much of a beef with the proposed French laws. I actually think a critical function of the state is to be seen to be doing the right thing, to be seen to care , even if in reality holding designers accountable will be pretty much impossible and any financial penalties will just get factored into a marketing budget. I care much more however, about the fact that we keep arguing - invariably hypocritically - around the edges of much more concerning industry problems.

We have debates about too-skinny models for example, in a culture where we're repeatedly told that we're fatty boombas. Here, buy a handbag.

We have debates about too-skinny models under the guise of advocating healthy body image while simultaneously reminding girls that they are permanently being judged for their appearance no matter what the hell they look like.

That the appearance of women is worth talking about. That even if a girl's not yet obsessing over every kilo lost or gained, fear not, because pundits will be more than happy to step in and do this on her behalf. Sure, there's something wrong with a culture that wants to see emaciated women in fashion marketing. There's also something wrong with these same models doing interviews regaling their enormous appetites and miraculous metabolisms.

And there's something wrong with a size 10 model being called plus-sized. And most of all, there's something very, very wrong about thinking that the fashion industry has any interest or obligation to make us feel good about our bodies. To reflect our own body shapes. Creating BMI-based legislation to address an ill-defined problem is lip service and at best politically correct government rhetoric that will do nothing to change a toxic industry.

Dr Lauren Rosewarne is a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne. She tweets at laurenrosewarne and can be found at www. First posted March 17, The proposed crackdown will last about a week. The fashion industry exists to convince you that your perfectly good clothes aren't good enough and that you need to buy this season's trends.

This fantasy can't be sold by looking at normal people, so we instead we see the runway show which has more in common with a Halloween party. I hear earth tones and pastels are back. Of course fashion cannot be sold by looking at normal people, Dove. Fashion advertising is aspirational. Who, man or woman, aspires to be the average, dumpy, middle aged person next door? Maybe it's because I'm chubby myself, but I feel a lot better looking at models that match my own body shape. I may as well be looking at a mens catalogue when I look at size 0 female models wearing clothes - they won't look the same on me at all, so why am I looking?

Are you the target market for the fashion, Ann? If not then what you want to see does not matter one bit to the fashion industry. They cater their advertising to those in their target market, not to everyone else. Actually yes I am one of the target markets for fashion.

Early 30s and just starting to have lots of cash to splash around as well as life events to wear it to. Mine was a rhetorical question, Ann. You described yourself as chubby. If you are chubby then you are not part of the target market for high end fashion as most of the high end fashion houses do not cater to "chubby" sizes. Reaver, fashion trickles down to mass produced lines eventually, with prices that match. Models have always been thin, they are supposed to be very tall walking coat hangers.

Fashion does indeed trickle down to cheap mass produced lines, SueB, but what does that have to do with the marketing decisions made by the fashion houses at the top end of things? Why would Manolo Blahnik or Versace change their advertising habits, including their choices of models, just because their fashion design decisions would eventually effect what items are stocked by stores like Payless Shoes and Best and Less?

I'm the target market i. I feel revolted by the skeletal, pre-pubescent girls in advertising and on runways and would to like to see more relevant models of the product I'd invest in.

I'd be happy to see models larger than me and as short as me. The clothes look better on thin models. On an ordinary body, they look pretty ordinary. That's why they never make us happy or glam, and never change our lives. As you get older, you learn with luck what suits you and stick to that! It appears that the designers are attracted to the shape of pre-pubescent boys.

Just imagine if the designers, instead of using a mathematical formula to scale up the patterns from size 0 upwards, spent the time to specifically design the clothes to properly fit each different size.

Great idea everyone says! Here's the problem, there are a range of people that are an Aus size 8. Each one will have a very different body shape depending on their height. So even if the designers got o all that trouble, the clothes still won't fit everyone properly that is a size 8!

Then of course, it takes more design hours to individually do the pattern for each different size, so will larger people be willing to pay more money than a smaller person for the same clothes? Larger women already pay more for their clothes, and women pay more than men for basic items. It has nothing to do with price of labor when they are all made overseas anyway. Everything to do with cheap throwaway trend and inbuilt obsolescence Mid price chain stores used to stock decent clothes in regular and plus size ranges that were cut differently according to the range and had pants that came in short, reg and tall lengths.

Now it's just scaled up cheap stuff that doesn't fit an average woman at either end of the size range. I have 20year old clothes from these places that still fit better and are better made than anything in the same store in the last 5 years What's the point of a jacket with the shoulder set 2 full inches above the natural shoulder because someone didn't adjust the sleeve insertion on the pattern every 2 sizes?

This is purely from memeory, but I recall a study that looked at the very question of why womens clothes were more expemsive and the ultimate answer it came to was that simply, women were more prepared to pay more for clothes than men.

This is perhaps the real underlying reason for the above problem as highlighted in the article, people being told and increasingly pressure on men they arent good enough if they dont consume. They are the same! According to ABS stats, the 'average' Australian woman is a size However, is that even 'ordinary' given that the average takes into account the thinner and the larger people I worked for 38 years at the ABS and never spotted a dress size stat in all that time.

Is it another "ABS" you're referring to? We are talking about France so I think you are wrong. Once the French get something in their minds it is hard to yank out. It is not men who are demanding these models be stick thin; many men in fact appreciate fuller figures, and generally are less critical than women about these things, at least from my knowledge.

And the fashion industry does not seem to be short on female representation at all levels. So who is demanding it, and why? For the most part men have almost zero interest in the fashion industry. The best thing women can do is not pick up that copy of Vogue at the checkout. Do not pick up the fashion mags or watch all the similar stuff on TV. I was at an event for international women's day and the speaker was going on about how terribly sexist something-or-other was in Marie Claire magazine I think that is how you spell it.

I really had to rack my brain to get a vision of what that mag looked like and figure out what it was about. Women buy this garbage not men, so stop buying it, stop watching it, and a lot of judgement ends.

Being very broad, Men read porn, women read fashion and celebrity magazines. Both are pornography in my opinion, both a harmless relaease until someone takes it seriously or someone gets hurt in the making.

As a grandfather of three young girls, I dispair at the dolls they play with and the hopelessly unrealistic proportions of dolls' physiques. Healthy young women obsess about slimming or toning or significantly changing their healthy and attractive bodies because of the images they absorbed in childhood. Oh I don't know Dave. Barbie and this same conversation have been around for 50 odd years. I suspect both men and women have had opinions on the various aspects of each other's bodies since the beginning.

Look at art through history and you see the "ideal" or stylised body shape of both sexes changes. Burt Reynolds used to be every woman's fantasy. I recently watched Deliverance with my daughter and she said "ew, he's so hairy".

The more things change Nobody did blame men. Sheesh, this is the best example of what-about-me I've seen. It would seem that its impossible to write an article about women without causing you offence.

Even when we are not blaming men you are still complaining - why, because the article is not all about men? No-one mentioned sex appeal either. Hi Still just visible, Sadly, there will always be a very small proportion of men out there who interpret any mention of women as a threat. And I use the term "men" loosely. Sadly, there will be an equal number of white knights who use gender shaming techniques to advertise their macho stereotypes of masculinity.

Probably in the hope that such juvenile posturing draws attention away from their personalities. Which is curious, since no claim was made about it being all about sex appeal, Jacob's argument seems to specifically reject it. It certainly couldn't even be interpretatively read as stating 'that women are all about sex'. He simply asks who's driving the trend and why, but you've gone and gotten offended mostly at your own take on his words.

This is a perfect example of why these issues are so hard to unpick, so many egos and identities to disentangle from the problem. In answer to Jacob's question it's driven by a false expectation of what is required to look good. In men, its manifest itself in body building, a belief that to be physically attractive one must be hyper-muscular. It's driven mostly by passive competition, comparing oneself to an ideal and becoming obsessed by obtaining it.

The victims of the mindset probably do believe that attractiveness to the opposite sex is a factor in their motivation, though few women profess to see body builders as good looking. There are industries devoted to selling products to maintain and feed the mindset, but it's an organic process, no one force set's out to create this status quo.

In the case of female modeling the same is true; a sense that this is what's expected to reach an optimal body image. It has an extra element though of marketing over priced trinkets and apparel through the image to it's victims. Again its internal comparison and competition that drives the extreme, not the opposite sex, who often look on with a sense of horror at the results.

Again, the fashion industry may perpetuate it but the drive comes from an innate need to benefit oneself socially. Nobody blamed men - she blamed the media which discuss these things, which are often other women. However, I don't think she's quite correct in this. If these fashion shows and ads went on without anybody talking about them or refuting them, or pointing out how over-photoshopped they are, does she think teenage girls would then fail to pay attention to them?

Does she actually believe talking about them does more damage than letting them go uncontested? As a girl who decided to opt out of trying to be as attractive as possible at an early age, I have to say that opinion pieces on the damage of unrealistic beauty, and revelations of just how false some images could be, was not damaging to me.

If anything it bolstered my existing notions. People having a conversation about unrealistic female beauty does not impact those without it, frankly. It's true that the article doesn't blame men, although it's interesting that none of the links to bad behaviour in the first paragraph relate to women. The article is strident and emotive which arguably it should be , bur it's very nebulous when it comes to pointing the finger, using terms like 'we' and 'the industry'.

There isn't the call to arms to women that there should be, nor the acknowledgement that it's primarily women who reinforce the current situation. Equally Lauren, I find deliberately overweight people as a blight on the vista and a burden on us all via the health bills they drum up, and the excess weight and space they consume on transport modes. But in these days of PC call someone fat which they clearly are [Chrissie Swan for example], and they cry poor poor pitiful me.

There is an industry built on licensing women and girls to overeat, and under exercise, which is as dangerous as under eating disorders.

It is time the groups profiting by the status-quo of obesity were closed down. These women's groups usually Christian based are constantly attacking and trolling the likes of Jenny Craig etc. Fat is a descriptive adjective. If you don't like it,don't be it. The cries of "Poor, poor, little me" and the ensuing support from many others when the obvious is pointed out to the morbidly obese is part of a wider pattern, Nutter.

For the last few decades there has been a social movement to eliminate shame from society, to eliminate the idea that certain things are shameful and that it is a valid thing to judge others on them. The desired elimination is based on a desire to escape consequence, to be able to do whatever they want without any adverse consequences at all. It should come as no surprise that the same groups demanding to be free of "shaming" "fat shaming", "slut shaming", et al are also those demanding that the government pay for their life choices- no questions asked taxpayer funded unemployment payments if they choose not to get a job Were you aware that there is a union for the unemployed?

What will they do if their demands are not met, go on strike? The result is what we see in front of us every day- a society in which fewer and fewer people are willing to support the system and more and more people are demanding that their choices not only be accepted and even cherished, but paid for as well.

Although it's becoming less of a desire and more of an expectation. This entitlement is a hallmark of pseudofeminism and the female victim industry, which has an unhealthy level of representation at the ABC.

Who have "man size" portions marketed to them, while women are peddled smaller portions for the same price as a healthy option.

With men's clothes, and I mean the 'off the rack' not tailored , the extra Xs on the XXXL could fit someone who is 'naturally' big, and someone who took the 'lifestyle option' to be big. The high end designers, being the same ones that people complain about only catering for skinny women, don't make clothes that are designed to fit larger men. Have a look at how terrible a EU54 suit looks on an appropriately sized man, compared to the same suit in a size EU46!

The 46 will be nicely tailored into the waist line and cut a good silhouette whilst the 54 will be baggy around the mid section even though it fits across the shoulders.

Men have to get clothes tailored to fit correctly just like women! My wife is a size 6 and has to get clothes altered because of her height and because of the inconsistencies between brands as to what they each call a size 6. Seems like no matter what size you are the clothes don't fit perfect I have a hard time finding clothes because the larger sizes are for men fatter than me but shorter too.

I have to stick to the designers that make their clothes for tall fit men. Apologising for fat people is not just a female industry.

Ditto PI - I have just the same problem. For some reason male clothes designers seem to think that tall men are also fat. The fact there are more overweight than underweight people in Australia always seems ignored in these debates.

The solutions for both are largely the same. Balanced meals, some exercise, decent portions and having and admitting a realistic standard. What the over and under weight male and female have in common is it is their gender pushing what is right and having an unrealistic idea.

One side effect that this hatred of skinny models has done is perpetuated the idea that somehow it's OK to be fat. I go to the gym every day, and I have never seen a man or a woman that is fat that stays that way. Weather it's the garbage they eat or not exercising enough, there is no excuse for not keeping fit.

My rule when I was dating was "no fat chicks" mainly because these are people that simply do not look after themselves. I remember people called me a pig for "no fat chicks", well if appreciating somebody that looks after themselves is "pig" actions then oink oink.

Ironic though those same people are usually the ones that defend eating like one. Personally I never understood this thing against fat shaming. Just because it's not OK to be anorexic doesn't mean it's OK to be fat! Joe Tex's "Aint gonna bump no more with no big fat woman " takes on a whole new meaning. I am astonished, in equal measure, that the more our culture eats itself to death, the more we agonise over people that are thin.

The entire fashion industry is absurd and ignoring it seems the best option to me. As a woman I believe one thing is clear, this whole 'body image' topic, is a woman's construct. Women are far more critical of other women than men tend to be, and more obsessed about appearance. And the idea that happiness can be linked to physical appearance, and what clothes you wear, or handbag you have is crap.

Wake up women, you're letting yourselves be conned. I saw a doco series recently, the female Professor presenter had hair all over the place and non-descript clothes. She's a smart, intelligent succesful woman who clearly doesnt give a damn about superficial appearances. Now that's a female role model!. I quite liked some of the images of female astronauts floating around the space station, hair all over the place looking decidedly erratic and unattractive. But it engendered in me strong feelings of pride that women are up there on the frontiers of exploration.

This old debate again? I can't remember a time when the horror of thin models wasn't a social issue. But this is what happens in the commercial world, and until the industry can be convinced that there is money in morals, then expect the horror show to continue. Perhaps if people stopped buying the mags and products, the commercial world would change.

Apologies for the pun. There was an interesting study done in the 's looking at what men find is an attractive body shape and then compareing that to fertiltiy. It is known that a woman is most healty and fertile with a BMI between about 19 and The study then looked at playboy models.

And models in the 50s and 60s were often plump by standards of the day. And it's no surprise that Marylin Monroe remains a household name yet few of us could name any current-day models because unlike today's skeletons she had curves which could really capture one's attention.

I've heard another theory that the aesthetics around beauty are supposed to reflect wealth. In the renaissance busty was in vogue, presumably because being fat meant you could afford to be.

Now thin is in; with personal trainers and a strict regimen of dietician-approved organics showing the way. Likewise, in parts of Asia, to be fair used to be considered beautiful - a sign you didn't need to work outside. Whereas over here, having a tan was the go. You can get your pasty face down to the beach etc. Just a theory anyway. Yes, "beautiful" tends to mean "obviously affluent" as well as having some physical markers of fertility.

It's especially hilarious that after tanned skin has been conclusively shown to age you and increase your chance of getting skin cancer, people continue to dye their skin to emulate the unhealthy look.

Maybe we should just be dying our skin green or purple, it's no different from dying it orange. And even where fatness has not been considered beautiful, it often hasn't been considered so negatively as some Western cultures perceive it.

Think who used to be depicted as fat: As for fat people and their health costs, frail, sickly people with asthma or allergies are just as likely to be a continual drain on the system, and don't even get me started on people with mental health problems. Yet it's considered bad form to mock them. You don't have to read it in Playboy. The pictures alone tell you what men like to look at as assumed by other men, and not assumed by women - that there is the crucial difference.

Dove and SimonP38, Playboy has a long standing reputation as a resource for excellent articles and writing. I can't say that I've ever noticed it ;. I am so glad men are no longer judged on their appearance. I just don't know how to break the news to all those young guys regularly whipping off to the gym to shape and define their bodies in the mistaken belief women still find that kind of thing attractive though. People will always be drawn to attractive people. Increasing the chances of having good looking offspring is part of it.

Many bad matches occur as a result. Developing one's own personal style is part of identity formation. We all deliberately groom ourselves in the way we want others to see and judge us. Appearing deliberately ungroomed is itself a statement. The only women I've met who insist on muscled boyfriends were the same kind of women lapping up Twilight, 50 Shades and other nonsense romance, and fretting about their appearance and diet constantly.

Have fun dating those girls. If I were a lesbian, they'd be enough to turn me straight. Actually I have ticked off those qualities already Ann. Doesn't do me a lot of good. What do you reckon, add humility as well? I think you can add Tinder to the recipe.

Not my business but I can't help feeling just a bit snippy about it. Put it down to jealousy. Not sure if you're trolling here but a 'tad underweight'? I'm not sure how you can emulate a body type. You're kind of stuck with the one you have. If we stopped making a fuss about this type is "good" and this type is "bad" there would be no problem. How many skinny men buy protein powder in an attempt to bulk up? And how many girls buy laxatives in an attempt to slim down?

Wishing to change your body type is a big industry. Emulation IS the problem, Clicky. Girls become anorexic or bulimic in the attempt to create a body closer to the approved model. Dysmorphia ensures that what the girls see in the mirror is an exaggeration of their greatest fears about themselves - that is why the saturation of super-thin imagery is such a problem.

Most people are quite unaware of the ways in which the media manipulate us, especially when it comes to self-image. It isn't about "if we stopped making a fuss"; until more people wake up to what is going on, the problem will continue. Which is why I said we should stop making a fuss - ie stop implying an ideal exists. I say stop worrying about "good" and "bad" and people will stop emulating because it won't occur to them they need to.

Concentrate on overall health, regardless of body type. No Chocko, i'm not trolling here. Could someone please let Dr Rosewarne know that the wine bar table she's sitting at with a few other terminally aggrieved, perpetually disenchanted friends of hers for the past five hours has been bugged and her comments are being distributed to a wider audience without her knowledge.

The author - despite being a senior lecturer at a fine university - is woefully ignorant of the fashion industry. At fashion shows, the clothes you see are one-of-a-kind.

They don't come in multiple sizes. They are constructed on modelling mannequins that only come in one size that is standardized across the industry. It is only after doing shows and meeting with fashion buyers that the quantities are actually determined and the design is scaled up into different sizes ready for production.

It is much, much more difficult to scale a design down. It takes many more head hours and isn't economic. This is why professional runway models are all the same size - and skinny - otherwise they wouldn't fit into the clothes that have been lovingly and painstakingly created.

This size, by the way, has been constant for many many decades. It has not been shrunk. Models are the same size now as they were thirty or fifty years ago.

The truth is that the rest of us have simply gotten bigger. If ever there has been an ill-informed piece of commentary written from an ivory tower, this is it. If you want to criticise the fashion industry, at least understand the basics of how it works.

The writer calls it a 'toxic industry'. I beg to differ. In fact this industry employs tens of thousands of Australians - the vast majority of whom are these very same women who are meant to feel 'damaged' by the advertising. The vast majority of customers who enthusiastically embrace the products that the fashion industry serve up are also incredibly not crying into their Jenny Craig about feeling objectified and exploited.

Sure, the might diet now and then and want to drop a dress size, but they don't obsess about it. You know what most people do? They just enjoy it. They go shopping, they read some magazines, they buy some stuff that makes them feel good.

They don't over intellectualise it or snarkily complain that the models are too skinny. If we were as influenced by this industry as the writer seems to think we are, there would be a hell of a lot fewer overweight people walking on the streets. And they would certainly be better dressed. I think it's time for the ABC to realise that the opinions of the writer are not in the mainstream.

Going to university and reading Germaine Greer does not make one an authority on an industry the writer obviously knows absolutely nothing about.

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