Sunday, 24 April 2011

Does size matter?

If I was to ask you what your perception of a 'real girl' is, what would you say? Is it the girl on the checkout in your local supermarket? The old class mate you would sit next to and try to copy off in math? Your best friend? Yourself?

The fashion magazine industry is forever being tarnished for under representing average young women by using extremely thin or unconventional sized models. Personally, I don't have an issue with this at all. In my opinion, clothes on thin models keep the focus on the items as the body acts as a rail to portray the clothes. A larger lady with hips and boobs would be more of a distraction, therefore the attention on the clothes would be lost. Also, people who make a big deal out of 'underweight' models need to realise that there are 'real' girls out there who are naturally thin and so technically are being represented in the fashion industry. But what about the other girls?

My blog post comes from reading this months Company magazine. The issue is purposefully focussing on representing 'real girls' in the magazine by using them on the front cover and on inside features and so forth. Wow, I thought, what a really brave stance to make; to be different by being realistic. But just by looking at the front cover, the girls used are slim and model-esque to look at. Don't get me wrong, they are ordinary girls therefore they are real, but not necessarily a true representation of young women today.

On reading the introductory letter from Editor of Company magazine, Victoria White, she says "this is no model hunt" well you could have fooled me. Stunning girls, yes. Great clothes horses, yes. Average? No. According to the avergae size of a female in the UK is a size 16. So if Company magazine was using real girls on their cover surely they should be a 16 too?

The Editor then goes on to say "we're the only mag for young women I can think of who do this- because we know you like to see fashion on girls like you?" Well, speaking on my behalf, the front cover models are not like myself at all, nor any of my friends come to think of it. Out of the final six girls, I predict four of them at sizes 6-10, one at a size 12 and the last one at 14. So none, in my opinion, are an average size of 16.

I love Company Magazine's idea of portraying girls, but they need to actually do this! Don't make out your doing anything out of the ordinary when you don't dare push the boundaries and actually do something different.

How refreshing would it be  to see a fabulously fashionable seemingly 'larger' young woman of a sixteen on the front cover of Company. The Editor obviously believes the magazine holds a niche over the portrayal of real girls, so I don't understand why they aren't using this confidence to their advantage by breaking the boundaries and thriving in the current size controversy.

I don't think the magazine industry needs to shock or alarm readers, just represent everyone fairly. As I touched upon earlier, there are skinny girls, but there are larger ladies too. I'm not saying encourage fasting and I am not saying promote obesity either; magazines just need to find a centre to both extremities.

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