October 15, 2009

Real vs. fake: A model controversy

Once upon a time, not so long ago, hourglass figures like Marilyn Monroe's were considered most desirable; and even as recently as the 1980s, breasts were an accepted part of a model's body. These days, with the stick-thin heroin-chic figure continuing to dominate the fashion world as Americans grow ever plumper, the fight continues to escalate between defenders of runway models and advocates of "real women" as models.

By many accounts, curvy women are back: Mad Men star Christina Hendricks' bombshell figure has attracted widespread adulation, including an Esquire profile. Plus-size model Crystal Renn has been making a splash with Hungry, her new memoir of her eating-disordered days as a straight-size model. And popular German magazine Brigitte recently declared a moratorium on using professional models, issuing an open call for readers to be cast for an upcoming photo shoot instead.

Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has been taking a lot of flack for not only Photoshopping longtime model Filippa Hamilton-Palmstierna into bizarrely unrealistic proportions (see photos above), but also terminating her contract for not fitting into their clothes, she claims. The 23-year-old is 5'8" tall and 120 pounds.
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