This event occurs once a year and always brings the same emotions, thoughts and views to my mind. Millions of men, some in relationships with beautiful, confident, perfectly themselves women, some with young daughters, etc will watch this show and idealize the women who will walk the runway. I can appreciate the fashion aspect of this show, the gorgeous styling, the musical performances, the set decoration etc. However the impact it has on so many beautiful (inside and out) women in the world who’s boyfriend or husband will watch it and make them feel like that is the ideal look and mould of beauty makes me uncomfortable. The fact that any woman would watch it and feel the desire, or even worse the need, to attain that look makes me sad. One of the brand’s most prominent models, Alessandra Ambrosio, has even famously admitted to not eating solid foods for nine days and not drinking any liquids for 12 hours before the show. It is an unrealistic standard of “beauty” and more so this show only represents and presents ONE look that is considered beautiful.
This made me happy and celebrate a win for woman and young girls – Both Chrissy Teigen and Ashley Graham posted Photoshopped versions of themselves in what served as a body-positive message, even if they didn’t have to say so explicitly.
On Sunday night, shortly before the show was taped in Shanghai on what was Monday morning in the States and Canada, Graham, a plus-size model signed to IMG and self-described “body activist,” posted an Instagram of herself with a winking emoji and the hashtag “#thickthighssavelives,” which has already received 500,000 likes—about 300,000 more than her usual posts—in the less than 12 hours since she posted it. Teigen, meanwhile, stuck to Twitter—the platform she’s proven herself a master at, as exhibited by the fact that Donald Trump has blocked her—with hers, beginning on Saturday when she asked her 8.5 million followers to Photoshop her into a photo she posted of Bella Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Maria Borges, and more of the models set to walk this year’s runway.
It’s telling that in one of the resulting images from a fan, which Teigen retweeted, the model fits right in. She and Graham are, after all, professional models – both have landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuits issue at that. Graham, for one, has proven herself as an accomplished lingerie runway model; her Photoshopped image was only altered by the addition of a pair of wings to a runway shot of her walking for the plus-size brand Addition Elle last year. The pair may have been joking but the fact that they were is perhaps most telling of all: What does it say about the standards we hold models – and therefore young women – to if the idea of two professional, popular models that aren’t sample size to walk the show is so outlandish that the idea of even suggesting it has to be done in jest?
Reghan Blake – blondeBLAKE