Do you want fantasy or reality in women’s magazines?

Model Altered Photo
This is Filippa Hamilton and she says her contract has been terminated by Ralph Lauren because “they said I was overweight and couldn’t fit in their clothes any more”.

 Ralph Lauren says that “we regret that our relationship has ended as a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us.”

 And some of you have been talking about French Vogue…

There’s a row brewing after French Vogue pictured Dutch model Lara Stone with heavy dark brown make-up all over her face and body.

Critics says she’s been ‘blacked up’ and that’s it’s unacceptable. The magazine says it’s unaware offence has been caused, and there’s no explanation for the use of heavy make-up. Defenders says it’s just a creative photoshoot and nothing more.

And these stories raise issues that are far from new for those you who take part in World Have Your Say.

Key questions are:

All of which raises various questions:

– do you want a portrait of reality when you look at a women’s magazine?

– are the models used in some magazines ‘unrealistic’, or just an example of how young, slim, healthy women can look?

– should everything – from the clothes, to the photoshopping, to the model’s bodies – be treated a ‘fantasy’ or ‘dream’ which is designed to inspire rather than be copied?

– have fashion houses gone too far with their idea of beauty? Can they justify featuring clothes that most women can’t wear?

81 Responses to “Do you want fantasy or reality in women’s magazines?”

  1. 1 Roberto
    October 15, 2009 at 11:15

    RE “” Ralph Lauren “”

    – Women don’t have to work for this misanthrope.

    I don’t have the answer to the problem as long as the status quo accepts viciously unhealthy working conditions as the norm. Certainly folks working in construction and other fields suffer worse grievances, but little is ever done when jobs are scarce and people are scraping by.

    Seems like with photoshop and retouching ability, they could make Mama Cass look like Twiggy if they wanted.

    • 2 Jessica in NYC
      October 15, 2009 at 18:07


      Unfortunately it is true that while women are objectified, more porminet issues take a back seat especially working conditions for women working in male dominated industries such as construction.

  2. October 15, 2009 at 11:17

    The photo of her looking like a big headed genetic disaster will be remembered forever as the worst PhotoShopped photograph that ever got published. No one in their right mind will look at it and say, “My what a pretty girl.” But, it does say something about the fools that published it… they DID think it looked good.

  3. 4 vijay Pillai
    October 15, 2009 at 11:40

    This topic was the hot topic few years ago and it has come to the fore ofcause as a result of few rejections of normal sizes. To be honest it all depends on where on live. Go to rural areas of poor part of africa , asia and latin america where one meal a day a norm for millions, one would find a pencil thin women hard at work in a farm or carrying water pots or cans for miles from source of water to their homes. Who can blame them being thin?

    But if one looks at western world ,we have problems of slimming disease like anorexia and the need to look normal with skin around their body.I find beautly is not looking at pensil thin exposing the bones but all round the body with all the bones covered with skin as nature intended.

    In this instance, one would argue that conrtract is contract and if a modelling or clothin company spent millions on clothing expecitng demand of pencil thin sizes, naturally they would prefer to have such models. This can only be eliminaited by shift in perception of beauty not as pencil thin and the society as a whole begin to appreciate normal women with flesh on their bone and make pencil thing of the past.

  4. 5 Kelly from Chicago
    October 15, 2009 at 14:12

    I want reality in women’s magazines. I think that there is plenty of beauty and even fantasy beauty to be found in women who aren’t suffering from anorexia or made to look like they are. This won’t fix all problems with self-esteem in young girls/women or the problem of the media as a whole.

    What I don’t understand about these companies is why they would expect women to demand small sizes. The most common sizes are the ones that sell out the fastest and are in the most demand. And those sizes are, in the US, sizes 10, 12, 14, 16…I just don’t understand the obsession with thin.

  5. 6 Roy, Washington DC
    October 15, 2009 at 14:26

    Models who are so thin they resemble an anorexic aren’t attractive in the slightest. Fashion companies are trying too hard, and what they don’t seem to realize is that there is such thing as too much.

  6. 7 Justin in Iowa
    October 15, 2009 at 14:27

    I don’t think its a matter of wanting fantasy or reality – how about what looks good and what doesn’t? I think an unhealthy, emaciated, stick thin woman looks less attractive than a healthy, curvy woman. Everyone has their different attractions, it would be nice if magazines and fashion recognized this. Right now, the only look is thin and unhealthy, and that is simply un-attainable for a large majority of women out there. And they shouldn’t feel like they need to fit that image.

  7. 8 Chintan in Houston
    October 15, 2009 at 14:31

    There is fantasy and reality in movies, books, television why can’t it be there in magazines. Its entertainment and it for profit, so they have to do whatever it takes to make money and what sells copies. Modeling a woman that is over size 14 does not suit their image or their readers. There are magazines for plus size women too, I don’t see people who are naturally skinny or work out and maintain their weight raising their arms and speaking against it.
    By the way Filippa Hamilton is super hot!! 🙂 but that tan is not real.

  8. 9 Jade
    October 15, 2009 at 14:37

    Many people choose to hear or read something to feel good. Fantasy sells better. Reality can hurt.

  9. 10 Jennifer
    October 15, 2009 at 14:42

    Re: are the models used in some magazines ‘unrealistic’, or just an example of how young, slim, healthy women can look?

    I think a good idea is to imagine these “examples” without clothes. If it makes you ill, it’s probably not how a young, slim, healthy woman could or should look.

    I am wondering if maybe we need to think about magazines. What purpose do they have? What purposes do advertisements have? Should we have advertisements for items in magazines with models? Should we just show items? After all, we want to appeal to people? What appeals? Stick chicks………..chubby women?

    People say they want reality in magazines but what appeals? Really?

    For the white woman who wore dark make-up and offended; I think people are much too sensitive about race.

  10. October 15, 2009 at 14:42

    The reality is, Reality doesn’t sell. Magazines are in business to sell copies of their magazines. Generally in our day to day life we don’t view reality let alone go and purchase it from a news stand. The way we think our family, friends, and co-workers actually view us is usually pretty far off from the reality. This is especially true in women where their body and self image fluxgates depending upon the level of estrogen, testosterone, and hormone levels at a given time.

    So who is going to go buy a magazine with a pear shaped woman on the front and endless stories about the kids messing up the house, the dog getting into the garbage, a boring monotonous job, a husband that works too much and doesn’t pay as much attention to their spouse as he does his buddies and his video game. Even “reality TV” is anything but. Camera angles and selected scenes, and devised story lines are used to “spice up” the reality. No the paying public wants to know that it is possible to have an hour glass figure, kids that listen and clean up after themselves, an exciting job, and a husband that caters to their every whim. And they want it to come in the form of a pill. Even then, that becomes “reality”, then it is on to the next fantasy.

  11. October 15, 2009 at 14:49

    What I’d love to see in women’s magazines is women whose BMIs (Body Mass Indices) range from 18% to 24.9% i.e. women who weight is ”normal”… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad … PS, as a young woman who lives in a country where people’s crucial concerns are fashion and following what appears in women’s magazines i.e. Iraq, I cannot tell you guys how happy I am that another fashion discussion topic has made it successfully to the ”On Air” WHYS blog page ! ;)…

  12. 13 jens
    October 15, 2009 at 14:55

    if i would want to hug and live with a twig, i would go into the forest and find myself a good looking one.

    these images are degrading to woman. there are naturally skinny woman and that is fine, and there are naturally fuller bodied woman and that is great too. the sad thing is that these images conjure up a stigma for girls having to be ultra skinny to be attractive and loved. i would be scared to hug some of these models for fear of snapping them in half…..

  13. 14 Tamatoa, Zurich
    October 15, 2009 at 15:03

    I think there is room for both – reality/”average” and phantasy/extreme. Readers have to know by now that Photoshop can hide a lot of things and therefore distort a lot of things. Instruction videos show an extreme/perfection. Everyone knows that they will never reach that ideal but it’s easier to learn from perfection.

    At the moment a slim body is still the accepted ideal. So there is room for e.g. Vogue – a magazine that displays the best fashion on the “perfect” body. If we want to express, develop and maximize our creative potential then extremes are unavoidable.

    As to how to change the body image I’m not sure how. But I don’t think changing Vogue works. Half of the population – men – usually don’t read those magazines. So we should try to change mainstream media.

  14. 15 Andrew in Australia
    October 15, 2009 at 15:20

    The role of fashion magazines is to sell product, yes there are fat women about – and let’s not be too hung about that word, fat is a description if you don’t like then hide under the bed, descriptions like plus size or ample are simply sugar coating reality – but you want to sell a product and present it in its best light.

    You do not want to see a beat up old banger in car magazines or promos, you want to see what is best and most attractive.

    To say fat models reflect reality is true, but it is also cover for saying well this is just about us having given up because ask any medico and they will tell you fat is not the norm and unhealthy. So by promoting this image what you are telling many people is it is ok to be fat, don’t bother to improve your health and your image, just give up. The type of society we are all heading for who will not take responsibility for themselves. So when all these fat people develop diabetes who wil they blame? The fashion magazines that said it was OK to be overweight?

  15. 16 gary
    October 15, 2009 at 15:23

    For most men in contact with reality, the female form and its remarkable function is more attractive than any fantasy could be. I believe haute couture is driven by men with fantasies; but not ones about young women.

  16. 17 María, Buenos Aires
    October 15, 2009 at 15:30

    I think magazines should represent all range of bodies! Models are usually flat chested and with no real curves, so clothes look different on them. It is hard to imagine how something would look on me, if it would fit a totally different kind of body.
    Designers make clothes for skeleton women…that is not real! When you see how a skirt fits on a real woman it is a totally different skirt! Designers don’t want real, everyday women to show their clothes…Maybe we should just change our idea of beauty and perfection, cause when you see models face to face, they are not the same celestial beings that appear in covers.
    Here in Argentina clothes come in very few sizes. People are mostly slim, but ‘bigger’, beautfil and slim women exist too….but they have a hard time finding trousers. I think that the media should start, as the 4th power, making people aware of these unrealistic beliefs. When we start seeing beauty everywhere, the hedonistic cult to the body will stop.

  17. 18 Gary Paudler
    October 15, 2009 at 15:30

    It’s not about the models or humanity or reality, it’s just about selling stuff that nobody needs. There are probably some models with talent or skill but they must recognize that they are being paid only because and to the extent that they exemplify some image that their employer wishes to project. Magazines don’t sell reality. A famous ad man said that his job was to convince people that, unless they bought his client’s product, they would never (have sex). That’s why cars have 500 horsepower and cost $300,000, there are 1000 different shampoos, you can have a free mobile phone or one for $300 and they use 14 year-olds to display laundry. It is ONLY about fantasy and Ms. Hamilton was fortunate to have conformed to that fantasy for a few years, most of us never will. We mustn’t feign shock that the fashion industry is no more humane than any other industry. It’s our fault, not Ralph’s or Karl’s – they’re just savvy panderers.

  18. 19 patti in cape coral
    October 15, 2009 at 15:52

    A variety of body shapes and sizes would be nice, instead of all one size and shape.

  19. 20 steve
    October 15, 2009 at 15:56

    Not again! Who reads these magazines anyways?

  20. 21 kipsang
    October 15, 2009 at 16:01

    what do you see when you open women magazines?
    1. semi-clad women
    2.”hot” cchicks
    3.Beauty accessories

  21. 22 Anthony
    October 15, 2009 at 16:02

    I like all women of the world, and dating a little chunky chicks is the best. That’s why when I see non-anorexic women on magazines, I think it’s hot. Since most of those who are anorexic are ugly inside (in my eyes), I have been conditioned to think they are ugly all around now.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  22. 23 Krupa Thakrar
    October 15, 2009 at 16:05

    Editor from Brigitte, Germany’s leading women’s magazine is joining us tonight live from Hamburg. They’ve just banned professional models.

  23. October 15, 2009 at 16:07

    Hey it’s Jess here, I’ve just lined up Katie Green, former wonderbra model who was fired when she refused to lose weight. She has recently hit back at comments made by Karl Lagerfeld that women in the fashion industry must be thin.

  24. 26 kipsang
    October 15, 2009 at 16:12

    Those magazines are marketing the dehumanization of women and profiting from it.

  25. 27 Mavis
    October 15, 2009 at 16:20

    I want reality in women’s magazines. Whats the point in looking at what doesnot appeal to me or make sense to my dress sense or the practicability of what am looking at in my daily life activities for that matter. As an African woman, i donot want to look at what is demeaning to the nature of my body and am not rooting for being fat or obese but i need to look at clothes that will give me a good mental picture of what they will fit like on me. I am all for healthy, not stick like models and why not curvy, is that so terrible? As for fashion houses i have never understood why they make clothes for the runway that will never be worn by any sane woman or person for that matter and they call that creativity, i just don’t get it.And it is not just about size only but the colours, the weight of the clothes, the accessories which can all be unappealing and unrealistic.

  26. 28 Lydia
    October 15, 2009 at 16:47

    I want something useful in a magazine. I subscribe to Runner’s World because I run half-marathons. The featured women, are as slim as their running careers command, but they are rarely airbrushed to some ideal of perfection or made up within an inch of their lives. They are shown in running gear, or working on healthy recipes, or demonstrating stretches that will benefit other runners. Or grinning and sweating, with matted hair and shiny visages, at the end of races.

    I rarely am drawn to most women’s magazines, because I’m not represented –over 50, short, african-american grandmothers aren’t the target audience of most magazines — and because I am disappointed with regularity by the magazines that claim to target the demographic I represent.

  27. October 15, 2009 at 16:54

    Hey Jess here again, have just fixed another two guests Pinky Ghelani, a Kenyan Model of Indian origin who os the Editor of high-society magazine’Drum East Africa’and fashion journalist Ruchi Khanna from Dubai.

  28. 30 Krupa Thakrar
    October 15, 2009 at 16:57

    Louisa von Minckwitz – owner of Louisa Models of Munich and Hamburg joining us. She believes women want to dream when they read a magazine.

  29. 31 jens
    October 15, 2009 at 17:06

    i find it irony that the word dream is spoken in the same sentence as the nightmare of annorexia is so evident in the fashion magazines.

    let’s face it ultimatly it is the costumer who decides, since they are the ones who buy thes magazines.

    as tall men i find it almost ironic that fashin only caters to a certain size. being 6’8″ I have no chance of getting anything fashionable off the peg, and if I do it looks like a tent on me, because tall apparentl equates fat, as well at least in mens fashion. for my wife it is even worse since tall women of good and healthy build are apparently fat women who get to wear frumppy cloths…..

  30. October 15, 2009 at 17:09

    Layla Hamdaoui is the fashion and beauty editor of Laha magazine. It’s a Lebanon based magazine that goes out to the whole of the Middle East. Layla says that fashion is about the dream and the fantasy. People want to see beauty. She’ll be on the programme tonight.

  31. October 15, 2009 at 17:11

    I would like to see images of women that I can identify with, clothes designed with me in mind. I am average height and weight. When the goods are pitched to me on skeletal women that are used like coat hangers, I think that Karl and Ralph are not speaking to me. …. I turn, look around, well, they’re not speaking to anyone I know.

    I don’t want to turn the pages of magazines and wish that I were younger, thinner, taller…..now I feel so bad about myself, why would I want to go out and shop for clothes?

    October 15, 2009 at 17:30

    What purposes do advertisements have? Well Jenifer its linked to a thing called comerce ..The basics of this is the “selling of Goods” for the purpose of profits.

    How can I explain this concept? Well its kind off Like when Sarah palin purchased all those fancy suites during the election. She would have not picked those expensive labels if they had not advertised in those magazines there products to promote the label.

  33. October 15, 2009 at 17:41

    I think we’re ready for indepth articles, images, stories about the realistic status of women; let’s see more pro-active, new and creative angles from the media; let’s hear, read, see and uncover more about the “lives” of women; including the outer as well as the inner beauty, which include the challenges. …..it’s time to uncover the pearls….instead of exclusively polishing the gems……..

  34. 36 George
    October 15, 2009 at 17:50

    I believe in having traditional womens magazines that didnt debase women by nudity or immodest dress on them. Quite often a woman looks more attractive covered up then when she debases herself. Which also leads to other crimes in this world. We need to get back I believe to the Holy Bible standards for our dress,and conduct. If it was good for our parents , grandparents or great -grandparents it should be good enough for us. Sincerely George

  35. 37 Shannon in Ohio
    October 15, 2009 at 17:50

    I am in my fourties now, but consciously decided to banish fashion magazines from my life when I was still a teenager, one of the first truly adult decisions I ever made. Years later, while teaching adolescents, I watched helplessly as many healthy teenaged girls starved themselves at the subtle behest of the fashion industry.

    If a publication aggressively promoted that women try to develop cancer, or contract HIV, the outcry would be immediate and global. Why are people so matter-of-fact about an industry that promotes equally unhealthy mindsets and habits with life-threatening consequences?

  36. 38 Jessica in NYC
    October 15, 2009 at 18:00

    Reality does not have to be ugly— naturally healthy women that come in different colors, sizes and shapes is beauty. I prefer to look at people that

    I wouldn’t mind being as “fat” as Filippa Hamilton and Katie Green–they are gorgeous women.

  37. 39 Tom D Ford
    October 15, 2009 at 18:07

    This is even worse, Australian Miranda Kerr, a girl who in my opinion was really beautiful with a great delightful smile, now emaciated and looking like a burned out street druggie:


  38. 40 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    October 15, 2009 at 18:09

    The point about the fashion magazines is that they encourage all women around the world to look alike: the Ronald MacDonald school of fashion.

    What a bore. I live in Switzerland. In the big cities, one in three or four residents is a non-Swiss. Overt religious dress is frowned upon, but otherwise anything goes regarding international clothing styles. Saris, serapes, batik prints, Stetson hats.

    I very much hope the day doesn’t come when we all look as alike as all the MacDo hamburgers do. In order to prevent that from happening, we need to ignore the glossy pages of the fashion magazines and concentrate on our own identities, making ourselves attractive in our own images, not in the image of some news conglomerate.

  39. 41 Jessica in NYC
    October 15, 2009 at 18:16

    No, Ros… I would buy a fashion magazine if they were more realistic.

    I love looking a naturally, healthy, beautiful women. Fashion managines currently do not offer anything but fake and unnatural pictures based on a models whose images have been distorted to look unattainable.

  40. 42 Tara Ballance, Montreal Canada
    October 15, 2009 at 18:18

    I have never been inspired by a model in an advertisement. Attracted to or repulsed by the product, perhaps, but never inspired by the model.

    On the other hand, in my early twenties I was inspired by Simone Signoret (fantasy figure par excellence), who refused to be defined by other people’s standards of beauty. She accepted the aging of her body without shame and without apology, and now that I’m beyond middle age I try to follow her example.

  41. 43 Noel
    October 15, 2009 at 18:19

    We see reality all day every day and mostly it’s not pretty. If you don’t aspire then simply keep looking at the reality around you and don’t complain about the fashion industry.

    As I’ve written before, it is not the models (or the fashion industry for that matter) that have a problem.

  42. 44 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    October 15, 2009 at 18:21

    I don’t look at the pictures. I just read the articles, to see what women are saying and thinking and being told. To get a sense of the zeitgeist.

    San Francisco

  43. 45 Tom D Ford
    October 15, 2009 at 18:28

    @ Donnamarie in Switzerland
    October 15, 2009 at 18:09

    “The point about the fashion magazines is that they encourage all women around the world to look alike: the Ronald MacDonald school of fashion. …”

    I agree.

    Scarlett Johanson was a unique natural beauty when she started out and now she has been Hollywood-ized with hair and makeup into looking like everyone else.

    Same with Sarah Chalke, she looked great naturally when she started out on the comedy Scrubs but she has been Hollywood-ized too, with heavy makeup that no doctor or nurse would wear into a hospital.

  44. 46 Hillary
    October 15, 2009 at 18:30

    I think the world of fashion is a world of make believe and fantasy, and I think that is great when it comes to the clothes, hair, makeup, incredible sets. BUT not when it comes to the models, if we use the kind of logic why don’t we just use computer generated images? If it is all for fantasy.

  45. 47 Jasmine, Singapore
    October 15, 2009 at 18:32

    Don’t fault high fashion and art — fashion is a spectrum from the high to the things you can find at middle boutiques. The avant-gardism of high fashion pushes the tabs; it’s self-indulgence to imagine one can look like these models.

  46. 48 Chidi (Minneapolis, US)
    October 15, 2009 at 18:32

    I like my women curvy! Those magazines are definitely not targeted at the modern man. All my friends I know of all races think skinny women are disgusting so I have no idea why women would want to look like that. Perhaps I’m just clueless about what women think looks beautiful.

  47. 49 Tara in Florida
    October 15, 2009 at 18:32

    Does it really have to be one or the other? What’s wrong with some magazines having models and some having “real” girls. I mean it is a shame if you get fired from your modeling career for not being skinny enough, but chances are, there is another magazine around the corner that wants the way you look. And what’s wrong with 1 magazine showing both? So many people get hung up on either sides of the spectrum and forget that there is lots of middle ground.

  48. 50 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    October 15, 2009 at 18:35

    It’s not that models are unattainable, more that they’re, well, uncomfortable, if I may say so. Hipbones shouldn’t be lethal weapons.

    San Francisco

  49. 51 Connie M.
    October 15, 2009 at 18:40

    Of course, I want to buy a magazine that have the most beautiful women in it. Otherwise I just stare into my mirror!

  50. 52 Half-Not
    October 15, 2009 at 18:41

    I kinda thought people look at magazines for the clothes, not particularly for the models or their bodies. The women in fashion magazines are the real accessories. It is all about the fashion. Fashion looks good on skinny people, it is a functional requirement of the photograph and aesthetics.

    People with eating disorders would simply have another disorder if they didn’t have that one. People don’t develop eating disorders solely or even partially because of the aesthetics of models. If they did, it would really be a terrible statement about people with eating disorders, not about models.

  51. 53 Tom D Ford
    October 15, 2009 at 18:42

    Karl Lagerfelds’ idea of fantasy as a flamboyantly gay male designer seems to be to design Haute Couture dresses to fit on female models who look like slim young men.

    I am not surprised that gay male designers demand and choose models who look like slim young men, but where are the heterosexual women designers who know about wanting to be attractive to heterosexual men? Why don’t heterosexual women designers demand female models who look like the women who men want?

    I don’t understand why women look to the gay Lagerfelds of the fashion world for advice on how to dress, if they want to be attractive to virile heterosexual men.

    What a strange world.

  52. 54 Annie Robertson
    October 15, 2009 at 18:44

    The problem with models in magazines is that on top of being so thin, they are getting so Photoshopped to look even thinner. A young girl sees a very thin model they may aspire to look like, not being aware that they’ve been modified to an unreal and unattainable body.

  53. 55 Jonathan (dazzling San Francisco)
    October 15, 2009 at 18:45

    The ideal of beauty is always the look that takes effort to achieve. In fat countries, thin is in. In India, the stars are distinctly chubby. Light-skinned countries love suntans, and some dark-skinned societies idolize lighter skin. Simple, well-known principles. Bashing them is futile. PS: It’s not just women!

    San Francisco

  54. 56 Annie Robertson
    October 15, 2009 at 18:46

    Also, when magazines feature “normal” women, it’s always in a special segment. Honestly, there is a very condescending tone in these articles about “pear shaped and apple shaped bodies.” How about we stop referring to women as fruits and accept that there are hundreds of beautiful body types!?

  55. 57 Lew in Ohio
    October 15, 2009 at 18:46

    The free market decides what we want to see. I myself will not pick any of these off the shelf and/or pay for them but the women who do vote with their wallets. Let them decide.

  56. 58 Halima
    October 15, 2009 at 18:48

    I cannot use anything from the fashion industry. All fashions are for very skinny, very young, very tall women who have more money than sense and wish to expose a lot of skin (they have nothing else to expose!)
    I am curvy, short and older. I gave up long ago on the fashion industry giving me any idea whatsoever as to what to wear. It is no guide. I look at women in the street and the bigger women who look good and copy them.
    I find the anorexic models rather ugly, to tell you the truth.

  57. October 15, 2009 at 18:50

    These magazines and advertising campaigns that say they are going to use only “real women” are running a publicity gimmick. It’s not that they care, they just want to get their radio and TV airplay for free by being on the new and talk shows. Just see how much publicity this magazine has got from saying just that.

    Another thing, why are we calling these models “unreal women”. They’re humans too you know. The “real women’ slogan should be scrapped because it seems rather derogatory.

    A hot woman is there so that they attract ppl’s attention and then the ppl make their sales pitch.

  58. 60 Randy from California
    October 15, 2009 at 18:51

    If designers send you sizes that don’t fit real people, then don’t use them.

    If their designs don’t get in the magazine, they will have to make them in real sizes.

  59. 61 Mark
    October 15, 2009 at 18:51

    If you want to sell clothing pick models that are the average size (weight and height) of the general public silly. Nothing is more sickening than to see an average sized person wearing clothing designed for a size zero person. I encourage you to watch the wideos on womens images on Dove.com they speak volumes on how the fashion industry impacts young women’s self image.

  60. 62 archibald
    October 15, 2009 at 18:52

    Reality has nothing to do with these magazines nor the people in them. Boo hoo for the overpaid clothes horse who lost her job, not much reality there, other than maybe it is a trend that should continue and end with the elimination of the fashion industry all together. It is all a fantasy and for what purpose, other than $$$, who knows? I do not buy the empowerment of women angle. Pure fabrication ala “fashion”.

  61. 63 Jasmine, Singapore
    October 15, 2009 at 18:52

    Just had to add –there are constantly counter-acting forces to the illusionary nature of high fashion. Whilst models are often thin, celebrities like Beth Ditto and many other plus-sized stars embody acceptance of all sizes. Female movie stars like Jennifer Lopez, all the way to the tiny Cheryl Cole, come in all sizes and shapes. What is being sold is beauty, not bones.

    We have to realise that there are many degrees of reality, fashion, and beauty. Please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and do away with beauty and art in the name of “removing eating disorders” at the root. It does not solve anything.

    Too many people are conflating the appearances of models in fashion magazines with the unreal physical standards set by mainstream pornography here. Look at the beautiful clothing and elaborate set-ups! Why blame fashion when the media is the conglomerate that really perpetuates feelings of inadequacy?

  62. 64 flaquita92
    October 15, 2009 at 18:53

    I feel that in addition to other issues these images raise, the constant barrage of one acceptable body type helps fosters relational problems between women. Women become critical of each other’s appearance and competitive with each other because of the standards set by these images and messages.

  63. 65 Half-Not
    October 15, 2009 at 18:57

    People who like fashion are generally skinny or want to be skinny. Not because they think that is how you are supposed to be, but because clothing looks better that way. An elongated silhouette is aesthetically preferable. This is not up for debate.

  64. 66 Annie Jaime
    October 15, 2009 at 18:58

    Let’s remember that the majority of high fashion models are still in their teens. To have a pre-pubescent girl modeling clothing a 35 year old wants to wear is so discouraging.

  65. 67 Stuart
    October 15, 2009 at 18:58

    It is strange to me how beutiful the extra skinny high fashion models are precieved to be. Allthough it may be more difficult to achieve, being extremely skinny is equally strange looking to someone overweight by the same amount. Healthy is beutiful in my opinion: able to bear children.

  66. 68 Ciel Patenaude
    October 15, 2009 at 18:58

    Paying too much attention to the size or shape of women in magazines and on the runways is nearly as pointless as complaining about the amount or extent of violence on television. These cultural modalities are but reflections of the thoughts, values and feelings of society- they do not create them, but reflect them, as if we TRULY did feel okay about ourselves they would have never been allowed at all. The disparity between our ‘art’ ( anorexically thin models) and our reality ( a 60-70% overweight society) is a clear indicator of how extreme our societal and individual discontent are, as we now seek out images that confirm our self-deprecation rather than empower the individual.

  67. 69 EchoRose In Florida
    October 15, 2009 at 18:59

    Shame on those women saying we WANT to ONLY look at slim women!!! That is ALL we are OFFERED! I would much rather look at a woman of my size, unaltered, so I know what clothing, hair, makeup would suit me best!

  68. 70 Pedro
    October 15, 2009 at 19:00

    Well, this thing of “real” women looks more like a marketing maneuver for me. You know, people feel comfortable when they see that famous people are as imperfect as they are, so the beauty industry is using this aspect to increase their market share.

  69. 71 Aimee
    October 15, 2009 at 19:06

    When thinking about the most beautiful pictures of people in the world, I think about National Geographic. They photograph every day beautiful people, full of personality, it would be great to see quality photos of fashion following their example.

    The fashion industry is what many women look to for what looks good (that’s the point of fashion). If their models are unhealthily skinny/anorexic, many people, especially young girls will try to achieve this as well, with no thought to the cost on their health. It would be nice to set an achievable example for them.

  70. 72 musonda
    October 15, 2009 at 19:31

    Have you ever heard that a man had been fired for being a little overweight no,am ashamed that such things still take place in this time and age.
    women are always scrutinized about the way the look i personally am tired of it

  71. 73 Paul
    October 15, 2009 at 19:38

    Fantasy? no, thats what movie’s, video games and TV are for.
    Fashion should depict real women, it is a form of advertisment that apeals to the mental self-image of an individual and should be showing how an everyday girl can feel and look good,

    Show how to live your life, not how to kill yourself..

  72. 74 viola
    October 15, 2009 at 19:47

    I gotta ask: If the models pictured in magazines can be–what’s the term, photo-shopped?– what’s the point of firing them for being over the so-called ideal weight? Perhaps it’s different for the runway models, but magazine models could be chosen for their beauty rather than their emaciated bodies.

  73. 75 jens
    October 15, 2009 at 20:04


    it might not be up for debate with you, but the 60 plus responses here seem to be debating the topic rather deeply.

    i find a sporty, well trained and curved silhoutte attractive. just look at some of the athleths, especially swimmers. Skinny is not what comes to mind

  74. 76 Shelly
    October 15, 2009 at 21:01

    If magazines are going to continue using thin models, I would respectfully suggest they find someway to incorporate more realistic women into their layouts as well. Not only for the mental health of women in the world, but also for the designers’ profits. Because to be very bluntly honest, I and the women I know and with whom I work (in very high-paying jobs) have no interest in clothing that will be unflattering to our body-types. Which translates into no interest in 1) reading these magazines and 2) buying these clothes. Which could explain why women’s clothing stores are in such trouble today!

  75. 77 Listener
    October 16, 2009 at 04:03

    It depends on the purpose of the magazine, as art, it should be pure fantasy, as commercial, and then it should be closer to reality.

  76. 78 Joisah Soap
    October 16, 2009 at 13:16

    I want fantasy. I can see reality every day when I walk down the street. I think when people read this here and think reality they think someone who is of slim to average build and pretty. In reality most women are overweight and not very attractive. Who on eath is going to buy a magazine like that. I guess this is the another attempt at political correctness, look I am not black or Asian, I am not a lesbian, I am not disabled. I am just “normal” oooh look these magazines have discriminated against me, offended me and made me a victim becasue I am normal. Sorry I’ll keep my fantasies for the magazines and face reality in everyday.

  77. 79 Sue
    October 16, 2009 at 13:31

    I can’t say I was ever particularly influenced one way or the other by the way women are portrayed in magazines, as an adolescent or as an adult.

    My shape is curvy with a small waist and big chest and hips and it’s always been hard to find clothes that fit well, but I don’t lose sleep over it. My shape is what it is. I eat well and exercise to keep my body healthy and teach my daughters to do the same. Hopefully they are too busy hiking etc. to fret endlessly over what not-the-norm models look like. A woman who is comfortable in her own skin is much more attractive than a woman who is neurotic, whether naturally slim or naturally curvy.

    Some people like being skinny and wearing clothes well; that’s their choice and no less valid than my life.

  78. 80 Elias
    October 16, 2009 at 16:14

    Women are Women more like ‘Woe to Men. If they stopped shopping the whole economy of any country would collapse, One only has to be in any shopping area and one would see that mostly or entirely women buying any and everything.
    magazines cater to women’s fantasies with fashions that are out of this world and mostly not wearable in public and it is not surprising women enjoy looking through these magazines. As long as the sale of these magazines remain lucrative, magazines will continue to fantasize women for they are in business to profit by it. Sales of reality in fashions in women’s magazine would not be as profitable as the magazines with fashion fantasies.

  79. 81 popsugar
    January 22, 2010 at 00:54

    women are all shaps and sizes. but all the guys here commenteing are dumb and worhtless not everyone has big tits and a big ass some girls are smaller girls and some are bigger. and who gives a rats ass what men what all men are ugly and worhtless the only ones whom like them are fat ugly whores. healthy pretty slim girls think they are worthless and should be killed. men are the reason women have low self-esteem. i’m naturally slim and healthy. i’m 5’4 129 pounds does that souns to skinny to you?

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