Sunday, April 06, 2008

Body Image, Further Thoughts ...

I subscribed to Fitness magazine a few months ago. I was sucked in by the "subscribe, and if you don't like the magazine, simply write 'Cancel' on the invoice and owe nothing" solicitations.

I'll always opt in for those. I'll give any magazine at least one chance to impress me. Most don't.

And Fitness didn't blow my mind, but it seemed like good karma, aligned with my new-ish gym-going self. I figure, even if I get one or two kernels of useful information per month, it's worth the paltry subscription fee.

So I was flipping through the latest issue yesterday and I ran across a feature on Niki Taylor, supermodel from back in the day. The first part of the story is laid out centerfold-style (without the fold-out page) to accommodate the photography.

This is Niki Taylor today. (I took a photo of the layout because Fitness hasn't posted this story online yet, so I couldn't grab a digital image.) Here's a line from the lede of the story: "Now that she's in her 30s, her body is more curvy than stick-thin, a fact she is fine with and, in an industry that rewards super-skinny over super-healthy, another example of how Taylor is doing things her way."

This is Niki Taylor on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997.

OK, kids: Call me crazy, but she doesn't look a whole lot different today. Maybe her thighs are a little heavier, but to call her "more curvy than stick-thin"?

And here's the other thing: Niki's peak of supermodel fame came at a time when a size 2 wasn't the industry standard. I seem to remember that those women – Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Elle MacPherson – were size 6s. Wikipedia, that source of all things accurate, reports that Cindy is an 8.

In today's fashion industry, size 8 teeters on the brink of plus size.

So perhaps, by today's standards, Niki Taylor is indeed "curvy," because today's standard is nearly anorexic.

Seriously, this insanity needs to come to an end.


Blogger Mercurie said...

I agree. I don't know who came up with the idea that "skinny=attractive" but it isn't. In fact, it can be downright unhealthy. Or has everyone forgotten about Karen Carpenter?

2:53 PM  
Blogger OneMan said...


I know curvy and that good sir, is not curvy.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Vanessa said...

Nike was never stick-thin, especially in comparison to the the models of today. And you're right - the insanity that exists in the fashion industry today is unhealthy and not pretty.

8:44 AM  

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