"A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent poltical sedative in women's history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one."
Vogue's recent slideshow "The Best Lingerie Comes in All Sizes" shows so-called "plus-sized" models. Also recently, Calvin Klein's " US size 10" or "UK size 14" model Myla Dalbesio, so far "the biggest girl Calvin Klein has ever worked with" (via) became famous. She regards herself as an "inbetween" because she is neither anorexic nor plus-sized: "I love that by opening this discussion, I can also (hopefully) open some doors for other models, friends of mine, that have always straddled the line between straight size and plus. True body diversity doesn't mean only sizes 0's and 2's then jumping to size 16 and up. There is a middle ground." (via)
About twenty years ago, average models weighed 8% less than average women. Today, they weigh 23% less (via). From 1959 to 1978, Playboy's playmates' weights decreased significantly. So did Miss America Pageants with an average yearly decline of 0.17 kg (0.37 lb.) within the decades examined (Garner & Garfinkel, 1980). It can be assumed that these trends accelerated in the past years.
- Garner, D. M. & Garfinkel, P. E. (1980) Cultural Expectations of Thinness in Women. Psychological Reports, 47, 483-491
- photographs by Richard Avedon (1923-2004) via and via