And Then There Was Nothing: The Incredible Shrinking Male Model

As I've been at fashion shows over the past week, I continue to be concerned about the size of the female models I've seen on the runway. They're very young and very, very thin and seeing these girls as they get poked and prodded backstage, in particular, makes me feel uncomfortable and worried for them. But apparently being worried about the weight of female models is one trend that's out; now the focus is on the men. The male mannequins, it seems, are also wasting away: on average, they are 6 feet tall and a paltry 145 lbs., a look that casting agent Patrick Scully attributes to the "Hedi Slimanization" of menswear. Says booking agent George Brown: "When I get that random phone call from a boy who says, 'I'm 6-foot-1 and I'm calling from Kansas,' I immediately ask, 'What do you weigh?' If they say 188 or 190, I know we can't use him."

Stranger, still, is who the fashion industry is blaming on this shift to skinny: Consumers themselves. Kelly Cutrone, head of PR firm People's Revolution, explains that fashion is simply "responding" to what men want. Spoken in true PR speak. Has anyone heard about the obesity epidemic in this fucking country? According to the New York Times the average weight of the adult American man has risen from 166.3 in 2002 to 191 pounds today. Meanwhile, Tyson Beckford continues to mentor aspiring male models on Bravo's new reality show Make Me A Supermodel, where the models are put through rigorous exercise regiments to achieve greater muscle mass.

Considering the fact that women wield enormous influence over the wardrobes of the men in their lives, we'll ask you: is there anything stylish or even sexy about the sight of a concave or malnourished man in a pair of skinny jeans?

The Vanishing Point [NY Times]