On Today this morning, Ann Curry talked to Elle editor-in-chief Robbie Myers about "curves" making a "comeback." Myers mentioned the Louis Vuitton show with "curvy" models, and said: "Elle Macpherson… She is not a skinny girl." Beg your pardon?
Just FYI, here is Elle Macpherson in August 2009:
And here is Elle Macpherson in February 2010:
And here is Elle Macpherson on the runway at the Louis Vuitton show in March.
Let's keep in mind that the camera adds 10 lbs.
Statuesque? Yes. Tall? Yes. "Not skinny?" Not the words that come to mind. And if those are the first words you think of, then isn't your perspective skewed by the fashion editorials and ads we're inundated with (in magazines like Elle)?
In any case, Myers claimed that according to a study, "average women are not actually inspired to look at women who look like them." She continued: "In fact, they respond more to women who are a little bit above average… There is something always aspirational." And: "Look, the average woman is 5'3" and weights 160 lbs. You're not gonna see a lot of that on the runways or in movies." A hint of condescension was evident — the "average" woman is not dreamy enough for a place in popular culture.
In addition, Myers described Gabourey Sidibe as "fascinating," and an "interesting case," but made sure to say: "obesity's not good for anybody."
Earlier on the show, Glamour editor Cindi Leive appeared with Crystal Renn to talk about using more "curvy" models, and how, while a plus-size model is larger than a straight-size model, she is still smaller than the "average" American woman.
But something Ann Curry said during the segment with Myers really made sense: She asked, "When people start talking about body trends, my reaction is, why do we need to have one? …Why can't we have variety?" Good question! And it seems like, since there's such buzz around "curvy" and "plus-size" models lately, the answer is we can have variety, if we keep pushing for it.