Just when the "curvy" debate with regards to female models is heating up, New York magazine reports that display mannequin manufacturer Rootstein has debuted a new item, the "Homme Nouveau." This "new man" has a 27-inch waist.
The "classic" male mannequin has a 33" waist; the average waist size of an American man in 2006 was 39 inches. But apparently, for men, skinny is "in" and "now." But what is the cost of declaring a downsized and slender mannequin as more fashionable? What happens when you send the message that to be stylish is to be skinny? Women have been struggling with this for years, and some of us are pissed. Instead of being abandoned, is this ideal just getting traction?
Consider this statement, included in the New York piece by David Colman: "All the mannequins out there are these beefcakes, and we can't even fit our largest size on them," says American Apparel's Dov Charney, who is a size 29. AA's denim Slim Slack only goes up to waist size 33 inches. And Leigh Cohn, author of Making Weight says: "The prevalence rates for women with eating disorders have not significantly changed over the years, but they have risen for men." Body-shame and lowered self confidence: Now for everyone. So damaging, making physical characteristics — often dictated by genetics — "cool" or "not cool." So sad.
In other news, looking at all the naked and almost-lifelike mannequins on the the Rootstein website is a creepy way to waste some time, and to discover that models Agyness Deyn and Erin O'Connor have their own forms.
[Images via Rootstein]