Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Barbie is a Boy

This crossed my channels today, and I felt it necessary to break the radio silence for a public service announcement: here is a story about a beautiful young man who is a catwalk model for high profile designers of womens' clothes.

No shit.

On the one hand, I find it very eye-roll worthy that the fashion industry is still so very obsessed with body model types who are un-sustainably skinny, with boyishly narrow hips and no boobs. Anyone who has watched a fashion show knows that this is not news. The fact that they are now openly using a man's body to promote a fantasy of the ideal feminine form is, at the very least, ironic.

On the other hand, who bloody cares? I personally know no one who either has that kind of haute couture in their wardrobe, or the occasion to wear it to. I know these people exist but they're like unicorns (and they probably fart glitter). When was the last time you actually saw, in the flesh, a person who had legs up to their throat, and were a size -1? This is not a common occurrence—if anything, I would think that a person with these proportions would find it hard to dress every day. The rest of the world is filled with "real" people with butts and boobs, who wear real numbered sizes. We can always find clothes to wear without a lot of effort. In fact, I note that vanity sizing is still very much alive and well at many of my favorite clothing haunts—if you think you magically got smaller in one season, think again: the '"real world" fashion industry wants to keep you as a customer, and they sometimes do this by supporting your fantasies about your own image.

Thirdly, I can only think of a small number of fashion designers who aren't gay. Is anyone really surprised that the industry has found a beautiful, androgynous male to model clothes designed by men who are in love with other men?

I suppose that so long as everyone is clear that this is a very pretty male person, with male plumbing, we can safely continue to view haute couture as art, or a pre-cursor to an industry, and not as a political statement on the subjugation of women.

Discuss, whilst I await the throwing of rotting fruit.