Tuesday, October 13, 2009

As low as haute couture can go

This Stumbling hobby can get pretty depressing sometimes.

I'm even steering away from Fetish Tots, kinky couture for little people. The fucked-upedness of this link boggles the mind.

But tonight, I land on a Racked page featuring a snippet about Barbie. Now we all know Barbie, the impossibly curvy gal-pal doll from our childhood.

At the height of my Barbie fascination (around the time she was making out with G.I. Joe, not Malibu Ken), she teetered on her tippy-toes, had impossibly long legs that spread perpendicular to her hips and had amazing large, perky bosoms.

Today, I learned Barbie has cankles. Yup, Christian Louboutin - yes, of the 'oh my Jesus, you have a pair of Louboutin shoes' shoes - has decided her ankles are too fat.

And thus, he's redesigning her feet and ankles to suit the Barbie design series he's about to launch.

But then, like a lost ship at sea searching for a lighthouse, I hit that StumbleUpon logo in the upper left corner of my Firefox browser.

Up pops Newser.com. It lets me 'Read less, learn more.'

And the headline screams: German women's mag bans models.

Henceforth, Brigitte, the most popular women's magazine in Germany, will use only 'real' women for its photo spreads.

Its editor, Andreas Lebert, is 'fed up' with retouching pictures of underweight models who bear no resemblance to readers.

"For years, we've had to use Photoshop to fatten girls up," he said. "This is disturbing and perverse. Models weigh around 23 per cent less than normal women. The whole model industry is anorexic."

This comes months after sending an email to Oxygen, a Canadian fitness magazine, ranting about its use of obviously Photoshopped pictures in a photo spread on weight lifting.

Yes, Photoshopping fitness models. They're already in peak condition but let's just take an inch or two off the hips, scale off the inside of her thighs and, ooooh, that chicken wing is a little flappy.

With no reply from its editorial staff, I pledged to never buy another edition.

But hope shines on the horizon. Could Brigitte start a trend?

Doubtful. There's a whole cultural obsession with thinness on this side of the puddle. And battling it is a heavy, heavy woolen cloak for anyone to bear on his shoulders.

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