How fashion is fed up with body positives and returning to skinny heroin chic

While we’ve enjoyed the highlighting of some plus-size models in recent years, we’re seeing an unsettling return to the glamorization of slimness and heroin-chic aesthetics.

Given the success of certain plus-size tops like Ashley Graham, Paloma Elsesser, Precious Lee or even Jill Kortleve, one might want to believe in the emergence of models of all body types on the runways. However, they were certainly just the exceptions that upheld the rule of thinness that is highly recommended for success on the runways. Like #BodyPositive guarantees, they made it possible to satisfy the growing demands of the general public for more representation at the forefront of fashion. Because at her side, the size referred to as size 0 in the USA continued to rule, either XS or a French 34.

Please note that this item is not intended to body shamers anyone. They can be very thin and healthy. The concern is not being thin. Not even being thin and exemplary. This article questions how the fashion industry monolithically promotes thinness as the only valid standard of beauty, which can have detrimental effects on a segment of the general public.

Margot Robbie’s exposed bones appear on the cover of the latest issue of Vanity Fair France.

Fashion tried to say goodbye to the rule of size zero

However, one important element indicated that we were going in the right direction: the most powerful luxury groups in the world, LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Celine, Givenchy) and Kering (Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta ) have co-signed a charter to improve working conditions and better protect the well-being and health of models.

Screenshot-2021-12-10-at-11.26.45
The cover of the famous charter on models’ working conditions and wellbeing, co-signed by Kering and LVMH in 2017.

This Charter of LVMH & Kering sets out in particular that minors under the age of 16 may not be employed, models must be larger than size 32 and must have a medical certificate. Because it is based on industry heavyweights, this charter could result in practices being geared towards the best. Apart from the fact that few means would be used to verify that it is actually applied, as explained to us by the French association for the defense of models, Model Law.

The Y2K fashion trend, breeding ground for a return to heroin chic aesthetics

Other worrying signals have multiplied since the West lifted restrictions and physical fashion shows resumed. On the catwalks, the renewed interest in the trends of the 2000s (#Y2K) invites the use of models with the silhouette that was fashionable at the time, that is to say very thin, to make you believe back in wearing microskirts, extremely low-rise Pants and crop tops with a butterfly motif. We can also think of Kim Kardashian opening up about her diet she lost more than 7kg to fit in Marilyn Monroe’s famous dress for the 2021 Met Gala. She has also been rumored to have had her implants removed and/or breast and butt volumizing injections to reveal a slimmer silhouette.

On TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, many fashionistas and celebrities are noticing a form of return to aesthetics. fancy heroin 1990s: Glorification of thinness allowed and/or perpetuated by drugs. Kate Moss, for example, has been one of the involuntary figureheads, especially since the tabloids daily mirror posted it in 2005 while sniffing cocaine. Some people are even sharing tips on how to use diabetes meds to lose weight (particularly #Ozempic on TikTok), while proanas are regaining popularity behind a hashtag like #thinspiration.

There are again masses of skinny models romping around on the catwalks, beauty enhancements voluntarily emphasize dark circles or create tears in kajal or sequins. Which is also reminiscent of a very popular series like euphoriawhere drugs and nice clothes go hand in hand, while the soft emo-grunge aesthetic that Tumblr loves so much is making a strong comeback, even among some youngsters.

While the 2023 Met Ball will pay tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, the notorious fatphobe, multiple media outlets agree that slim silhouettes are on their way to becoming the dominant beauty canon again after a few years of the reign of the BBL (for Brazilian Butt Lift) look will. , Kardashian style. This enables the New York Post to the title ” Bye Booty: The chic heroine is back “.

Screenshot from 11/17/2022 on 12/10/08
Screenshot from the New York Post website.

A handful of plus size models with body positive suits

For example, the media give the highlighting of very thin silhouettes, which became stars through fashion shows like Bella Hadid at the Coperni show. Note that the brand wanted this collection to be an anthem to ” All the women according to his letter of intent, of course, but it was far from visible on his catwalk, where tops rarely went beyond size 44. Overall on the latter Fashion Week For spring-summer 2023, out of the 327 brands represented in the official calendars, only 30 (9%) models were larger than a US size 20 (or 48 in France).

In fact, even size 44 is the benchmark from which we speak of a model plus size does not always correspond to the reality of the rare tops to break into this niche. Indeed, as one professional in the industry points out Guardianit often happens that for photo shoots of clothes in large sizes, the selected models are too thin (because they are 40-42, which is enough to be considered a model Curve) and that we use padding to indicate the change.

Additional evidence, if needed, that stopping at fashion showcases such as runway shows, advertising campaigns and magazine editorials does not necessarily reflect a major shift in the industry. That’s the whole difference between the diversity of the facade – where it’s easy to play with representations and proclaim yourself #bodypositive – and genuine efforts towards inclusion, which are visible in the sizes, which are visible in the e-shops and above all are really present in physical stores. In short, thinness and food culture were never gone, they were just poorly hidden behind the aesthetic” slim-fat or BBL as summarized Nora Bouazzouni the cooking and society journalist in an insightful thread :

“No standard of beauty will emancipate us; this is the very principle of the standard. He locks up. he hurts Our bodies are not standards. They should not be erected as such, nor rewarded with a slap on the head, a job, or likes, for conforming to the current norm or for being TCAs, squats, or scalpel tuned to it. »

“No standard of beauty will emancipate us;  this is the very principle of the standard.  He locks up.  he hurts  Our bodies are not standards.  They should not be erected as such, nor rewarded with a slap on the head, a job, or likes, for conforming to the current norm or for being TCAs, squats, or scalpel tuned to it.  »


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Picture credits Front page: Blumarine

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