From One Extreme to Another
When a fat woman graces the catwalk, expect all hell to ensue.
Jean-Paul Gaultier, fashion’s own enfant terrible, made a BIG splash last October during his 30th anniversary show at Fashion week in Paris.
Sorry, did I not make the pun clear enough?
A BIG FAT HUGE splash. By featuring a size 20 model in a corset and sexy stockings.
Apparently, this is his answer to the widespread complain that size-0, too-skinny models are all-too commonly featured in fashion shows, fashion spreads, and advertisements. Instead of feeling “good for him”, I feel more like “bad for us.”
It’s a gimmick, plain and simple. He’s known for stunts like these in the past, using older men, other full-figured women, and pierced and heavily tattooed models, not to mention gained enormous notoriety for playing with traditional gender roles in his the shows. He’s not a revolutionary; He’s a Master of Shock.
People really aren’t happy to see heavy models like these used in regular shows. For one (and I know I’m going to be hated for saying this, even as a heavy person) clothes just look better on thinner people. I don’t necessarily mean gaunt, anorexics, but in the same way that clothes look strange on emaciated people, they also look awkward on obese people. Fact of life.
Unless you’re a follower of the Fat Acceptance Movement, you’re not really going to appreciate this model. Though she is beautiful, the clothes just don’t look right on her. Her thighs are bulging out of the stockings. The corset and robe don’t do anything for her shape. She’s not doing what her job is requiring her to do: make the clothing appear attractive and possibly marketable. And she’s certainly not promoting Gaultier (or is Gaultier not promoting Gaultier with this awful design?)
If he wanted to portray the average, “real” woman, he should have chosen a model sized 12, 14, or 16. Those are the sizes of the average woman. It would be more of a statement than attempting to pass-off something designed to be a circus attraction as a real effort to change the system.
The worst part is the pure malice people have shown at this incident. Some of the comments left on the Daily Mail article were insensitive and downright vicious:
“Sorry, the model does not look sexy, nor is it refreshing to see her curves, she is just too fat.”
– Katherine Cherubim, Bad Nauheim, Ger
“Oh for goodness sake! She is ugly. There are some very beautiful women around who are larger but not FAT. I think he is making the point that thin is beautiful and this is not necessarily the case.”
– Beatrix, Surrey, UK
“Actually that’s just disgusting! I certainly don’t want to see that on the cat walks. Designers clothes look so much better on smaller woman – who cares if people want to be a size 0 – it’s no more extreme than this model being a size 20.”
– Kt, Warwick
“Oh yes, happy medium please! Why should we be subjected to this? It’s not nice same as anorexic models are distasteful!”
– Deepa, Port Louis, Mauritius
“She’s just as gross as the too skinny ones! She probably collapses from exhaustion after every run!”
– Vicky, UK
“Man, that’s awful.”
– Ahmad, London
“Thank you, Jean Paul, for making me laugh out loud!”
– Allie, Hong Kong
Instead of celebrating her beauty, all I can do is focus on the negative consequences of this pubilicity stunt. It just makes fat people look bad.
I’m sorry, I don’t buy into this whole thing about heavy people wearing whatever they want. There are just certain things that won’t look good on a heavy woman, especially if it’s too tight. I know what looks good on me, and that doesn’t include bikinis, tube tops, and short shorts. So, if anything, maybe Gaultier should have dressed her in something a little more flattering because exploiting her.