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Why are Fashion Models so Thin?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Fashion models are thin largely because of the way designers want their clothes to be displayed during the marketing process. They also appeal to a number of positive concepts members of society hold, with thinness acting as a means to feel better or acquire something desirable. The stress of meeting standards in the industry sometimes pushes models into unhealthy eating patterns that support thinness as well. Although the perception is that the majority of modern models are very thin, many are of normal weight, and are supported by weight minimum policies in some parts of the industry.

Designers and the Draping Effect

Designers use basic mannequin frames when they drape their clothes during the design process, thus their baseline fashions are made for thin people.
Designers use basic mannequin frames when they drape their clothes during the design process, thus their baseline fashions are made for thin people.

Typically, designers use tools such as busts and mannequins when they are designing their clothes. These devices provide a very basic frame on which clothing can drape and hang. When designers transfer their clothing to a person, they want their designs to maintain this natural effect. Fashion models essentially become living racks for the clothing. A criticism of this practice is that an extremely small percentage of women have the small frame necessary to get the clothing to hang the way it was designed.

The size of fashion models starts with the way the designer designs the clothing.
The size of fashion models starts with the way the designer designs the clothing.

The use of rack-thin people for the draping effect is arguably a conscious choice by designers. It is based in the personal belief that draping clothing on a thin frame is more beautiful, but this is simply a matter of individual preference. Members of the public have often criticized the industry for creating and perpetuating an unrealistic ideal, choosing a singular opinion of beauty at the cost of health.

Social Meanings Behind Thinness

Thinness is often associated with success in popular culture, so some designers prefer to associate their clothes with thin models.
Thinness is often associated with success in popular culture, so some designers prefer to associate their clothes with thin models.

From the marketing standpoint, those who present fashion designs to the public sell much more than clothing and accessories. They also sell concepts such as happiness, self-esteem, or wealth. These concepts appeal to desires members of the public have, however subconscious those desires might be. The ideas that companies can use to appeal to consumers depend largely on the cultural mandates that have shaped belief systems.

The pressure to be thin can lead to models developing eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
The pressure to be thin can lead to models developing eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

In the United States, thinness is associated with several positive concepts, including health. Obesity is a rising problem, so some people support thinner models as a means of rejecting weight-related health and social issues. They say that not allowing thinner workers perpetuates the idea that being obese or overweight is acceptable.

Thinness also conveys the idea of success. Individuals who are heavy or obese may experience increased discrimination not only in personal relationships, but also in areas such as business. People who have top positions and wealth often are thinner, so thin fashion models may appeal to the desire to achieve and rise on a socioeconomic level. This directly contrasts previous eras in which access to funds meant the ability to indulge in more food and more robust frames were desirable as a sign of class. This shows that the definition of beauty in relation to thinness is not static, with the modern era defining beautiful as having less weight.

Fashion models monitor their weight constantly to ensure that they can wear a small size in the designer's clothing line.
Fashion models monitor their weight constantly to ensure that they can wear a small size in the designer's clothing line.

Some people also see waifish bodies as representing the elite or exclusivity. Not many individuals can achieve or maintain extremely thin frames, so when a person is able to do this and look like someone in an advertisement, they may feel as though they have a capability others do not. Directors and designers may recognize this and keep booking thinner people in an effort to appeal to the natural desire people have to be noticed and set apart from the crowd. The success of one the thinnest fashion professionals of all time, Twiggy, might have connected largely to this desire, as her 91-pound (41.2-kg) frame was drastically and shockingly different from anything the public had seen before.

The positive elements thin fashion professionals sell in magazines, commercials, and other media make it difficult to eradicate unhealthy weights in the industry, even when the people representing the designs are clearly unhealthy. An example is the 1990s trend of “heroin chic,” a phenomenon characterized by ultra-thin professionals such as Kate Moss with angular bone structures, dark eye circles, and pale skin, giving the appearance of being addicted to heroin. It arose because the stigma and cost of heroin both had decreased, with use of the drug moving into the upper class and appearing more sophisticated. Prominent individuals such as Bill Clinton condemned the trend as supporting drug abuse, but it remained popular for years.

Psychological Problems

Designers and the fashion industry as a whole places enormous pressure on models to maintain their physique. Those who gain weight sometimes are not called back for additional work, depending on the agencies with whom they associate. A number of people in the industry therefore resort to skipping meals, abusing laxatives, or throwing up when they eat to keep weight low and deal with stress. This has led to high instances of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Even when a fashion model wants to stop the eating disordered behavior, psychological elements behind the conditions make it hard to resume normal eating habits.

Changing Standards

The perception of the public is that virtually all fashion models are thin, but this is not true. In response to public criticism for the unhealthy weights of workers, some agencies and countries, such as Spain, have enacted policies that deter the hiring of individuals who do not meet a weight minimum. Many people also work for plus-size designers and companies. While is has not eliminated very thin models from working in many cases, it may help those who want to maintain a healthy weight.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent PublicPeople contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent PublicPeople contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

Discussion Comments


Plus size models are not as big as they look; most are quite thin. They're required to use padding in photoshoots and are often photoshopped to look bigger. So when you hear that a plus size model is a size 10 and she looks overweight, it's not because a size 10 is is that big, it's because she's been styled to look more like a size 16. This has an advantage because what you are actually seeing is a thin attractive woman--no double chin or large wrists-- but she has very big breasts and hips. Just another way the fashion industry is giving women unrealistic expectations for how their bodies should look. Unfortunately, in the case of plus size models, they're doing it under the guise of helping women.


That's so unhealthy and you can get so many health problems, muscle problems, wafer thin hair and skin etc. by not eating. Although those runway models are super skinny, popular, well-known supermodels look really nice and healthy like the Victoria's Secret models.


It's just not about being extra thin or obese. There are lot of people in the middle of the scale as well, who are healthy and fit but do not have a hanging structure. I think they should be the one acting as models.


I'm tired of all the hype over 'skinny' models and being told that being 'fat' is healthy. I've always been slim, am now in my 50's and weigh 53kgs and I'm 165cm tall. I have never had an eating disorder; I just don't eat crap and would prefer to eat fruit and veggies than cookies or potato chips or chocolate. Everyone is different but there are far too many people overweight than there ever were in the past. They are more often the ones with the eating problems. Stop having a shot at the slim models! And stop suggesting being overweight is healthy!


So very few women have the naturally slim build it takes to be a high fashion model -- so what? Regular sized women, get over it.

As a woman who is 5' 6.5" and weighs 102 pounds, 104 pounds tops, and has like 13-14 percent body fat, I am tired of all the fatties complaining. And yes, nearly every woman in the world is overweight to some degree. If a woman has cellulite, and/or excess body fat on her, she needs to lose weight. It is not natural to carry around excess fat. It is not natural to have 'cellulite'. This is not how man thrived for over 2 million years, by eating bread and not walking for hours a day. Get over it, all of you.


The designers of fashion use skinny models simply because the garments are going to hang the way they intended them to on a skinny model. These designers do not design clothing for plus size women; they just enlarge the patterns to fit a plus size. That's the biggest problem.

Just because a garment looks good on a smaller woman, does not mean it will look good on a larger woman. So, to sell the same design to a plus size, they use the skinny models. In my experience, plus size women won't buy the clothing if a plus size model does model it, because they see how it will look on them. I'm not one of those plus size women. I want to know how the garment will look on someone more my size. If it looks good, I'd buy it, if it doesn't, I won't.

If the fashion designers would design a plus size line, designed for the plus size women and come up with designs that would look good on plus size women, they'd be more apt to sell to plus size women, using plus size models. Does this make any sense?

I was looking at an online catalog that did have plus size models and a particular dress I saw looked ridiculous on her. The back of the dress was hiked up higher than the front. Knowing how it would look on me, I wouldn't buy it.


Look, as a man, I do not care what fashion models want to drape around a mannequin. A full figured woman is much more beautiful. It is very unflattering to see women pushed on us through all forms of media, t v, movies, who are so emaciated. Frankly they look sickly, puny, and unhealthy. I say bring on Christina Hendricks. Wow! Now that is a woman.


You say most fashion models are normal weight and that's it's only a perception the majority are too damn thin? Pull the other one; it's got bells on! Most of them are too sickly thin by any standards, or was the fact some literally died by being too thin or suffered anorexia only in our imagination! Naive articles like this are part of the problem. Or are you just being disingenuous? Please! Get real and be a part of the solution. Healthy slim is not the same as sickly unhealthy thin. There is a difference, you know.


Those who think naturally skinny girls/fashion models look like boys seem to have highly disturbed views on what a young male should look like, or are attracted to an outlandishly feminized perspective of 'boys' as a basis on which to compare them to models. This is grotesque in and of itself.

There are a panoply of biometric and habitus-related clues that distinguish between the genders, regardless of weight, hair-style, social conditioning and other acquired characteristics.

This is all the more pertinent in terms of the idea that "plus-sized" women are a relatively recent development in the anthropological (or even comparative historical sense), and an index of a modern, sedentary lifestyle admixed with dietary excess.


I'd like to point out that I hardly ever see emaciated models. Yes, most models are skinny, but the majority are clearly naturally thin - you can tell from their shiny, healthy hair and clear skin. Some do starve themselves and that's a terrible shame, but not all models do. Models do watch what they eat and exercise because they have to be toned, and if you're skinny any excess weight just hangs off you.

I'm naturally skinny and it really hurts to hear people saying that curves are better and nobody wants to hug a toothpick. I definitely don't look like a boy and just because I don't have cleavage and my thighs aren't that big - because I exercise every other day and watch what I eat - doesn't mean I don't have a feminine figure. Everyone knows models don't represent the average woman. They're not there to be average, just like actresses and dancers don't usually look average.

I don't agree with anyone trying to drastically change their body for anything other than health reasons, and I understand it's hard to see women who look nothing like you being hailed as beautiful, but there are a lot of gorgeous curvy women out there too, and skinny women are just as insecure about their figures - it's just for different reasons.

It makes me insecure every time I see a woman with decent assets on TV being hailed as the epitome of attractiveness, but I deal with it. If someone really has an eating disorder or has issues with food, we shouldn't be blaming them for other people's problems; we should be trying to help.


I think it's because they need to be able to fit in the clothes the designers design.


To the age 16 and younger people posting on here, wait until you get a bit older. I was always tall and naturally thin. I always chose to be athletic because I wanted to be healthy and be strong. Now that I'm in my 40's, I have to really work at it. I'm about 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was younger and am working on it to get back in shape after taking medication for a serious illness that packed more pounds on.

The fact is, I'm actually wearing a size 10 right now, aiming to get back in an 8. But that's me. I have a large bust and large hips. Always will. Really, if you are naturally thin, that's great, if you eat well and take care of yourself. If you are a little heavier, but are healthy with good blood pressure, etc., that's okay too.

The point is, things will change as you get older - they just do. But as long as you aren't extreme one way or the other - sickly thin or obese, either where your health is in jeopardy, what does it matter? We are all unique individuals and to compare to others or to be mean to someone who is naturally thin or struggling to get thinner is unacceptable.

But, yes, it would be nice if the fashion industry would show a variety of women. The world is full of all types of women - tall, short, thin, heavier. That's reality. All deserve respect.


I don't understand why there is so much hate. Blame fashion. Blame society. Blame the skinny models...

I think the designers are very justified in preferring to work with skinnier models. They designed their clothes by draping fabric over a mannequin. If somebody who resembles a mannequin doesn't look good in the clothes, then nothing will.

Too much boob and butt is very distracting in an outfit, as are faces. Thus, all runway models look like ill-fed, straight-faced boys. I don't see what's wrong with that. They're prototypes. Stress that.

The reason why it was such a big issue is all the press about eating disorders and the discovery of model abuse. I think everything would be better if they just stopped using only skinny little boy-shaped girls to model final sale products. They are more normal looking than runway models, but the only clothes that look good in them are still ones with no room for curves, like rompers.

These are the models that the public sees. People are influenced by these pictures and finding out that clothes that looked good on the model look bad on their bodies leads to a lot of body shaming. On the other hand, clothes that look bad on the model may actually be ones the shopper might look great in.

The point is, there's no curvy = better or skinny = better. People should work with what they have. There are other types of beauty other than the one on trend right now. Doesn't have to be linked to appearances either.

Somebody really needs to fix the whole sizing thing, though. It's nice trying on outfits but we don't always have time for that. I'd rather they just put everything up according to measurements.


Where can I write a fashion model?


I think the thing is that most fashion designers are run by gay men who like their models to look as much like a boy as possible; otherwise they would clearly head for the bust and the hip.

You cut the hair off those girls and they can get by as being very pretty boys.

I think that may well be one of the reasons why they are being kept so skinny.


If you're skinny at age 14-25, it's not a big deal, is it? The body stops growing and shaping at age 25 and starts storing fat from then on, so girls younger than that shouldn't be really complaining on here.

Let's see how it goes after age 25, and for women older than that, do you really want to compare yourselves to a young girl who is still in the body development stage? I hope not, for God's sake.


Think of a ford fiesta 20 years ago. Over the years, Ford shaped it and tweaked the image of it until the current 2012 version is a million times more desirable and sleeker to look at than the version from the 80's.

Apply that approach to the face of a model. Look back at the models from the 80's. Yuck.

The less body fat a person has, the more character that person's face will have thus a lot more can be done with it in terms of makeup and gestures.

Thin models are what is needed for the fashion world.


Please, please, please stop using super skinny models. I am a recovering anorexic and I find these images hard to cope with.

I was given three months to live a few years ago and after a major battle, I won, luckily. But why are we thinking this battle is acceptable in the fashion industry? Obviously, your height determines what size clothes you are, but no -- the skinny, bony, hunched, anorexic look is scary and frightening. Why are we portraying this image?

The fashion industry makes men and women believe the only way to be fashionable is to be thin, but this isn't the case. When you look on the internet, curvy women are far more attractive. Please, please stop this thin obsession and make people understand a healthy looking body is far more attractive and appealing than the thin, ribbed, pale ones on the catwalk and in magazines.


I think everyone on here has a valid point. Many models are too thin, and yes, some plus-size models are too heavy.

Many women are naturally thin, and contrary to what many people think, most "plus-size" models are actually within their healthy BMI.

I have been called fat by my family my entire life by my grandmother and she always compares me to my sister, who has that naturally "thin" figure, like Selena Gomez. And she is beautiful, so I don't think its fair for someone to go tell her to eat a hamburger, because my sister is right where she needs to be.

The problem is that I have a different body type than her. I have a super thin waist compared to my hips and my bust, which stick out. At the same weight and height as my sister, I won't wear the same size as her. I am naturally bigger boned.

I think the goal for people is just to be healthy. I have friends who have a naturally thin figure and they hate it when people nag on them. Naturally, I have a big butt, and even when I get skinnier my butt will still be a "curvy" portion to my body.

I think we all just need to wake up and realize this. Right now I am overweight. I was depressed forever and took some super-weight-gain medicine. Now I am off of it and losing weight, not because I want to be thinner, but because I want to get back to a healthy BMI again. I will eat and exercise because it makes me feel better. It took me so long for me to realize this.

It's never good to be too heavy or too thin, and it is never good to feel the pressure to be either. Be healthy because you love your body, not because you hate it.


To be quite honest, I don't think modelling should be narrowed down to a certain body type. A varied number of women will be buying the clothes and different clothes fit different body types. It shouldn't "oh, you're skinny so you're unhealthy" or "oh, you're curvy so you're not attractive." It should be about promoting any healthy, natural body shape. You shouldn't have to "slim down" to become a model nor should you have to "eat a hamburger" to become attractive.

That's the problem. You should be healthy. Why should a singular body type be considered beautiful when there's so many? Although what I do not support promoting is people who are unhealthy, such as people who have starved themselves to get to a certain weight or people who are overweight and putting their lives at risk. Theirs a difference between curvy and overweight, and people forget that.


Okay. I am 16 yrs old, 5'11.5 and weigh about 110. And you know what? I hate it. I continually try to gain weight without success. This is just how I am. But for some reason, people feel that it is okay to tell me to "go eat a hamburger" or "damn, you're skinny." If I told people on the other end of the spectrum to "get on a diet" or "damn, your a ham beast", people would think I was a mean, mean girl. And so that I would feel better about myself, I decided to try modeling, something I thought was actually perfect for my body type. And then people would say things like "oh, models have eating disorders" or "they are so unhealthy".

Actually, I am very healthy. I eat a balanced diet and I exercise regularly. But at this point in my life, I am really tall and really thin. I just feel like it isn't fair that young girls who are concerned with being "not thin enough" are continually reassured about their beauty while girls like me are ignored. I'm not saying that it isn't hard for overweight people, but at least right now, about 99.9 percent of the world is on your side, and in fact, many celebrities and influential people in the world are saying that "healthy people are more attractive".

So pardon me if supermodels are thin. That is one area where thin women can feel good about themselves. With the rate the world is going with the "make overweight people feel better about themselves", thin girls like me will have to place to feel welcome, and we will be ostracized with absolutely no pity. Because after all, if we didn't want to be skinny, we could easily fix it by "eating a hamburger."


I am 5'6'' and I weigh about 105 pounds. Lately I've been really self-conscious about my body because of what other people say. All my family members were thin like me when they were my age, and I've been starting to fill out.

I'm just curious. Am I too thin or skinny? A lot of people stare. Just saying I think I have a pretty face. After all, I am only 14 going on 15. So, am I too thin?


Why is "being thin" looked at as a positive goal when being "healthy" is the goal? You can never work out, eat like crap, and sit on your butt all day and still be "thin". Being thin doesn't mean you have a "nice body". A nice body to me is a toned, athletic body, someone who works out with toned hips and nice legs. I work out four to five times a week with free weights, intense endurance training and eat four to five healthy meals a day. That's what healthy is, not a little boy figure.


I'm sorry, but this really ticks me off when people always bring tall slim people down! You're only jealous, and that's a fact. Let's face it: a tall slender person can wear just about anything and look great, whereas short stumpy people can't. Things look like crap on them.

So I think you should all stop having a dig because most people would kill to have a figure like that and we are all lying to ourselves if we say otherwise. That's why people go to the gym and exercise regularly.


People talk about plus size models as if they are usually obese and unhealthy, but most plus sized models are the weight of average healthy women. That's right: they have a healthy BMI. Models on the other hand, usually have unhealthy bodies that go beyond their natural slim frame and become skeletal due to the pressure to starve themselves. Models just smoke cigarettes all day to distract from their hunger.

If you are a slim girl reading this, no one is saying you aren't beautiful! It is not about the exact type of body shape you have; it is about starving yourself so your bones protrude and you look broken down like many (not all) runaway and high fashion models.

Most models are naturally thin, but why do you think they are still starving themselves? Because naturally thin is not enough for this disgusting business. You have to be rail thin, you have to look malnourished, and like they could break you. It is really undeniably heinous. I don't care if it is art or aesthetics, but people will change their taste if we as a culture are exposed to a variety of healthy images. The people in this business deserve to be held accountable.


I'm 5'8 and only weigh 100 pounds, but sometimes, it's just the way you're born and sometimes it's people who try to be too thin.

Yes, people like skinnier people but that's only because the designers don't have to use a a lot of fabric but skinny doesn't mean you're beautiful and a lot of people do not look good skinny.


I've been naturally thin my whole life and have gotten "compliments" on how thin I was. People have told me that I was so lucky and blessed to be thin. My senior year I moved to a new school and was teased by how thin I was and rumors started that I was anorexic and bulimic. I was fed up with the negativity, and started to eat more on purpose, and eat more snack foods. By the time I went to college, I had gained 15 pounds and felt beautiful at 145 pounds. Besides, girls with some curves tend to have better personalities, anyway!


Having these anorexic looking model on ads is not good for young girls to be looking at.


1. Designing for and dressing a size 0 is way easier than for a size 6. Designers are cop-outs.

2. Many, many designers are gay men or women who you wouldn't want as your best mate on a shopping trip

3. Men like flesh. The ones who fancy models do because they're very, very young, pretty and a status symbol. Real deep, huh?

4. Agencies hire who will earn them money. Ultimately it's the designers choice. They could make clothes a couple of sizes bigger, but as i said before, it takes much more skill.

5. Blame the designers, blame the designers, blame the designers.

6. I'm hoping to produce my own line later this year and intend to only use uk size 12 models (i will use tall ones only because they look better as the camera stunts height)

7. Pressure the designers!


I am 5 foot 8 and weigh 130 pounds. I think that my body is perfect the way it is. I had one friend who was almost 6 foot and weighed 110, and honest to god that is just what she was. She ate and ate and that is what she stayed at. And I think she is perfect the way she is.


This entire thread is so interesting. No once have I seen the proportions of the lingerie models commented upon, maybe because the majority of them are normal sized. Funny that this should be the case, no? Lingerie models need to fill out and display the garments in order to sell them. I'm a lingerie model (catwalk and photography), normal not plus-sized, with the freaky measurements of 40-25-39. oh and I'm 5'8.

Photographic models don't need to be tall and waif thin either, to sell the products. to sell clothing maybe, but not swimwear, lingerie, jewelry, shoes, or non garment items. Fashion is only one segment of the modeling world.


Take a look at models from the 1920s. The Flapper chic of thin, almost boyish physique was the norm. Everything goes in stages, and someday, when there are food shortages and people are thinner on average, fuller figured women will be considered the physical peak.


You are beautiful no matter what your size or shape is! Embrace your appearance! Each woman is beautiful just the way she is! Do not change fore the world! I can understand if you have health or dietary issues/needs and you need to lose weight for your health but never do it for someone else!

If a certified doctor, not a plastic surgeon says you're fine, then you are! Changing for health is one thing but changing because of this century's inability to accept everyone as is, is something else!


My daughter has been a model in various markets in the US. She is signed with two different agencies in different states and was signed when she was 13. She is now 16, is 5.9.5 ft tall and is trying to work in New York market. She is in the process of being signed in NYC but the agencies there want her hip measurement to be 35. Her hip measurement is 36 and her BMI is 17.5. She goes to the gym and eats healthy but it is so hard to get smaller than that without hurting her. I hate it. When people see her they are shocked that modeling agencies want her smaller. I think that there are some girls that are genetically narrow through the hips. God makes us how he makes us and i wonder if she should give up.


Thin looks better than average. If you're not thin, don't even try to be a model. If you're obsessed with being thin it's your own fault not the industry. Too thin isn't any better either. Fit-thin is the right thin and there aren't many who possess it.


Fashion industry may not be the cause of an eating disorder, but it does provoke it. I was already a low self-esteem teenager, and after looking through photos after photos of models like Gemma ward and Twiggy, I felt fat even though I was only 85 lb and 5 ft. I knew I never could have long legs like them because they are tall, but I really really hated my 19 inches thighs.

At first, I wanted my body to look like VS model Miranda Kerr, but then later, when I found thinner models, my goal was to look like Vlada. I was skipping my lunches and lost 10 lbs in half a year, but my mom started to suspect, but I had no choice to eat for a time being and gain around five pounds. Therefore, I really hope they put models other than just ultra thin in magazines, advertisements, etc.


I have trouble understanding the sizing these days. I have been the same weight and size for the last 30 years but I have gone from a size 10 to a size 6. I don't think the girls have gotten any smaller but that the sizes sure have.


it kind of confuses me, really. Some of my chubbier friends would like to post comments such as 'girls are beautiful when curvier' or 'boys love girls whether plus sized or any size'. And the next day they would just complain ' I want to be thin like a model!'. Or even went straight to me and said I'm lucky that I was born slim. And some just say I should eat more because they stated I'm being too thin. And they are the ones who always goes on diets and brag about it.

In the end, I always end up clamming up when they started to complain about how their body looks and all that sort of thing.

I don't understand what they want. Some just sound like hypocrites. If you love your plus size body, go ahead, love it because it's great! Just don't go bash on thin girls just because you envy them. Plus, I don't care whether you want to be thin or fat or whatever. Or maybe you really like going on a diet. It's fine for me. Do as your please. But just stop whining and complaining. It's annoying.


Yes it is true that models are often naturally 'slim', but from my own experience and my model friends, naturally slim is not slim enough. It is of course the 'heroin chic' romantic look, and thus an unhealthy image, that fashion designers often admire. I am 5 "9" and weigh about 145 pounds, and although people would say that i was slim/normal - the models which are the same height as me and under 120 pounds make me feel inadequately large and unfeminine - the contrary of the womanliness of being curvy.

I don't understand why the modeling industry revolves around girls becoming sheep and all being blank canvases rather than just being allowed to be the individuals that they are, and so actually represent the diversity of our world.


Everyone is talking about how men love more curvy women, and how slim isn't attractive. That makes me -- being a size 0 woman naturally -- feel really bad about my weight, and gives me self esteem issues.


In the modelling world, size 0 or 2 is what people are after. In the real world, nobody wants to look that thin.

I'm 5'8 and weigh 100 pounds. I constantly get told I look unhealthy and anorexic, when it's just my metabolism. I can't help it.

I get teased on a daily basis. I've tried to gain weight because I wanted to be normal like everyone else, but *that* is the really unhealthy thing. I didn't gain any weight at all, because I just can't.

People shouldn't be hating on skinny women because they're 'unhealthy'. It just makes it worse for naturally slim women.


Since I'm extremely tall for a woman (189 cm or 6'3") I've always weighed more than those super models and that has made me depressed quite a lot. I always thought 'why can't I be 110 pounds just like them? why am I such a pig?' and that made me go through bulimia and anorexia. Thank God last year I finally got cured and now I'm at the healthy weight of 150 pounds. Just embrace who you are, girls!


I agree that this is due to the fact that the industry is staffed by gay men, and the standard of beauty is based on making the woman "disappear" and the clothes be the noticeable thing. It's not about female beauty at all. These women are basically treated as clothes hangers. We should not be so silly as to fall for this.


Well, I just have to state my comment. My daughter also is a model, and could have been very successful. She was signed with top agencies around the world, however she has quit all this because of the constant pressure to stay thin.

She has traveled all over the world and seen girls who starve themselves to stay thin. Most models are not naturally thin; they are pressured to stay that way. My daughter was the smart one to say, "You know what? It's not worth it!" She is 5ft 10 and was told to keep her weight around 110 pounds. She is now 125 wears a size 4 and is happy!

And believe it or not, she is too big for New York and the likes. So don't tell me that the modeling industry is not to blame for models dying or committing suicide because of that pressure to stay a size 0 as they mature.


I don't think people should be pressured into trying to be thin, fat or curvy. It's not healthy to try to be fat, nor is it to attempt to be skinny. And some people just can't get a curvy body.

There's more to looking good than body shape, so I'm not sure why people are talking about which size/body shape is the best. I'm naturally skinny, but I'm a size 2, not 0 or 00, and have received countless remarks on how bad I look.

I also don't think the media is telling people to be thin. On websites about news about celebrities, the articles often comment on their outfits, not how skinny they are. Besides, the fashion shows I see in most Bcbgmaxazria (not sure about the spelling of that) stores are most likely to promote clothes.


I understand this issue pressures many young woman in society, but people should realize that they should not blame this on fashion/media industries, because they are only doing this to sell, not pressure people.

Being a model is a job. It's their job to be skinny, not everyone else's. Fashion/ media industries are only selecting skinny models because it is aesthetically pleasing to many viewers, and just follow people's fashion.

I don't understand why they have a fault for doing this.


I think designers pick very skinny women for their clothes so the audience can focus on the dress not on the model (you can see that even their makeup is somewhat unnoticeable).

But in real life you see slim women (not anorexic skinny, just healthy slim), curvy women, plump and fat. The most important is to be healthy, not what size you are.

Women are in different shapes and sizes, but their differences make them unique.


I find it funny how people are always so ready to jump at the necks of slim people just to make the rest feel better about their bodies.

Because of how the media has overblown this issue, naturally slim people are now being pressured into going on a diet consisting of pure junk food, not exercising, thus risking their own health so that they will be accepted by people and the media.

We need to blame the fashion industry not only for creating careers for size 0 models but also for making plus size models/modeling popular. Why does the fashion industry need pick either extremes of the human body? Why are the sizes between 3 to 10 neglected? From what I know, I think people between these sizes are the most beautiful and the healthiest. But the funny thing is no one seems to mention that.

Why do we constantly need to ostracize the fashion industry for their size 0 models but not their plus size models? This is a double standard. And it's unfair how fat women get sympathy from everyone, including the media, whereas naturally slim women are bashed upon by everyone.

I'm 5 7" and weigh approx. 125 pounds. I wear size 5. I eat as much as and even more than my friends (who are closer to being chubby). I have never counted calories ever in my life. And yet, I never get fatter than 130lbs.

And now, because of this whole models being too skinny issue, my friends (not all, just two) always try to make me feel like I'm too skinny, just because they are on the bulkier side (and yet they are the ones who are always dieting).

This negative stereotyping of slim women is not healthy for people like me. A lot of naturally slim women like myself feel pressured into getting fat, so we end up pushing ourselves to eat loads of junk food everyday, McDonalds, ice cream, cakes, and what not to make ourselves fatter, thus making ourselves sick and unhealthy.

I've gotten over this junk food binging problem now (used to eat half a large domino's pizza all by myself for dinner, half a nine-inch blueberry pie for dessert after that, just so you get the idea.)

But then, I started getting worried about my health. I wasn't getting any exercise, i was becoming extremely lethargic (mind you i still had not gained more than 1 or 2 lbs more than my normal weight.) Now I'm trying to eat healthier with lots of fruits and vegetables, protein, carbs and less sodium and saturated and trans fat. But sadly, that means I won't get fat.

So I will continue to suffer low self-esteem. And to top it off, now that I'm on a healthier diet and i run and exercise, my friends keep telling me, "Are you trying to kill yourself?"


The modeling industry is not the only one with weight/fat regulations. the military has max allowable weight/body fat standards as well. they are there for a purpose. A fit, healthy military is what people want out there defending them.

however, i have seen similar measures taken by soldiers and sailors to meet the standards. they are otherwise healthy individuals who can run fast, bang out push ups and shoot nicely, but their weight isn't up to par. so they starve, dehydrate themselves etc., to pass a weigh in.

On the other hand, there are also your overweight, lumpy unfit for duty types that weigh within regulation. weight regulation makes it complicated stuff, which is why i personally thing it should be done away with because it is not the greatest indicator of overall health.


i think there's nothing pretty about skinny models because they are scary thin. i don't think there is anything wrong with being normal sized. I'm a size 3, but i'm very short (4'8 and 103 lbs) and some times those models make me crazy and make me think I'm fat.

i think its a B.S. excuse that designers think the clothing hangs better, it doesn't. it's much prettier on someone who has an actual body mass unlike these fashion models.


anon 24100. here's why seemingly smart people lose themselves to this problem. regardless of how we look, it is a basic human need to primp and preen. birds do it, elephants do it, cats, dogs, dust bathes, every species goes to certain lengths to present themselves in some aesthetic affective way.

when our innate efforts are regarded as substandard, then a very basic instinct there is being impeded which then leads to an "issue" with how wrong we are to perceive ourselves as acceptable successful preeners, so then it becomes an obsession, which in turn leads to a far less interesting personality and a dimmer inner beauty. no to mention mental disorders. bottom line, know what and who you are, how you like to live, and preen that, instead of what some exterior source suggests, get back to feeling great and grow some brains in an avenue that has nothing to do with aesthetics.


it seems thin is in only in the industry! post 20, may have a point, or so my husband would agree, but i think the reason for "thin being in" is fall out from a technicality.

in the process of designing a garment, it goes on paper first. they use a 'croqui" mannequin drawing, which is a human figure that is nine heads tall. this is for translation purposes from paper to actual drape of fabric I think. don't quote me.

real humans are seven or eight heads tall, i forget which. so, in order to present the correct image of the intended art that is said garment, the designer needs to find a rather gangly, ectomorphic body shape rather then the more common mesomorph.

we all go through a small moment or two of slight ectomorphism, driving ages 5-8, and then in the teens due to growth spurts. but for most of us we even out and it goes away. then you have your Abraham Lincolns, who just stay that way. they most resemble the croqui drawing and therefore show how the garment was supposed to do. and it is beautiful, thinness and all, it's just not the only beautiful.

fashion needs to emphasize "normal" beauty more. something less ethereal, more substantial, earthy. rich. hell. solid even. solid can be lovely too.


Anon30540, I also had an eating disorder, and it was the darkest time of my life. I wouldn't want that pain to be inflicted on anyone else. Unfortunately, the fashion world is built on the sense that you must starve yourself nearly to death to be beautiful. To all girls and women out there, love who you are. Just take care of yourself and be happy and healthy. True beauty is love from the inside out.


Straight men do not think that the emaciated high fashion models are attractive. For proof of this, look at the women in magazines like Playboy. The fact is that the fashion world is run by gay men who are selecting the models based on criteria other than feminine beauty.


To my understanding, fashion designers always hire skinny models so that the catwalk audience just concentrates on their dresses not on model's curves and figure.


Are you serious by saying "the thinner the better"? People like you are why we've got young girls with their heads down a toilet right now! If you eat a healthy amount (three meals and two snacks evenly spread out), exercise one hour a day and are a size 00 then that is 100 percent beautiful. You're healthy and gorgeous just as god intended you to be.

If you exercise one hour a day and eat three meals and two snacks evenly spread out and you are a size 14, stunning -- absolutely beautiful! However if you are a size 14 and starve and vomit your way into size 00 skinny jeans you are ugly and disgusting! and the same goes for the very rare case of a size 00 gorging food to be bigger than they are! Love what you've got!


I think that a size 0-2 can be beautiful.

I am 34x25x34, 5'7", and weigh 115. And no one ever says I look skeletal. Just really pretty! And I do have an hourglass figure.

Think about it. Who looks better in skinny jeans? A size 2 or size 6-plus? Hate to break it to ya, but the skinnier, the better you look in clothes. Which is the reason for 00, 0, and 2 models on the catwalks.


Well in my opinion i don't think that the models that are in the fashion industry look beautiful. To me they look sick, they look like they are being pressured to be thin. I believe they should put on more weight because they look like mannequins.

They should have a little more body because they look like sticks. Not realistic and not human. Beauty is having more curves, a little more weight not starving. They look like you can easily hit them.


i hate how models just make real sexy girls feel bad about themselves because they aren't a string bean. i mean like who would you pick, an hourglass, or twig? (no competition) people who aren't like models are not fat.


Sorry, but ultra-thin models have an almost ethereal beauty that is unapproachable by "normal" women. The fashion industry employs them for this reason. Men are attracted to them because they resemble 14-16 year old girls in the height of their fertility. GASP yes its true. Curvy or plus size women simply don't stand out. Why would you want to put your clothes on an "average" "normal" i.e. *boring* woman?


I am sick of normal or plus size people ragging on the thin, sticking to that maxim, "I'm a goddess! I'm a diva! I'm fabulous!".

Even worse, "Men like curves!" Honestly, when has everything ever been all about men? I'm naturally thin. Do you think I should get reverse-lipo just so I can attract more men?

Keep in mind that these tidbits fed to you by the media that a curvy figure is the best is really just the same as the fashion industry promoting stick-thin models.

Get over these weight issues, stop putting the blame on people who are different to you. We are all humans.

"anon24100" has it spot-on, apart from the fat people and very thin people aren't beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


I am posting this because I am sick to the teeth of hearing models and the fashion industry being blamed for eating disorders, particularly on the internet where we are constantly bombarded of photoshopped images of waif-like high fashion models.

Firstly, let me just say that the fashion industry is not to blame for models with emaciated bodies. In my opinion, you cannot blame the fashion industry for anything. Fashion is merely a reflection of society, and in today's society, there is no such thing as 'too thin'. All fashion designers are doing when using 'size 0' and 'size 00' models is fuelling our fantasies, bringing something that we have created in our own heads to life.

Despite what you may think, designers do not use waif-like models for their own enjoyment, they use such models to sell clothes. And while you may shudder at images of gaunt bodies of young models, remember that thin sells.

Next, I'd like to clarify that eating disorders are mental diseases, and not diets. An eating disorder is not something one chooses to have, nor is it something that just 'happens' when you stop eating. I'm not an expert on modelling (so correct me, skinnisarah or denimdiva, if I am completely wrong), but in my opinion, successful models are naturally of that stature, it's in their genes like.

I understand that most models have to watch what they eat, but that it is for their profession, which brings me back to say again that they are dieting (or starving), but they do not suffer the main body of an eating disorder which is the psychological affect.

I presume that most models are aware of the pressures in the modelling industry once they are signed by an agency.

I honestly believe that you cannot go very far in any career, even a modelling career, if you are struggling with an eating disorder. Because everyday is a struggle.

Take this from somebody who has an eating disorder and is not a model.

Because the sad truth is that approximately 1 in 10 of all women, will suffer from an eating disorder in a lifetime, and up to 1 in 5 of these will die from that eating disorder. And just how many of these are models?


I was bulimic, at age 13, partly due to the fashion industry. I am tall, around 5'10" and have a healthy body, but I considered myself fat due to the images of ultra-thin models. I hope the super thin trend ends. It is scary looking back on that time in my life and I hope other girls won't end up how I was because of the skeletal model trend.


Why the hell do agencies say a size 6 is fat!!!!!??????!?!!!!! I'm a size 9 and I'm 5'6" and I feel fat! Go for it girl! Screw them! You're beautiful even if you're a size 30 they're missing out on a gorgeous body. they're just bulimic losers

You're beautiful inside and out! =] GIRL POWER!!


When will so-called 'civilized people' begin to realize that we are more than just a physical body? We don't have four cloven hooves and we are capable of great ingenuity, creativity and intelligence - yet still we are obsessed with appearances to the point where young women are brain-washed into believing they ought to look emaciated! Thin is NOT beautiful. Nor is fat. Healthy, glowing youth is beautiful and more likely to lead to a healthy glowing old age than following a starvation diet just because its fashionable.


Size 6 is not too fat and never will be. It is the idiots at the agencies who are conceited. Models today make me cringe. They would die if I told them my ideal body weight. I am 5'3, but my ideal weight is between 131-147. Gasp! I have large hips like my paternal grandma and I love it. More guys love voluptuous curves over anorexia any day. I understand some women are small, but there's a difference in that and looking sickly.


Even though this thin trend has been going on for a long time, i really think it is going to phase out. Ultra thin models are really _less_ attractive, and it appears like they have to struggle just to stay conscious.

I hope that some common-sense will return to the field.


My daughter is a size 6 and is very healthy. i have taken her to agencies in 6 cities and no one has showed interest in her. one major agency in NY even resulted in getting a measuring tape to measure her hip and said she is 1 inch too big in her hips, she was a 37inch. she has been modeling for 13 years but decided to become a model as a career choice. I do not stress her about eating and she is a great model. just wanted to know why she is not signed. why is a sz 6 considered fat as oppose to a sz 2, i don't get it and not just for my daughter but for all the other models who can't get signed because their sz is not in demand

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