Penelope Cruz promotes use of larger models

From The Guardian:

In the heady world of high fashion, few issues have ruffled feathers as much in recent months as that of size. And now further fuel has been added to the debate about the use of larger models thanks to an edition of Vogue edited by the actor Penelope Cruz.

Cruz was chosen to edit the French edition of the title and has promptly waded in with a provocative shoot that stars the size 12 [US size 8] model Crystal Renn in photographs styled by the magazine’s influential editor, Carine Roitfeld.

Cruz’s intervention comes at a key moment within the industry for models with body shapes more akin to those of the majority of women. Last month, a special “curvy” edition of French Elle lavished praise on cover girl Tara Lynn’s “adorable belly fat”…

Vogue’s images of Renn – who is almost naked in some shots, and clad in tight leather in others – seemed proof that the campaign to broaden definitions of beauty, spearheaded by British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman among others, is gaining ground even among the famously slender Parisiennes.

But then came comments attributed to the highly influential fashion blogger Garance Doré that cast doubt over whether the Paris fashion world was ready to endorse women who do not fit the catwalk samples, which are now usually a British size six. Doré told Sky News: “it’s not such a good thing to show plus-size because it’s not really physically healthy and not always flattering to fashion.”

Wow– I never knew that stick-thin models were there as exemplars of health. Dore’s comment changes my view totally. (The good news is that Dore has been frantically backpedaling, apparently.)

7 thoughts on “Penelope Cruz promotes use of larger models

  1. I suppose the idea that size 8 women are unhealthy may be an more acceptable way of expressing disgust at women’s fleshiness??

  2. I had that original story from ’05 featuring Renn’s personal history. No wonder Dore is backpedalling. Renn was a healthy teenager, and an athlete before the fashion industry got a hold of her. She starved herself down to a size 0 and nearly died before she decided to go back to a body size that’s healthy for her.

    Maybe women like Sarah Jessica Parker at just over 5′ tall can be a size 0 and not DIE, but it’s insane to expect that from a 5’9” woman with shoulders like a linebacker. Too many people, Dore included, use misinterpretations of numbers in charts designed by people with questionable motives to define complicated ideas like “good health” anyway. I think Renn’s beautiful. Even more so when she’s discussing her interests outside of fashion, and NOT keeling over from hunger on the runway.

  3. um, sorry, but they are considering a US size 8 to be “plus sized”? that’s just nuts.

  4. I’m kind of torn, i mean if women are totally affected by images of women in fashion (which of course they are-see APA report on sexualization of women and girls) I guess its better that they will allow plus size (HA 8 is plus size in America-that is funny) women to model and broaden what is beautiful.

    BUT and maybe i’m just too darn radical, but I would like to see less objectification and not more, cause apparently none of this focus on our bodies is doing women and girls any good. “almost naked in some shots, clad in tight leather in others”, i mean just seems a bit backwards.

    So, you who don’t look like models (all 99.9% of us) will feel better about your bodies if we broaden our range of objectification. It just seems like a terrible way to solve the problem, instead of shunning the idea of fashion and models playing SUCH a disproportionate role in the lives of women and girls, the objectification pool is being broadened so that more women will be objectified-and somehow feel better about it?

    Well this fat chick says, no thank you, i don’t want an attempt at legitimizing objectification with this allowing bigger women in thing (its like, oh thanks, like we should be so grateful the queens of beauty will let us feel better about ourselves and pretend to be “real” models :P obviously much of the industry is reluctant).

    I mean, by doing this its like trying to make a it a morally right thing or something when the industry is-lets face it-superficial on its face (pun intended). I hope that made sense, i have been up all night writing a paper and maybe shouldn’t be allowed to post a comment, but i had a knee jerk response to this.

  5. Yes, let’s look at some different women’s bodies. Some that are not sexualised. Some that defy the view that size 0 = either skinny or unhealthy or a model-must, and that size 12-14 is either curvy or fat or feminine. Some that defy the view that one shape fits all – even for performance purposes. Check out our 12-14 (BMI ranging from 21-24) women at×600/womensquad_1120378.jpg and our size very small candidate at:

    Looking at pictures like this always makes me feel so much better!!!!! If you could choose, wouldn’t you be like these women, and be portrayed in this way, rather than than as a fashion model/sexgoddess? I would. A million times.

    PS: from left to right:
    Annie Vernon – 179 cm (5ft 10), 76 Kg (166 Lbs). BMI=23.7
    Debbie Flood – 177 cm (5ft 10), 76 Kg (166 Lbs). BMI=24.3
    Frances Houghton – 193 cm (6ft 4), 81 Kg (178Lbs). BMI=21.7
    Kath Grainger. 183 cm (6ft), 80 Kg (176 Lbs). BMI=23.9

    And the cyclist is Emma Pooley – 157 (5ft 3), 50 kg (110 Lbs). BMI=20.3

    All won silver at the last Olympics

  6. I like your perspective, Wahine. BMI is a better indicator of health (as opposed to clothing size) and it might help people think about how healthy body types vary (bigger or smaller hips/thighs, more muscular arms, etc.)

    Some fast food restaurants are now putting calorie info on their wrappers. It would be interesting to see BMI info in small print in modeling magazines (which I buy, btw. even feminists can appreciate the art of clothes making, right?)

Comments are closed.