After banning size 0 models in Madrid and Milan, it was expected for London to keep up the protest, during fashion week. However, organizers of London Fashion Week say they will not ban size zero models if designers persist on using them, but simply ask them to use healthy looking models.
The UK’s average women is a size 12, but more and more young girls are appearing on the catwalk and in the spotlight sporting a size zero figure (an English size 4). If our UK girls are seeing this ultra-slim image in magazines, on TV and on the catwalk, they may begin to doubt their own natural body shapes that they were once comfortable in. Seeing these tiny-framed women wearing designers latest trends, will give our women no other message than ‘it looks good on that size’. Many women may become put off wearing latest trends as they feel it would make them look ‘fat’ compared to the likes of English rose, Lily Cole.
After Uruguay’s Luisel Ramos died in August 2006, during Uruguay’s Fashion Week, many fashion capitals rethought the type of image they were giving to many women worldwide. Luisel was an 18-year-old model set to star in the Uruguay Fashion Week, but died of heart failure during the show after starving herself.
Madrid was one of the first to ban ultra-slim models in September of last year, soon followed by Milan, in order to promote a healthy and beautiful image. Even Jean Paul Gaultier swapped tiny size zero models for a womanly size 20, during Paris Fashion Week last October.
There seems to be a mixed view on the infamous size zero. Many cities and designers have shown their support for healthier looking girls by saying no to zero, but does this mean that other cities, such as London, support the thin look by not banning them. Many views have envisioned what a natural size 12 women will think when seeing the size zero, but has anyone thought about how naturally slim size 6-8’s will feel?
Many girls size 6 or 8, that are naturally small framed and healthy, may have their self-esteem lowered by hearing the commotion of their neighboring size zero. It is said that if you have a BMI under 18 you are underweight, and if it is under 15, you are under the boarder of illness. Will the scare of ultra-thin models frighten healthy women into thinking they have a disorder? Many people think about the women that are actually ill, but not about the women that are that size because it suits their body shape. Will women in the UK need to start measuring their BMI regularly, to see if they are safe, or being swallowed by the slim bug?
It seems that women should feel comfortable in the size that they are naturally, whether it be a size 20, 12 or even a 6. What ever is healthy for them should really matter, not what is shown by the media. However, it is hard not to think about the kind of image will be given to the women when London Fashion Week begins. Will our nation become one of insecurity, unless we follow the trend? Let’s hope that asking designers to use ‘healthy’ looking models will be a success and London won’t get caught up in the mode of the zero.