It’s no longer enough that the Beautiful People taunt us Mere Mortals with their poreless, flawless skin, their lack of bingo wings, their perfectly proportioned torsos – now they feel they have to teach us stuff as well.
This desire to prove they are more than just underfed clothes hangers began with the beauty competitions where for some bizarre reason uttering inanities about world peace or why the children are our future became part of the judging process. The trend spread with the ease of a $100/ml skin boosting serum and now every model-slash-actor feels duty bound to impart morsels of wisdom to the sad, lumpy, blemish-afflicted masses.
It would be slightly more acceptable if they stuck to honest accounts of the torture they have to inflict on themselves to keep their superhuman beauty (The Day I Accidentally Took Too Many Laxatives Just Before A Long Swimsuit Shoot). But that’s not enough for them. No, now they share all sorts of advice; from parenting to lifestyle to health.
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Today’s message to young women is: All girls are beautiful. But some are more beautiful than others. Oh, and frankly – you over there! – you don’t make the grade at all. What the hell’s going on with those eyebrows? What is this? 2008?
In a world awash with far too many beautiful girls (for the purposes of this article for ‘beautiful’ read ‘fully coiffed, immaculately made-up, grain-fed, and catwalk-ready) today we also have the announcement of the 2011 Girlfriend Rimmel Model Search winner. You can meet the finalists here.
UPDATE: The winner was 13-year-old Irish, Croatian and Pacific Islander and Sydneyite Chloe Glassie. And she has braces!
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Full credit to designer and Australia’s Next Top Model judge, Alex Perry, for declaring he would never call a model “fat”, and that his fashion embraces curvy women.
Perry took a media beating this week, and with what seemed good cause: Appearing to suggest that a size eight teen was too fat to model.
Not only was comparing her to “overstuffed luggage” offensive (even if he was referring more to her pose, in a coffin of all things, than to her body), it was dangerous. Mountains of research attests that “socio-cultural” pressure - ideas picked up from TV, fashion magazines and other media - is a leading cause of the eating disorder epidemic among young Australians.
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Last week’s news of the death of anti-anorexia billboard model, Isabelle Caro, came one day after I gobbled Portia de Rossi’s graphic memoir about her battle with anorexia in almost one sitting.
An Unbearable Lightness intrigued and terrified me. De Rossi’s obsessive calorie counting, exhaustive exercise and waifish results seemed strangely juxtaposed with the delicious gluttony I’d experienced over Christmas - nine weeks after the birth of my third child – weighing my heaviest.
Female body image is a complex beast. It wrestles at some point with most of us - regardless of the skin we’re in.
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