Or so German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, 71, would have you believe. The eccentric designer has entered the size-zero debate this week by claiming that people enjoy looking at skinny women – and if you don’t you must belong to the group of “fat mummies” who sit around eating crisps.
The best selling German magazine Brigitte said last week it will now use realistic sized women in its photo-shoots, instead of impossibly thin girls. This decision is to promote healthy images of women that people will respect, instead of giving the false impression that all women should conform to the size-zero body form in order to be successful/beautiful/happy…
Lagerfeld said he believed this decision was absurd and driven by overweight people who didn’t want to be reminded of their own weight issues. In an interview with Focus magazine, he said: “These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly.”
Lagafeld, the creative director for fashion giant Chanel, also said the fashion world was to do with: ” dreams and illusions, and no one wants to see round women”. King Karl, as he is known in the industry, is well known for his obsession with weight and throughout the years has been on several non-carb diets and frequently offers his tips on how to lose weight.
The outspoken designer is also well known for fervently defending the fashion world from claims that it encourages anorexia and instead blames the models’ own psychological problems on weight-loss issues.
The size-zero debate is not a new one. Every round of fashion shows brings new opinions and scandals to the forefront. In 2006 Madrid fashion week banned super skinny models but the following year the British Fashion Council refused to enforce the banning of all size-zero models from the catwalk, supported by Marks and Spencer’s Chief Executive, Stuart Rose.
The editor of Brigitte, Andreas Lebert, is set to produce the new look magazine on 2 January 2010. The magazine is trying to show real women, with real identities, for example a 23-year-old teacher, or 35-year-old mother. By showing models as real women, audiences will be able to respect and identify with them.
It is doubtful that other major fashion labels will follow this bold move just yet. If, as Karl tells us, people who criticise size-zero models are “fat mummies” then surely these women must make up quite a large number of the fashion world’s audience. Maybe it is time the industry has a rethink before it loses touch with real women.
The fashion industry has always been associated with stick-thin models, from Twiggy to Kate Moss – skinny girls sell clothes. However, with personalities like Beth Ditto and Kelly Brook in mainstream fashion news and Brigette’s important move to respect and use real women models, hopefully this signals a change to the male dominated industry that currently promotes such an unhealthy image to young women.