Dear NYFW: I Don't Want to Be a Coat Hanger

A long time ago I read an article about fashion models getting slimmer and slimmer. The general idea was this - the thinner the model, the less her body gets in the way of the clothes. Moving coat hangars. Having never been anything resembling a coat hangar, having all clothes stretch and distort on my body, this meant that fashion felt inaccessible to me.

As I aged, I began to appreciate fashion in a different way - as an art form, a craft. I began to covet the gateway drugs of the fashion world, shoes and purses. I learned that cut, fabric, construction are of a high value, that they feel great on your skin and in the part of your body that floats somewhere above your sternum. It's root lock of your ego. The biological impetus for gathering the shiniest pebble. The covet gene.

During that same time the world of fashion became more accessible literally. Fashion shows  began to be captured by furtive, and then omnipresent, cell phones. Those devices in turn got better.

What remains inaccessible to me (beyond the hefty price tags which The Real Real only dimly assuages) is the body-as-coat-hangar. I watched the stunning, monochromatic parade of liquidy silks at Tibi broadcast across several insta stories and feeds, and all I could think was damn those girls are thin.

Now, don't get me wrong. Some of my favorite people in the world are thin. I'm far from hating on thin people. What gets me every single time is just that I know that some of these girls are hurting themselves to look like this. We know this because they tell us this, the models. They worry about themselves, their friends, the dangerous measures they go to to shave inches from their bellies and hips.

We pat ourselves on the back because Lena Dunham is on the cover of Glamour (looking haute as hell) and then we watch a parade of human coat hangars sashay down lane after lane wearing sumptuous and drool worthy clothing.

I crave the moment when runways are filled with people of all sizes and colors. I long for it. I feel it in the empty hollow sack of skin over my right breast, where I had the fat ripped away from me. It aches. That fat belonged there, at least until it tried to kill me. The skin and bone where they touch feels like licking dry bread, but inside my body. It rubs me wrong.

In the beautifully written article in this month's Vogue about intersex model Hanne Gaby Odiele she says something so simple but it really struck a cord with me, because it touches on something that I want so badly to be true.

“Being a model is like a big compliment, but it can be so one-sided. I knew I wanted to use it at some point as a platform to give back, to do something, to tell people: You can be accepted however you happen to be! The ‘norm’ is not what you think it is.”

So read the letter (FULL TEXT HERE)  while I breathe deeply and send my healing energy out to the world of people who are hurting themselves. I too would like a little bit more control of my body, but beauty is a concept as soft and malleable as air - we have so much more power over it then we realize.





fake clear aviator glasses (because why not)
makeup by glossier (shop my link)
Iron Lagerfeld by Bleached Goods (please tell me you understand the symbolism)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copy and paste this code into your pages.