23.1.11

Fashionable changes

I forget which of my friends suggested that I watch The Last of Sheila (Cam?), but it's one of those Great Cast films the 70s were noted for: James Mason, Raquel Welsh, Dyan Cannon, Ian McShane and others all having fun cruising the Mediterranean playing a mystery game based on the hit-and-run accident that killed Sheila.

This isn't great acting by any stretch, and the unnatural speech patterns (reminiscent of how my grandmother spoke thanks to her rhetoric classes) are sort of funny in retrospect. What's interesting is not just the outdated hairstyles, but the body types. Men have hair, not just above their eyes and on top of their heads, and none seem to have "gym bulk" or 6-packs. Women aren't size 0 (or less), but have slender - but realistically so - bodies.

I've heard many times that by today's standards, Marilyn Monroe would be considered fat (yet is still thought to be gorgeous by many people). Seventeen magazine decided, several years ago, to focus on "normal" body types yet managed to have a complete disconnect between editorial and advertising. Milan ruled that there were to be limits on how thin runway models could be. Healthy does not equal near-starvation weight.

So why are we still obsessed with unnaturally thin? Maybe our national obesity crisis would lessen if we didn't aspire to an unattainable goal. What do you think?

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