Rule the World

It's time to begin my manifesto.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

No. 014: Fashion Magazines

When I rule the world: I'll sort out fashion magazines.

I like fashion, and I like pretty pictures. However, I'm sick of seeing photos of twig-like 15 year olds, posed in clothes I'm supposed to want. I'm fed up with reading an article about skincare, only featuring products the magazine's been paid to reference, illustrated by a photo of an impossibly airbrushed tweenie. I'm bored with articles which idolise vapid actresses and stupid socialites, merely because they look good in a designer frock.

So I will keep the magazines, but I'll put the models out to pasture. If the clothes don't look good on real people, they won't get photographed. Every month the fashion editors will spend a day on the street, recruiting normal women for a day of modelling. Top make-up artists and hairstylists will make them look the best they can, and then great photographers will shoot them. The resulting photos won't be airbrushed, and the rest of us will be able to look at them and say, 'wow, those clothes look nice on real people! Cool!'

The models will be diverse. Some might - gasp! - have unshaved legs! Some will be tiny, and some will be fat. They could even have grey hair, and wrinkles. They will get to keep the clothes they are photographed wearing.

Fashion magazines have always claimed their models are so skinny because the designers only send them sample clothes in tiny sizes, but this bullshit won't work when I'm in charge. After all, they don't make the models squeeze their size nine feet into size two shoes, do they? If the designer isn't prepared to dress proper-sized women of all dimensions, they won't get any publicity.

And I'll remove the influence beauty companies have on the content. Beauty companies will be welcome to send free products to the magazines, but they'll have to send enough for free samples to be sent to lots of readers, who will then submit no-holds-barred product reviews. Nice photos of real women will be used to illustrate the eventual articles. Stupid and pointless products like moisturising underarm deodorant will not be given any attention. Who cares about the moisture content of underarm skin? Women have to stop being made to feel like they must spend life freaking out about random body parts.

And fashion magazines will be a little less serious and earnest. There are more important things in life than what skirt length is in vogue, and it would be nice if magazines would acknowledge that women are interested in other things as well. They could start by looking for advertising revenue from other things, like cars and banking, since women do actually spend money on these things as well. The magazines could even feature interviews with women who have done more than act in a romantic comedy! Imagine!


At 7:36 am, Blogger Vickie said...

First off, I have to say please reconsider featuring models with unshaven legs. Noone wants to see that.

I think fashion magazines in general are a load of bullshit, we can see what's in fashion by just visiting clothing stores, and I've never looked at a fashion magazine and got any inkling that something will look good on little old 5'5" me after seeing it on a 6' model. So I say scrap the whole fashion magazine genre. It sucks, and only makes women feel bad about themselves. I think featuring more realistic women would lose readers, as women seem to want to look at thin pubescent models and aspire to be just like them. Sick though that is.

At 2:17 pm, Blogger kindred said...

Well, I think we only torture ourselves by looking at skinny young models because we see no diversity - everywhere in the media we're presented with the skinny young ideal.

And the hairy leg thing really isn't a big deal in huge areas of the world. We are so Americanised! It sucks the big kumara.

At 4:33 pm, Blogger Sabrina said...

I've never understood why people are so hair phobic. It's natural. It grows where it's supposed to. I shave because my legs are bad enough wihtout the added hair but I have beautiful friends who don't shave. To each her own I say.

At 11:08 pm, Blogger Vickie said...

I much prefer a hair free body. I think it should be the norm for men to wax or shave too. And really, imagine if we left all hair in it's natural state - there'd be monobrows, wild pubes growing down thighs, women with moustaches.... it would be unsightly, to say the least.

At 7:57 pm, Blogger kindred said...

We'd all be French!!

At 9:46 pm, Blogger Ericka said...

to wit, some women care very much about the moisture content of their underarm products -- myself included. it is because I have a skin condition. stupid magazine articles/ads (like those you plan to ba) don't actually offer the relevant information required to pamper the pits without reprecussion.

At 9:37 am, Blogger kindred said...

OK, Ericka, that does make sense. But for those of us without specific skin conditions to worry if our armpits are attractive enough? Madness!


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