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Where’s the beef with Manorexia?

27 January, 2009


It used to be that to become a male model you had to have a look that was different or classed as asthetically pleasing, and a bloody good body. This means, beefed up and lean, with big arms, nice pecs and a ripped set of abs; the sort of body that both guys and girls would drool with envy over.

These days the buffed up adonis has been pushed aside by the manorexic man. Have the meek inherited the earth already? It seems that the answer is yes in the case of fashion. Buffed, ripped male models have been slowly replaced by their skinny opposites. Male models are now required to have little or 0% body fat and weight less than 140lbs it seems.

Truly male skeletons in clothes have become the in thing. But what has caused this change in catwalk selections?  Has it been the type of clothes dictating the type of models needed to wear them? Are the designers responsible for a new generation of sickly looking youths? Does the finger of blame lies squarely on the shoulders of fashion designers who continue to tell the world what they should be wearing and how they should look.

Or does the finger of blame actually lie with the general clothes buying public. We have to admit that no one has to follow what they say, but in the end we really have no choice if we want to buy clothes in the shops. We as the public are limited to what we can buy, by the retailers stocking what they think we want.

Has body image for men suddenly become more sinister? For a long time now doctors and specialists have been telling us we’re getting fatter by the year, but now quite the reverse is happening, they’re also telling us that we’re getting too thin. It seems that we just have to go to extremes on either side of the scale from obesity to the newly named manorexic.

I can’t help thinking that actually, the only people to blame for all this angst about body image is ourselves, for really caring what others think about us. Should we really give a damn?

When punk fashion designer Vivian Westwood was asked her opinion on what people should be buying next season, she replied, ‘I’ll tell you what I’d like them to buy–nothing.  I’d like people to stop buying and buying and buying.’

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 January, 2009 4:55 AM

    Yes, it does. Designers’ jobs are to make clothes, not control societal body image. They choose the body image the public wants, just more extreme. We are arguing for the same side here, I think.

    Skinny jeans, like Jimmy Hoffa and sasquatch, will remain a mystery to us all. Forever.

  2. 28 January, 2009 1:28 AM

    I take it you are not a fan of the waif look, then? It’s chicken-and-egg talk to try and place blame, and in many cases eating disorders are symptoms of something else (depression, in my case). All I will say is that this isn’t sudden in any way: this has been going on for decades. From a practical point of view, it’s probably easier to make your clothes look good on a model with no shape: anyone with any definition starts to detract from the couture.

    Mike Says:-No, I like em beefy!! and doesn’t that imply a concious decision on behalf of the designers to use shapeless models? It still doesn’t explain skinny jeans though!

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