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The Ironic Timing of New York's Fashion Week

Fashion Week Directly Precedes National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

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I think it is so ironic that Fashion Week in New York City (February 11-18) is followed almost immediately by National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 21-27).

Fashion Week will feature top designers' latest fall fashions, worn by some of the skinniest "beautiful" models. Invariably, the models will strut with an attitude, giving us the impression that they feel untouchably on top of the world in their crazy new outfits.

While I was filming my documentary "Beauty In the Eyes of the Beheld," about the blessings and curses of being a beautiful woman, one model confessed to me that a big part of her job is to pretend to feel really hot in outfits she actually thinks are hideous. Apparently that is a very common experience with runway models. They seem to do a very good job; because we tend to fall for it - spending great amounts of cash and shedding our personal individuality for these future fashion mistakes.

Have you actually ever seen one of those crazy runway outfits worn in everyday life? I haven't either. People would probably laugh if I ever wore one of those things to a party. The fashion industry's definition of style differs significantly from the tastes of everyday people. I found the same to be true about women's physical beauty.

When I made my documentary, I interviewed women who were considered "beautiful" by many people around them. I took referrals rather than act as the only judge. I was amazed at the different sizes, shapes, and looks that came my way.

Another lesson I learned from making my documentary is that being beautiful is overrated. The happiest "beautiful" women I interviewed were the ones who relied the least on their physical beauty for their own self worth. But the fashion industry wants us to believe that physical beauty gives us ultimate happiness. They pay their models to APPEAR happy and together. That way, we will spend our money on their clothes to feel like them. In addition, they hire holocaust skinny models to promote looks that are unattainable - at least for most healthy people. That way, we are sure to keep on spending our money in pursuit this illusive prize.

What a perfect conspiracy. The fashion industry is plotting the scheme and the models are playing their parts. How long will we continue to spend our money chasing this fiction? How long will we continue things like disordered eating to copy their definition of beauty?

Let us stop falling for it. Let us learn to see the real definition of beauty, as I found making my documentary. Let us learn to think for ourselves and be ourselves. Such self assurance will make us more beautiful inside and out. "Beauty In the Eyes of the Beheld" will be screening February 23 and 27 in Manhattan and Long Island respectively as part of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Skip Fashion Week and support National Eating Disorders Awareness Week instead.

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Comments: 1 | Add Comment

clearsight
04/18/09
Hey, it's Phil. I am more supportive of the "pro-age" campaign.

What are Dove's goals? #1 sell soap, #2 make people feel better about their bodies.

They really want to make "unattractive women" feel better, but that's harder to say than "older women," so they go with age.

So, women in your family were beautiful, now they have aged out of beauty.

Well, how about the people who were never considered beautiful? I guess they're out of luck. If I say that your relatives are old and not beautiful, I have to say the same thing to the young people that I don't think are beautiful.

Dove is trying to expand our perceptions of beauty, and I support it.
# 1
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