Why are mainstream fashion models usually so unhealthily / unnaturally skinny?

I was talking with my sister (Lilsis909) about this, and that is something that I just don't get.

I think that the modeling industry would be a lot different if straight men ran the modeling industry. Since we know that the industry as a whole is mainly influenced by women and gay men, no wonder straight men don't find the type of models said above, attractive as a whole.

My personal theory about why models are known to be unnaturally skinny, is so the model doesn't "distract" attention away from the clothes with too much, um, "curvature".

The less curvature, the less "distractions" available, so the focus is all on the design itself.

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I'm not overtly familiar about the fashion industry, so all I can do is theorize on this. I'm curious as to why you think models are typically so skinny to the point of being unnatural / unhealthy.

Because frankly, the idea of "body issues" made a lot of sense when my sis was showing me pics in a Marie Claire magazine. No wonder females are getting incorrect / warped ideas about attractiveness.

Please share your thoughts. Thanks, everyone. :)

Updates:
When I say "mainstream"...I'm talking about runway models.


Just had to clear that up. Continue the discussion. :)

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I miss the good old "Supermodels" from the early 90's. Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Linda Evengelista, Nikki Talor, Naomi Campell etc (I know I spelt the names wrong, can't be bothered with googling the correct spelling) These women were still slim, but had no bones sticking out and they looked so glamorous!

    Generally these models feel the pressure to be so thin because the fashion designers like to use as little fabric as possible in their prototype design. It saves money for them and when they start getting orders for a particular design, that is when they are happy to make larger sizes.

    Also, I have heard designers say that fabric sits better on a thinner woman. Kinda hard to explain what they mean by this, but basically the fabric "falls into place" much easier on a thinner woman over a more natural looking woman.

    There is also the fact that designers want the audience to be looking at the clothing item/design and not the model. On a curvier, more natural looking woman the audience will be more inclined to look at the model whereas on a thinner woman the audience is looking at the design.

    There are a lot of silly reasons why designers want to use thinner models. Personally I don't like it and would rather see how a certain clothing item is going to look on me and someone my size.

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What Girls Said 7

  • the first thing scouts look for is not necessarily beauty. they have to be pretty objective, but the first thing they look for is facial symmetry. its about finding a certain type. most models have high cheekbones as well. male models are usually a little effeminate but that's for runway models at least. I assume you are talking about runway models? but what the designer wants is what dictates the models higherd, the kind of look the designer is going for

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  • Straight men don't know much about fashion, not as much as gay men and women. So, I'm sorry, no, straight men should not be in charge of Running the model industry. Hell no!

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    • Not the designing...the selection of the models lol

    • lol dumbest most ignorant answer I've seen in awhile. but then again ure 18 and marrried...

    • What has being 18 and married got to do with anything? You sound incredibly narrow minded and pathetic. I'm sorry I'm not alone like you. Get a life. I'm not nearly as ignorant as you. 0.6% best answer? Hahaha. What a joke.

      Oh, and learn to spell. Please.

  • If you look at the brands and "Houses" which use thin models and you look at their demographics, you'd understand that most people in the demographic they are aiming at are thin and healthy. Apart of those demographics are the wealthy and those in the 'fashion capitals' of the world such as France, Italy, Spain, Thailand and Japan. Most wealthy people and people living in those countries are not fat or chubby. It's always Americans complaining about how thin the girls are and what do you know, we're the country with an obesity problem

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  • I read somewhere that the clothes look better on them or something. So it's a way to show off the product more.

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  • I don't know but I do know it's got nothing to do with what is considered attractive by men. I'm not built ANYTHING like that at all but I pretty much have my pick of single guys my age. I get checked out a lot. Very few guys ever approach though because I'm apparently intimidating.

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  • I don't think it has anything to do with sexual orientation ... just that the model types fit the clothes in an appealing way. The women aren't usually just thin, but also tall with a certain proportion of shoulder to waist, as well.

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  • I have heard that the models have to fit the clothes. So if a designer makes their clothes small, the models have to fit it. Basically, the modelling industry is imagination, not the average. You usually don't see very many tall, long legged woman walking around, the average woman is what 5'5 maybe-same with the clothes, they're all extravagant and nobody would normally wear that stuff, but it's imagination-who is more creative.

    It is sad how skinny some models have gotten, however if a model is too skinny, they are not allowed to be on the runway, this came into effect a couple years ago because it got to the point where it was brutally awful. So things have improved.

    Most runway models are small busted so as not to have big boobs bouncing around when they're walking-BUT it comes with what you are selling. Victoria's Secret models are well busted, but again it's with the product.

    The modelling industry is a very tough business to say the least.

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What Guys Said 4

  • I think profit has got to be a big motive. Millions of women who feel good about themselves as they are is bad for business. The fashion and beauty industries have a vested interest in keeping girls insecure about their bodies. Shame is a subtle but effective mechanism of control. People who don't like their bodies will spend ridiculous amounts of money trying to bring it up to par. The more unrealistic the ideal image, the less likely the average girl will be able to assimilate to it and stop worrying about it.

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  • Well the buyers mainly don't want to look fat. So either you design clothes that make women not look fat, or you design whatever the hell you feel like, and have 5'10 100 lb women walk down the runway in it, looking thin.

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    • Wouldn't the first speak more of the designer's ability to design good clothes, and thus be better marketing tool for his/her product if he chose to sell it to the masses?

    • If the people buying could distinguish between the two, yes. Obviously they don't.

      In any case, high fashion is a loss leader used to establish an image for a house so they can make money on perfume and accessories.

  • I heard a joke about something like the reason they all look like 14 year old boys is because gay men choose them.

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  • Well I've seen "normal" girls want to be unnaturally skinny, so it has to be some kind of obsession with thinness that goes too far. Both sides, the modeling industry and mainstream society, both influence each other. Models give people new ideas on what to wear, and society tells models what's "in". So yeah, I'm sure it's just a big cycle back and forth of skinny bodies.

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