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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Tuesday
Jun222010

"There's no point in denying it. Women have breasts."

Good morning, chickens! I. Am. So. Tired. While I'm happy to be blogging (I've been remiss), my state of insomnia has returned after being absent for quite some time. No bueno. No bueno at all. There's nothing worse than a lack of sleep. I've tried Ambien and a few other prescription sleeping pills as well as every over-the-counter med in existence, all to know avail. I've tried doctors. I've tried shrinks. Nothing seems to work and it blows. I think my next step will be acupuncture. I've never tried it and I've heard grand things. Anyone ever try it before? Lemme know.

But, insomnia is not what this post is about, so here we go...

I've been a wee bit behind in my magazine reading as of late. The household of The Thirty-Something Bride and The Candyman subscribe to The Martha Weddings, Brides, Money, Sports Illustrated, Bazaar and O. All but the SI end up on my night stand. For the most part, I read in the tub. It's one of the nightly exercises I do to trick myself into relaxing - I take to the tub with mindless reading. It's one of the first things I think about potentially missing if The Candyman and I ever decide to make some babies. My baths are that important. 

So I'm flipping through May's Bazaar (I told you I'd been remiss!) and I wasn't even sure I wanted to read it, to be honest. While I adore fashion, I don't always subscribe to the content of these magazines. For instance, for the last couple of months, I've been bombarded by different versions of this ad, using this model:

OK, really Muiccia? Really? Do you think that this ad wants to make me buy sunglasses? It doesn't? You know why? Because as a woman, if I take my hard earned money and blow enough of it on a pair of Prada sunglasses, I DO NOT want to see a 12-year old prancing around in the same pair. Fashion on pre-pubescent girls is not what I call attractive. Not at all.

So, depending on my mood at the time, I may just haphazardly flip through my fashion magazines without really reading. I was doing this the other night and I saw a large font blurb in the middle of an article that stopped me cold.

"There's no point in denying it. Women have breasts," says Peter Copping.

Wow, really? This Peter guy? Someone sign him up for World's Smartest Dude Award, 'cuz man, he's a shoe-in. So of course I stopped my haphazard flipping and read the article. The article predominantly referenced the new Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs fall line - how he "traded in" the pathetic wafer-thin models for the models more akin to Sports Illustrated and Victoria's Secret. Interesting, so I read on. A few highlights from the article:

  • Marc Jacobs featured two recent new mom's Elle MacPherson (she's 46 now!) and Laetitia Casta who were both sporting some serious cleavage.
  • A recent issue of V Magazinge titled "The Size Issue" that featured a ton of curvy girls was the highest selling issue in the magazine's history (it was launched in 1999). To see the amazing photo layouts from this issues, go here
  • Fashion show producer James Scully claims the look seen not only at Louis Vuitton, but also at Prada, Giles Deacon, Loewe and Peter Copping (the mastermind behind this whole "women have breasts" trend) for Nina Ricci is a direct result of the mandate thrown down by the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Health Initiative. The CFDA was organized in 1962. The CFDA continues to advance the status of fashion design as a branch of American art and culture; to raise its artistic and professional standards; to define a code of ethical practices of mutual benefit in public and trade relations; and, to promote appreciation of the fashion arts through leadership in quality and aesthetic discernment. Source
  • Crystal Renn (seen in pics below) recently wrote a book entitled Hungry, that tells the tales her struggles as an anorexic model and her final acceptance of her natural curves.
  • Last holiday season Victoria's Secret launched the Miraculous bra that claims it instantly adds 2 cups sizes. It became it's best-selling bra in 10 years.

Interesting info, no? While I applaud the efforts of the CDFA and their push to stop using 15-year olds as models as well as the effort behind this article, it still smacked of resistance to real live women. Why? Because the article kept referring to the fact that "Curves are back!" Uh, folks - they never left. I read a super-interesting article here about modern day sizing versus that of the late 1930's. If you've got the time, give it a look-see.

The point is that it's the fashion industry who tweaks it all and it's super annoying. Depending on what store I'm in, I might have to buy a 2 (very rare and mostly when I'm a super-skinny stress monkey), a 4 (less stress), 6 (most of the time) or an 8 (more rare, but it happens). You cannot tell me that all of these sizes are using the same measurements! How in God's name is a woman truly supposed to shop when the fashion industry is fucking with our heads on a regular basis? Nothing pisses me off more.

So all the rage is the curvaceous, buxom and corseted styles of Louis and Prada. But what happens next season when some schmuck decides that wafer-thin is back? I think the approach of the CDFA's Health Initiative is a good one, but needs a LOT  of work. It also needs to approach the wedding industry with the same gusto is has the wafer-thin model thing. A Los Anglese Love wrote an interesting article here about dress shops and sample sizing. That too is an interesting read about how a women, attempting to find one of the most expensive garments she will wear in her lifetime (on average) can't even try one on because sample sizes are limited. Sad sad sad.

So, in an effort to do my part and combat the stereotype of beauty and fashion, I'm posting what I think are simply stunning models. Makes me want to go have a slice of cheesecake for breakfast.

AShley Graham

Crystal Renn

Johanna Dray

Marquita Pring

Tara Lynn

So my chickens, I must run. I am in Dallas this week for a trade show and I'm always super-swamped with all that is home decor. I hope to check in the rest of the week, but I make no promises! So in the meantime, do you think the efforts of the CFDA are worthwhile? Do you think they are truly well-intended or just a half-hearted response to their own fucked-up actions? Do you think a there needs to be a wedding industry related task force?

 

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Reader Comments (10)

here here! I say applaud the sport body! I have friends who are size 16's but solid with muscle. They will never be the "perfect size 2" but they are gorgeous! And strong! and amazing!!! I think healthy is beautiful :)

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

(I could give the usual body image spiel and all that jazz, but this post did it so well and I don't need to say anything except....)

Oh yes! I scrolled the pics before reading and tought, "Oh! They look like me!"

Thanks for doing your part. Seriously, this post got my morning off to a great start!

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

Love Crystal Renn. I plan on buying her book... as soon as I see it on sale or have a Borders coupon. ;)

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDancy

Interesting post! For the record, it's not just the people making fashion to blame for the wacky sizes. When my partner and I launched our clothing line we were really set on following the "US Standard Sizing" chart, which doesn't really exist at all anymore. But the boutiques wouldn't buy anything larger than a small (sometimes a medium). So we'd have all of this leftover inventory and no one to sell it to. And then we had to shift sizing to get the boutiques to order more. I find the entire thing very frustrating myself when I go shopping. Also, with sample sizes - - it's expensive to make dresses that will never be bought by anyone, so of course a designer just chooses a mid-size to send to the bridal boutique. As an independent designer, I can't afford to make a sample in every size. Anyway, that's a little background from a designer's perspective. You probably know all of this stuff, Louise, but maybe your readers don't. xo

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterveronica

an interesting post, as always! i agree completely with you on this. however, i am on the other side... i remember when i just moved to the states a "few" years ago, i had a serious problem finding clothes in my size ("thankfully" american diet have finally made me fit into a size 2 now, well... mostly 0). i seriously envy the ladies with breasts like those :)

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterredwhitebride

@Veronica - VERY good point. I think Becca mentions it in her LA Love article - the cost of sample dresses. But what about muslin shells? I mean, back in my pattern making days, once I had my pattern done, I'd make myself a muslin shell and tweak the shell from that. Once the designers (and I'm talking about the big guns here, not independents per se) had a design down, can't the inexpensive shells for women to try on to see if the cut is flattering? I was pretty scared about my own dress as the sample size was ENORMOUS and I was super worried because I'm really long waisted and that's a difficult alteration to do if it's too short! When you get a moment (what is it 2 days? 3 days? WOOT! WOOT!), I'd love to find out WHY boutiques wouldn't buy larger sizes.

June 24, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

Great post! To answer your initial question. Accupuncture is awesome! I have used it for many different reasons and been really pleased. Try it! You sort of have to go in with a clear hart and believe in it!

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

This is so hard, because there's a difference between couture, which I see as art, and "fashion", which wants to sell an aspirational idea of beauty but should really be selling CLOTHES. For most women, we don't have the body types celebrated in current fashion: if you're celebrating boobs on a muscular stick, that still doesn't cut it for pear-shaped, apple-shaped, straight-and-willowy, long-wasted, big breasted, or anything larger than medium. So to me, I think we need a concerted push to really use fashion marketing to glamourize fashion for real people (or models with much better bone structure than us real people but similar bodies) in order to actually, you know, sell clothes. I love seeing a real range of women celebrated in these newer fashion spreads and really shown as beautiful and not just "plus size" and truly hope it doesn't get relegated to a one-a-year "plus size edition" and that we get an even more expansive take on what fashion and women's bodies really are.

And I would love to see a move away from girls towards women. What I can wear at 30 is entirely different than what a 16 year old can wear. And I hate shopping these days because, unless I go to the really expensive stores, everything in the Mall is geared towards girls. I want stylish clothes for under $200 too.

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

@Becca - I think part of the issue with Couture is the process that happens regarding ready to wear based on those artistic endeavors. And I agree - Couture is incredible art. I was trained by a German tailor. I'm made a couture suit before and I know what goes into one (it's mad, crazy SICK how much work goes into couture!). However, the RTW folks take those looks and translate them into our every day clothes - many of which are not realistic. And unforgiving. I used to love Karl Lagerfeld's stuff. Then he went and shot of his mouth in a Bazaar article about how only thin women should wear couture. Oh yes he did. And just like that, I banned him from my life. I mean, that guy used to be obese himself. How can he be so unfeeling? Oh, wait - I know. Because his weight loss is surrounded in torment versus health. Apparently the dude survives on Diet Coke alone.
Anyway, I also agree about the styles being geared towards girls versus women. I went shopping with a pockedful of money recently and told myself that I could spend as much as I wanted on a pair of pants - but they had to fit. Perfectly. No price limit. None. I walked away empty handed. None were even close to fitting. Sad, sad, sad.
And not all women want to wear mini skirts, or have the figure for these dreadful empire shirts.The whole thing is just totally annoying.

June 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

Here here. I love the photos you picked out to show what real women are like. I too wish there was some standard to sizing. It seems that women's sizing depends greatly on the brand. I swear I am in a different size for each brand of clothing I buy.

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

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