Beauty is Indeed in the Eye of the Beholder

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As the owner of three fashion blogs I inundate myself with as much research material regarding fashion and its trends, as I can get my hands on. A recent addition to my collection is Vogue Magazine, which I subscribed to only because of the very low price offered at the end of 2014. I’ve not been impressed prior to my subscription nor afterward with this glorified rags innards until the September 2015 issue.

May 1951 Vogue Cover
May 1951 Vogue Cover

The expensive perfumes and clothing that grace its glossy pages do nothing for me because I can’t  tear my eyes away from the anorexic forms wrapped in the garments they hawk. Many facial expressions were bored, blank and frankly appear pissed off because a camera invaded their sphere. Waif like cutout cardboard creatures, flat on both sides, skeletal stick figures with large sunken eyes and protruding bones.

In 2015 there are thousands of women and girls, around the world, and here in the United States, who suffer from some form of diagnosed or undiagnosed BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder). A psychological disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with imaginary defects in their appearance. What amazes me is how the fashion industry has turned a deaf ear and blind eye to consumer concerns regarding this issue. Doing little to crush or at least configure the imagery on their fashion pages and runways to reflect real women, not glorified stick figures. Beauty spectrum set on white, blond, young and deathly thin. This imagery has been shoved down consumer throats for decades nay generations. It’s no wonder some develop BDD.

Getting back to my subject matter; this month’s Vogue is the size of a do it yourself manual, which my post person probably cursed me for while dumping in my mailbox. Received in late August, but not opened until today, because again I was not impressed. As a curvy Afro-American woman I saw no reflection of myself between its covers.

While ripping off the plastic cover two reminders to renew my subscription drifted onto the floor, and were promptly placed in my “round file”. The person on the cover stopped me dead in my tracks. Tenacious in all her copper skinned glory, is my all time fave Queen Bey, Beyonce, buxom and curvaceous as ever. Her radiant beautiful face with little makeup, sporting a clinging wet hairdo. Even though I was blown away by the cover, I still had reservations about what I would find inside. It was refreshing to see some diversity within Vogue’s pages, not just a handful, but on many pages. Every model had a little meat on her bones and I saw several smiles. There was also a spattering of plus size fashion advertisement for Target. To say the least I was pleasantly surprised. 

Beyonce - September Vogue 2015
Beyonce – September Vogue 2015

It’s time an entity in the fashion industry took accountability, and stopped following each other like lemmings over a cliff. Being over weight is not healthy, but neither is being too thin. I’m reminded of the Wallis Simpson Quote “ You can never be too rich or too thin.” Simpson, an American socialite, became the mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales, who abdicated the throne to marry her. Just the sort of glib narcissistic remark that would be miss-construed as pearls of wisdom coveted and run with by other narcissist.

Duchess of Windsor - Wallis-Simpson
Duchess of Windsor – Wallis-Simpson

Our current barrage of unrealistic media images are a form of bullying. Thrusting vulnerable individuals into a box, dictated by God knows who, displaying unrealistic goals. We talk of inspiring our young, teaching them to become all they can be, the sky’s the limit, but our nation speaks with a forked tongue. We still limit our females, goading them with faulty imagery, propaganda to destroy self worth, body image and self esteem. The medical industry is raking in billions carving women into the ever changing ideal of feminine beauty that’s plastered in every magazine, on television, in movies, and now throughout the internet.

One should be able to view these media outlets and not feel less than. All have the right to feel comfortable in their own skin. This can only come about if those in charge come together with a common goal to show more realistic images of women. Ah, but there’s the rub . . no profit in the truth.

I’m still thumbing through my September Vogue. I retrieved the renewal cards from my round file. The price is still right. There maybe hope for us yet.