As I read “Hunger as Ideology”, I could not help but relate it back to my own knowledge and experience in the fashion industry. The industry is one that is plagued with an obsession with thinness and aesthetics. The dominant view of what is trendy, chic, and beautiful is represented on the runways and in magazines, as women around the world look to these authorities on fashion for the “right” perception. Unfortunately, the women used in magazines and runway shows are all professional models, whose job it is to maintain a specific image- an image of androgynous thinness. This image is exuded in photo spreads and runway walks as they exude effortless beauty and grace. To me, this almost ethereal and idyllic perception of models is similar to the FibreThin ad where,
“Eating has become, for her, no big deal. In its evocation of the lovely French mother who doesn’t each much, the commercial’s metaphor of European ‘difference’ reveals itself as a means of representing that enviable and truly foreign ‘other’: the woman for whom food is merely ordinary, who can take it or leave it.”
This image of a thin, elegant, beautiful one is depicted in fashion and in advertisements. The woman always moves with ease, making her decisions seem like they take no contemplation. However, this image can easily be argued as false if one looks to the countless controversies involving eating disorders among women. In the modeling world, some turn to consuming coffee and cotton balls, using cocaine and Adderhal, and smoking cigarettes to suppress their appetites. There have also been numerous instances where models have died due to complications associated with Anorexia Nervosa.
I suppose the point is that advertising world, the movie industry, and the fashion realm perpetuate images of the “it girl”- the girl who doesn’t need to try to look and feel amazing. But behind closed doors and behind the camera lies a different story.
- Barbara Lin