Sunday, November 24, 2013

Media Moment #3 - Couldn't find models skinny enough?

I was walking down Madison Avenue when I noticed a window display that stopped me in my tracks. Lanvin, a luxury French fashion house is known for its exclusivity and high price points. A lot of people admire the company, and celebrities are known for sporting the brand on the regular. That’s why I was surprised they would use skeletons as mannequins in their display in a high traffic area like Madison Avenue. We all know that clothes “lay better” on the tall and thin,  but the fact that they graduated from the super skinny supermodel to the dead supermodel really struck me as metaphoric. They have now said to their audience, that girls can keep trying to get thin until they die and then maybe they’ll have a shot at being in a Lanvin ad. There is no substance to skeletons, but Lanvin is letting us know that its not necessary to be substantive in the fashion industry. They’ve literally dehumanized the model into a structure whose only purpose is to be a clothes rack and not even be a living, breathing, human.
            My sister, who I was walking with, didn’t understand my discontent. She said they were simply a high fashion brand trying to be controversial and do something different. But I couldn’t help but look at the display through a feminsist lens. After analyzing the media and the hegemonic structure in place here in the U.S. it is impossible for me to keep quiet on matters like this. I agreed to disagree with my sister, because I feel stuff like this is doing damage to our psyche whether we recognize it or not. What do you guys think, innocent or all types of wrong?


  1. Was this set up specifically for Halloween? A friend of mine told me he has seen this set up (or one very similar to it) and that it would only be up until then.

    If it was a holiday gimmick, however, there is still the underlying idea of "wow look how good the clothes look on bones!" This very well could damage our psyche, whether we know it or not. I think it was a mix of innocence but with a very bad unintentional message.

  2. This was probably for Halloween but regardless it is reinforcing the skinny ideal for women. There are always times where they show a celebrity who is not as skinny as a model wearing a designer's clothes and I always think the celebrity looks better. I don't know where this super thin as the "perfect" came from but i'm sure most people would agree that its mostly just depressing.