Friday, January 22, 2010

Size zero

In my German lesson yesterday we bitched, nothing new there.

We bitched about the photos in a magazine, still nothing new there (wait till the week after the Oscars - that's a real bitch-fest, all those NASTY dresses that silly women wear, whatever were they thinking, I mean it's not like they don't have stylists and advisors for god's sake)

This week though the photos in the magazine were all of real life women, women who have jobs, not the usual crazy, half starved waifs who get paid 1000's to stand around as living clothes hangers.

The magazine in question 'Brigitte' (a German monthly, maybe a bit like the UK's 'She' or a more mature 'Red' - it has up to the minute fashion but also recipes, travel features, book & film reviews, it's not a gossip mag, it takes itself seriously) so Brigitte has decided to involve itself in the whole size zero model debate that is taking over the fashion world. They feel that agency models no longer represent their readership and in order to truly represent their readers they've asked the public to step up to the camera.

Obviously Brigitte do the photoshoot in the usual manner, the only thing that's different is that the person modelling the clothes isn't a professional and so doesn't look as though she's never eaten (and enjoyed) a 3 course meal. The photos are all on location, carefully styled, makeup looking immaculate (although one of the girls did look too pale for our liking) and clothes looking just so, and if they are all on the slender side (in this issue) then at least they are not all perfect, and maybe in the future issues they will also use larger size models, afterall if they want to represent their readership properly they will have to, otherwise the letters page will surely reflect this!

I have to confess to being a bit on the complusive side when it comes to magazines.
I blame my parents.

I remember as a small child having the Disney comic bought for me (possibly once a week, it had certainly become a weekly thing, because when I outgrew the comic, the money that it cost became my weekly pocket money)
I was then free of a magazine addiction until school, when my friend Audrey got me hooked on the ITV children's magazine, I think I was trying to fit in with friends who all watched the cool and trendy shows like 'Charlie's Angels' and 'the Bionic Man' (we didn't get to watch commercial tv 'cos our dad worked for the BBC, we felt so's left a permanent psychological scar...)
After that came the likes of 'Jackie' and 'My Guy' (all those lovesick photostories, popstar histories and advice on snogging) before finally I graduated to 'Elle'...

My favourite magazine of all time was 'Eve', it was the one that seemed to talk to me personally, that matched my age and my requirements at that time, in everything from fashion (i.e not stupidly expensive or ridiculously impractical) to recipes and features. Sadly it closed down in 2008, an early victim to the financial crisis I guess.

Now I have to make do with 'Red', which is almost too young for me, and 'Marie Claire', probably too young for me. I get quick and illicit fixes from the likes of 'Heat' and 'OK' but they always leave me feeling guilty, it's like eating too many sweets in one go, all that voyerism, can't be good for the soul!

German magazines don't quite hit the spot yet, reading to me should be fluid and almost osmosis-like and my German isn't up to that standard yet (nor will it be for some time) and so reading any German magazine whether it be the more 'intellectual' Brigitte or the lower end trashy Heat equivalent feels like homework, and isn't the relaxing read that a magazine to me should be. Mind you now that Brigitte has changed its model policy it is almost worth buying it every month to see what the non professional models are achieving...

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