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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Darling, you look faaabulous"

NME have done a clever thing with their Beth Ditto cover. It probably won't sell any more copies to its Muse-loving readership but it does do something to restore its reputation for stirring up controversy. And Ditto's one of the few people who could get away with telling the truth about size zero models - that they're largely the creation of gay male designers, to which she might have added gay male fashion editors, photographers and stylists.
It's a strange accommodation reached between their aesthetic sense and the insecurity of the average woman, who still says "you look fabulous" when she means "you've lost weight". What it has nothing to do with is heterosexual male desire.
Whenever you research the readers of women's magazines and ask them if they'd like to see size 12 models they say "yes". But when you present them with size 12 models they run a mile in the other direction. Everybody in the business knows this.
Plus there's a form of inflation at work here. Models get thinner just as basketball players get taller, rugby players get bigger and millionaires get richer. It's Darwinism.