How the video industry ended up with size zero, have you ever wondered?
It’s an industry that deals with aspirations. Every Miss beautiful and Mister handsome is expected to have an hourglass-shaped body and at least six packs fit tight to the stomach, glazing skin tones and a mandatory branded coolers on an outdoor shooting. This apparently becomes the first sight to attract the customers. Video industry was originally emerged to design, market and sell products. The fashion industry made a very big impact on videos, films and advertisements. It was very easily formulated that fashion was the stepping stone to enter a video industry. But what is the cliche of using skinny models in videos? Before even the New York Fashion Week started, the big story began – the luxury groups LVMH and Kering have pledged to stop using underage and size zero models in their catwalk shows and ad campaigns. If that’s the case, will the video industry survive yet?
Fashion brands chose skinny models because they don’t want their models to stand out as they wanted the audience to pay more attention to the clothing the woman is wearing than to her overall look. That means the fact that other companies are using skinny models gives them the incentive to use skinny models too—to fit the trend, to avoid standing out. Precisely, omitting the plus-size in the fashion chart. Inspired by this scenario and hiring models who are used at the catwalks on stages the portrayal of women in videos was designed to the shape of an hourglass. Be it in an advertisement for a feminine product or some deodorant men use, the formula was strongly believed to have been bringing success.
On top of that, videographers are interested in size zero to draw too much of the audiences’ attention and sell their message. Unfortunately, there are more and more fashion models being diagnosed with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia because the industry encourages them to ‘keep their figure’. Some models have even collapsed during photo shoots and have been chauffeured to hospitals where they were placed on IVs before heading right back to work.
Social media has provided a platform for less powerful industry players and critics – who were effectively locked out of an elitist world in which designers dictated how women should look but accepted no accountability for the physical demands placed by a 23in waistband. With power comes responsibility. Finally, fashion is facing that maxim. It wouldn’t be a more progressive stance for these big brands too – instead of banning these girls and women from work – make a sincere, ongoing effort to address diversity in their portrayal. Slowly, quietly, changing the face of fashion.
The inability to use real plus-size models undoubtedly comes down to the fact that high-end designers want to exclude real plus-size women from their plot: so did the video industry. Our bodies are not aspirational, and this is an industry that deals with aspirations.