Dying for A Look: the merciless god of fashion

7.  I’m practical.

I always have been on the practical side, even in my teens.  I never wore those platform shoes that were so in vogue in the 60s.  I thought shoe designers gave up on them because so many women were twisting and breaking ankles, but now I see they’re back in style again.  Either people have forgotten, or “the look” is more important than the joints.

This makes me think of a little story a friend shared.  One day two teens were shopping with this friend of mine and she watched one of the girls try on a pair of shoes.  Once she had them on, she asked, “How do they look?”  The sales clerk asked, “How do they feel?”  She said, “Never mind how they feel.  How do they look?”

I’m a rebel.  I’ve never worn shoes with over 2 ½” heels.  For everyday wear I choose athletic shoes with proper arch supports.  I want my shoes to feel good when I’m on my feet all day.

Really, fashion has never been kind to women in any society.  Remember those old–fashioned lace-up corsets?  I saw a drawing one day of what they did to a woman’s organs; doctors guess all that swooning in olden days stories was because a woman laced up tight in a corset couldn’t actually take a proper breath.  One poor girl died because her ribs grew into her liver!

Friends told me once of a teen girl they knew who wanted a slim waist so she wore really tight belts all the time – she even wore one to bed.  Thus she succeeded in maintaining a 19″ waist.  But time went on and she got married – then found out she couldn’t bear children because her inner organs were so displaced.  What heartbreak – all for a tiny waist.  “Vanity, thy name is woman,” as Shakespeare said.

We North American females see those ladies in the Muslim world swathed head to toe in black and feel such pity, but we have our own cultural wrappings – or acceptable display packages– that cause us such misery.  It’s wonderful when people can maintain a healthy weight, but “dying to be thin” as one news article termed it, is so sad.

Portrait of an Anorexic ©1985 by Maureen and Corry-Ann Ardell is a book about a fourteen-year-old Canadian girl’s battle with anorexia nervosa.  This book mentions one girl, a model, who was 5’10” and weighed 100 lbs.  Her photographer told her she needed to lose another five lbs.  (Her parents pretty much insisted she become a model; she hated the whole scene.)

She was hospitalized and treated for anorexia, but maybe they should rather have locked the photographer up for conspiracy to commit murder – along with thousands of other folks in the fashion industry.

A lot of fashion designers have wanted their models to look like teen boys.  Young women (and their mothers) buy the lie: to be popular you have to have wear the “in” things; to wear them you need the shape of a strand of spaghetti.  Anorexia isn’t so much a disease as the byproduct of a cultural perversion that reigns among Caucasians in developed countries today. (Most black women & girls have wisely avoided this one.)

Dying for a Look: the ultimate cruelty of fashion.

God forbid that Christian parents should ever sacrifice their children on this altar.


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