Let them eat cake?

The French word for diet is “régime.” (Faire un régime = to go on a diet.) So what better place for a “régime change” than France, the land of haute couture, which now has turned its attention to “dangerously thin models, websites that promote unhealthy weight loss, and commercial photographs that digitally alter the appearance of models’ weight.”

 Vive la France, right?

It’s certainly a step in the right direction. Anorexia (and the websites that promote it) is a health threat and not just in France. Extreme photoshop fails would be funny if they were not so pernicious. A little industry self-monitoring is a good thing.

But why stop with the models who, after all, are just trying to make a living? Why not go to the source—the designers themselves, whose traditional aesthetic demands a body shape with little more heft than a clothes hanger? Or the retailers that, for the most part, make any woman whose size is in the double digits feel like she’s taking up too much space?

We are so used to mostly white, flat-chested, mini-hipped teenagers strutting on the runway that we don’t think twice about the message it sends. How it undermines not just our physical health but our self-esteem. (We can never measure up.) How mothers judging their own bodies (and age) pass on their discontent to their daughters who, no doubt, will perpetuate the same warped view to their girls…unless we take a different approach. One that encourages us to find and celebrate our own healthful beauty, to see past the scrim of fantasy, stylists and digital enhancements and simply to appreciate the art for art’s sake that Fashion Week bring to our every day life.

So, by all means, let’s bring some sanity to this rarefied world. But remember, it’s just clothes. Not a value judgment on your beautiful { self }.