back to article Ralph Lauren says sorry for incredible shrinking pelvis

Ralph Lauren has apologized for Photoshopping the pelvis of a fashion model down to inhuman proportions. Yesterday, we told you the tale of a recent Ralph Lauren magazine advert that takes the fashion world's taste for emaciated bodies to new extremes: Ralph Lauren Photoshop Disaster Ralph Lauren Photoshoppery After its …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    hideous

    I can understand altering an image to make the model more attractive, but this image is hideous. Who said "Yup, that's the image we are looking for, it's perfect."? The image is repulsive, whoever decided to roll the presses on this should be taken out and shot, repeatedly.

  2. Adam Salisbury

    Representing the brand

    "We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the calibre of our artwork represents our brand appropriately."

    Call me old-fashioned but how about they just settle for appropriately representing reality rather than the industry's prolonged emaciation fetish!

  3. BlueGreen

    @hideous

    I have to assume Mr Lauren & most other fashion jerks are gay cos he & they clearly haven't a clue about what makes the female form interesting.

    Curves, dear boy, curves. Write it big on your office wall.

    Even unphotoshopped catwalk thinness models look unattractively boyish in figure to me. This monstrosity... ech.

  4. kain preacher

    pukes

    I DON'T WANT TO SEE RIB CAGES OR SPINE. I want a women with curves , not an emaciated 12 year old boy looking thing.

  5. Bassey

    Re: Hideous

    Brilliant! I've been trying to think what it looked like and you're right. Someone said "yep, that's perfect", but then accidentally fed the model through the rollers of a printing press. It's the only way someone could end up looking like that!

  6. Mike Richards Silver badge

    @ kain preacher

    'I DON'T WANT TO SEE RIB CAGES OR SPINE'

    To be fair there is no way that woman has a spine.

  7. Mike Dolan
    Stop

    Sorry? Where's the apology?

    Did I miss something? Nothing there that looks like an apology - just "we have addressed the problem". That's not an apology in my book...

  8. ZenCoder

    So there are the ones to blame ...

    From now on very time a woman asks me if X "makes her look fat" ... I am going to sliently curse Ralph Lauren.

  9. A J Stiles
    Thumb Down

    What happened to that French idea?

    What happened to that idea they had in France, where they were going to insist for magazines to post a warning on messed-with images?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    The strangest thing just struck me

    Really the strangest thought, prompted by Kain Preachers comment,

    I DON'T WANT TO SEE RIB CAGES OR SPINE. I want a women with curves , not an emaciated 12 year old boy looking thing.

    Paying special attention to the last part, models often look like they are prepubescent in fashion photo's as a result of the photoshopping that goes on so often. I think in todays child porn fear riddled society that the simple accusation of attempting to make these girls look underage in the absurd retouching of photo's would surely put an end to touting these stick thin unappealing images. So how about it? If enough people complain that these pictures are reminiscent of child porn (ie flat chested, under developed and under nourished) they will be pulled and deftly avoided by most companys.

    Then maybe we can finally see some realistic images in fashion/marketing and once again appreciate the bumps and curves that make women attractive.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    "going forward" - argh

    "We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the calibre of our artwork represents our brand appropriately."

    I hate this pseudo intellectual consultant speak. Why has "going forward" replaced "in future" in this sentence & countless other media soundbites. I assume some marketing consultancy charged some exorbitant fee to suggest that "going forward" has some connotations of making physical progress. Utter shite, it is just irritating.

    What this should say is - "We sacked those responsible and now have a new department head."

    Could El Reg perhaps include a warning like you get before TV programs now about photosensitive epilepsy or strong language at the article top before unsuspecting eyes read such lame drivel?

    Ta ;)

  12. Patrick R
    WTF?

    "After further investigation..."

    Was that really needed ?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Reminds me of...

    ...the time during the first O. J. Simpson trial where, by sheer coincidence, both TIME and Newsweek put the same photo of O. J. on their cover--but TIME had retouched theirs to degrade his appearance, the contrast strikingly obvious as the two appeared side-by-side on magazine racks. It was a huge embarrassment for them.

    (There seems to be a healthy unanimity of the comments so far--healthier than most models' diets, I suspect--and said viewpoints are hardly unique to this forum. Would that the fashionistas and the droves of ladies who march lockstep behind their designs discovered what we of the other persuasion really admire.

    Also, though anorexia nervosa is a mental condition that goes much deeper than trying to be stylish, I can't help but think of a cousin of mine who was afflicted with it. Less than a week ago, she died from the complications.)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "We have addressed the problem..."

    Yeah - from now on they won't photoshop images to be like that. They'll insist that the actual models have crushed hips and no ribcage.

  15. frank ly
    Stop

    Dumb (as well as skinny) asses

    "After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body........."

    They needed an 'investigation' to figure that out?

    What about an admission (and apology) for issuing DMCA takedown notices that were not justifiable?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 14:54

    "The image is repulsive, whoever decided to roll the presses on this should be taken out and shot, repeatedly."

    Agreed, and if the person that allowed this was also that thin then they would definitely need "shooting, repeatedly" cos most of the shots would miss unless fired at from point blank range :)

  17. The Cube
    Pirate

    @ZenCoder - makes me look fat

    No,

    When a woman asks if X "makes me look fat" the correct answer is, "no, only Ralph Lauren makes you look fat."

  18. David S
    Stop

    Bastards

    This is why our fourteen-year-old daughter is slowly developing an eating disorder...

  19. Bumbling Fool

    I seriously don't get it

    It's all a big puzzle to me.

    I don't know very many blokes who are attracted to these stick insects - yet look in the pages of almost any catalogue and the models are like twigs. They look ill, under-nourished, most definitely NOT attractive, and, well, just plain wrong.

    So given that so few blokes actually find this emaciated look sexy or attractive - indeed most seem to find it quite ghoulish - why does the fashion industry persist in this nonsense? Why do so many teenage girls seem to think that having arms and legs that look like they'll break in the slightest breeze is actually desirable?

    Beats me.

    I believe the position of the average bloke can be summed up in usual laddish fashion by "more cushion for the push'n" - who wants to make love to a lampstand?

  20. J 3
    WTF?

    Integrity?

    That shape makes me think of a District 9 prawn badly disguised as human... Although as far as I can remember even the prawns had more proportional bodies.

    They talk about integrity... In my opinion, any claim of integrity goes out of the window every time photography processing ("photoshopping") enters the stage for anything more than lighting correction, cropping and the like (hell, even changing the background a bit would be fine, given the leeway for such works of fantasy as marketing). Specially in changing how *people* look -- for better or for worse, of course.

  21. Sheinen

    Skeletor Fashion

    Why can these people never just admit to being wrong? Someone MUST have signed off on that picture, whoever did the photoshopping isn't to blame, they asked for and approved this image.

  22. Combat Wombat

    Ahhh !

    I hate the fact that fashion pics are decided by gay men !

    We do not want our women looking like boys !

    cover the head, and that is a man's body ! Ewwwww !

    I am now going to cuddle my gf, and enjoy her hips, and curves..

  23. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    We have addressed the problem

    We have fired some poorly paid underling and hired a new one at peon wages with the assurances that they know photoshop better and won't make this particular mistake.

    or else

  24. Martin Lyne

    Why?

    Why even use models any more? Might as well CG it if you;re planning on photoshopping them to shit and back.

    But then, why bother advertising at all? Jeans are just jeans, labels are there for stupid rich people to waste their money on. They seek out the most expensive they can afford to fit in to an imaginary social group

  25. A. Coatsworth
    Terminator

    Wait, what?

    I failed at reading comprehension... When I read the first note about this I thought the picture was a joke created by photoshopdisasters, just like the ones regularly posted at worth1000.com.

    Now it results it is a *real* ad? My mind boggles...

    I hereby give up all hope in the future of mankind.

    Terminator because Judgment Day is the best that can happen to us right now.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF!

    No Breasts?

    No Ass?

    No Thanks!

  27. kissingthecarpet
    FAIL

    I've never understood

    why many women allow themselves to be dictated to by the fashion industry. Its taste seems to be that of gay men - who aren't renowned for their love of real women's bodies at all.

    It was Anthony Burgess, I think, who said he went to bed with a supermodel, and it was like sleeping with a bag of coathangers.

  28. Kwac

    kissingthecarpet

    Spot on - gay men are dressing women to look like boys.

    Some years ago I treated (mainly) women with eating disorders. I regularly advised them to go to a newsagent and buy a copy of both Vogue & Playboy - both contain pictures of scantily clad/naked women - and compare the pictures in both mags. I'd then ask "who do you want to appeal to - the readers of women's magazines or the readers of men's magazines?"

    Claudia Schaeffer once said "many women say 'I want to look like Claudia Scheiffer'. I want to look like Claudia Scheiffer".

    And a magazine gets criticised for not 'touching up' Sarah Palin. FFS.

  29. ToeShoeGirl
    Thumb Up

    Kudos Guys

    Wow, for once the comments here make a girl feel appreciated and valued! You really like us! OK, seriously, sometimes the comments about women are a little less kind, so just posting to let you know I was impressed. Thanks guys!

  30. John H Woods Silver badge
    Heart

    but ...

    ... that model looks yummy to me.

  31. greenspazz
    WTF?

    Exploitation of Pompous Designers is Sexy

    Being one from the fashion world and holding a degree in Fashion Design, I have long known the reason such emaciated models were preferred on the runway. The answer to that is simple (and I dare any designer or avid fashion follower to disagree with me) they use less fabric and quicker to dress. So why are they so tall? at the shows more often than not, you are looking almost up their skirt half the time...it is simply so the potential buyers can see the hem...it has nothing to do with image but it has truly put a vicious message out to society.

    Ralph Lauren blamed it on the touch up guy LOL. Now, that is truly classic. Makes me giggle so much. He didn't however provide us the "untouched up" photo of the model. I really doubt that a touch up designer would go to such extreme lengths to make this model look anorexic and prepubescent.

    It is our right to exploit, explain, voice our opinions, share, convict and to applaud anything in this world.This message affects a lot of people from a name they have trusted for some time now. It mocks the body dysmorphic disorders, body image for women, real starving people in every country that look this way because they literally don't have food. It also sends the message of a female who is unable to procreate, or frowns on anyone with hips to make babies. Sterile, starvation and stardom are a deadly concoction and a false image of women to women. I don't see any emaciated men on there.

  32. PT

    Never mind the girl...

    ... What about the perjury? The necessary wording for the DMCA takedown includes, "I declare, under penalty of perjury, that..... (etc)"

    Clearly the perjury part of the Act doesn't have any teeth, otherwise we'd be entertained by images of lawyers and executives for this and many other companies being dragged away in handcuffs.

  33. Big-nosed Pengie
    FAIL

    Sue their arses off!

    Not for the image, for saying "going forward".

  34. SisterClamp
    Thumb Up

    Second the thanks

    @Kwac: thanks for that. Have a daughter growing up and shall keep that in mind.

    And I second ToeShoeGirl's sentiments. You guys can be pig-headed, gross, single-minded, simple-minded, etc. etc., at times, but you're now officially OURS after this outpouring. Thanks for the support. Many many smooches, dudes.

  35. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: The strangest thing just struck me

    The "pre-pubescent" thing probably also applies to the popularity of Brazilians (the shave, not the people). I mean, can there really be anyone out there who *chooses* to do this except under huge duress from "peer pressure"?

    Less seriously... Yeah, nail 'em on a child porn rap. Perhaps commenter David S is angry enough to hunt down a lawyer. Failing that, I imagine Harriet Harman is spoiling for a fight, always assuming we want her on our side.

  36. Robin Baker
    FAIL

    lazy designers?

    I have always thought that is just easier to design clothes that fit someone (M or F) who has no curves.

    Think about the complexity of a curvy woman's body ...I'll give you a minute or two ... now think about trying to wrap that closely in fabric... I'll give you another minute or two...

    All those ins and outs, humps and bumps, it's bloody difficult, needs lots of darts and inserts and the flats (technical term for the pattern used to cut the cloth) quickly become complicated.

    So in our age of instant satisfaction it's simpler to ignore real people and pretend everyone is straight up and down.

    Rob

    (by straight I mean linearly straight not not gay)

  37. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Weird imagery

    Seems like the fashion world are keen to promote images where the body is that of an adult but the body is that of an adolescent.

  38. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Coat

    @Chris Morley

    "What this should say is - "We sacked those responsible "

    ... for sacking the responsible.

    And then those responsible for sacking those have been sacked too, and replaced by a number of Wonder Llama's.

  39. Jellied Eel Silver badge
    Alien

    Go Kwac!

    I shoot art nudes, male and female and would never hire a size 0 supermodel. Translucent skin over bone is not a look I like, unless maybe I was doing something with a concentration camp theme. Photoshop abuses like RLP just make body image problems worse, creating artificial and unnatural ideals of 'beauty'.

    It's not just done to women either, check this example-

    http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/2009/09/ferre-abs-fab.html

    with it's rather unusual abdomen. Haven't the people putting these ads together ever seen real, naked bodies before? If not, maybe they should get David Bailey's Democracy. Real people naked, all shapes & sizes and they're all confident enough in themselves to have done it, and they look great.

    Maybe we need a campaign for real people, not plasticy, distorted mantis people?

  40. jbeveridge
    WTF?

    Stupid American Law

    So, the turdburglars at Ralph Lauren thought threatening a Canadian company with American laws was going to work?

  41. jon 77

    Robin Baker: NOT fail!!

    .. so this means most designers are just plain LAZY! go on guys, use a bit of BRAIN power, to design a dress for **normal** people, you will win universal praise, and also sell a a LOT more clothes!!!

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Going Forward

    "Going Forward ...."?

    Bleugh!

    STOP IT!! and stop it NOW!

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    It's not about you

    Before this is read I should point out that I had a good chuckle when I saw this on PSD; and it's the result of some really shoddy retouching and art direction... But, to address your "these models are gay" points against the fashion advertising world...

    The job of these marketing types is not to show YOU a woman who YOU find attractive!!

    That is ridiculously narcissistic of you; I fail to believe that none of you have realised that it's not about good looking people, it's about selling clothes, and probably not to you (as a reg reader). If the market research shows that thin and androgynous models sell more clothes, they will use the 12-year old boy looking models. As someone working in the fashion advertising world; who has done their fair share of retouching (in the past and to a better standard than this) and works daily with art directors, designers, photographers and models; I can assure you that we are ALL aware of your outrage, and some even share your views...but can't argue with your continued spending patterns.

    As for warnings on these images - get real...all images, especially in advertising are not just manipulated, but more often than not, an outright lie. The creators are salesmen, never trust a salesman. Heed this advice and you and your daughters will remain eating disorder free.

  44. James 55
    Pint

    @Chris Morley

    You took the words right out of my keyboard. But going forward I would like to comment on the ugliness of current catwalk models and hope that going forward we could introduce some gorgeous gals instead.

    You couldn't go out for a drink with these birds either! Going forward half a pint... BAM! she hit the deck.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ BlueGreen

    Please allow me, a card-carrying gay man, a practicing homosexual ("practice makes perfect"), to refute your assertion that gay men don't know what makes a woman attractive.

    One of the most glorious sights in my life was a pair of women bicycling along a highway, clad in the de rigeur Lycra shorts that displayed their magnificent pear-shaped butts to absolute perfection. No, I didn't want to have sex with them, but I thought the view was stupendously well done.

    Unlike lesbians, who seem to be man haters for the most part, gay men don't hate women. We are merely indifferent to them from the sexual point of view.

    Paris, because she exemplifies a not-very-attractive body shape.

  46. Ole Juul

    Re: Never mind the girl

    PT got it right:

    " ... What about the perjury? The necessary wording for the DMCA takedown includes, "I declare, under penalty of perjury, that..... (etc)"

    They completely sidestepped the legal issue. Who cares about the picture? The problem is perjury - and they know it.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What we should do...

    ... is have advertising standards require a 'digital retouching' grade in the corner of altered photos. 1 for tone, 3 for smoothing, 5 for hideously mangling like they've fallen into a car crusher. Just a discrete number in a circle in the corner.

  48. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    No Title

    It's funny that a lot of the discussion around this story in the last few days has proved something about advertising and people's perception of advertising. Essentially it seems that the public at large accept and indeed expect advertising images to be shopped, it's only when it goes "too far" that it becomes a problem. It seems that people expect advertising to be lies.

    Does advertising work or do people at large know that advertising is a lie, but still allow themselves to be influenced by it?

  49. BlueGreen

    @AC 18:32

    Not the models being gay, but anyway.

    You may make an point about it being marketing but I don't believe it. What people accept as fashionable can change quickly (found this in a bookshop a couple of weeks ago and it was hysterical <http://www.amazon.com/Museum-Kitschy-Stitches-Stitchy-McYarnpants/dp/1594741115/> and it makes the point perfectly). I think fashion is driven by certain people (and a whole lot of magazine writers and 'it'-type people who stupidly parrot back the "this autumn's fashion is going to be...") and those people create 'looks'. They want to be different so they twiddle stuff then branch off to extremes to stay 'relevant'. The heroin chic look didn't appear because people found it attractive, it was created. Deliberately. I don't know any woman who found it attractive, in fact - key point - I don't know any woman who takes much notice of the dresses you make. They go shopping they buy what takes their eye. The only thing you've done that has any persistence is to create extreme body images which give some people problems, and you will continue to do it because you are trying to make a standout image for your brand and - other key point - distinguish yourself in a saturated market.

    However you work in said industry, so I'd welcome your comments.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    @question if X "makes her look fat"

    Why curse anyone? You already have the perfect answer at hand: "No dear, it's all the chocolate you're eating". Afterwards you will have no more problems, except perhaps breaking a nail on your harp.

  51. Miami Mike
    Megaphone

    skinny women

    Bulletin from Planet Earth . . .

    Skinny women are for men who like boys.

    Real women have curves, real men have hair.

    End of message, hear and obey.

  52. Nick Oakley

    That is the worst statement they could have put out...

    "We've learned that we're responsible"??? That is neither a blatant lie, nor an acceptance of full responsibility - it's the kind of statement you'd expect from a teenager who hasn't yet developed the maturity to hold his hands up and say, 'sorry'.

    It's implicitly trying to get us to believe that not one person at RL knew about this, whilst at the same time trying to admit responsibility in a dilution of such proportions that it somehow places less blame on the person in charge by saying, "actually yes, it was I and these other 2,000 employees that did this".

    It's as sickening as the image. Weasly and worryingly deceptive.

  53. lpopman
    Paris Hilton

    @Ken Hagan

    The shaving of bits (i.e. the Brazilian) is more of a hygene thing than a paedophillia thing. It prevents things like lice, and helps keep the area clean of smegma and other such bodily secretions.

    Paris, because we've all seen her brazilian.....

  54. aBloke FromEarth
    Unhappy

    @Combat Wombat & @Kwac

    Gay. Men. Are. Not. Paedophiles.

    Please go peddle your hatred elsewhere.

  55. Steve Roper
    Paris Hilton

    Then and now

    I recently watched the series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (the Glenn Larson 1979 series). I hadn't seen it since I was a teenager (30 years ago) and what really hit me between the eyes is how our conept of beauty and fashion has changed in that time. Most of the girls in the show were clad in either miniskirts or body-hugging outfits, and all of them revealed nice sturdy legs, wide hips, full figures, and healthy breasts. They looked hot then, and to me they look hot now.

    But what a difference from looking at the stick-figures we see now, not just on catwalks but even in today's TV shows. Like others here, I'm not interested in chicks that look like the contents of a broom cupboard. I want to see a return to the girls of Buck Rogers (and Logan's Run - another show that used healthy, hearty-looking women and wasn't ashamed to show them off).

    To AC "It's not about you": How the hell do you know what sells better, when the ONLY thing you fashionistas have plugged for the last TWO FUCKING DECADES is androgynous broomsticks and nothing but? Take a bloody risk once in your bean-counting lives - try presenting a show with women who have real curves, just once. You may be surprised by the uptake!

    Paris because she's the only woman in the Reg icon list, and she's a fucking broomstick.

  56. Tim Schomer
    Paris Hilton

    What this should say is - "We sacked those responsible and now have a new department head."

    but I bet the department head is now in ine for a HUGE bonus for getting the company talked about more ("any advertising is good advertising - especially if it's free" I think that's they're motto).

    To be honest the department head (and the photoshoppers) should be taken out and shot for crimes against the human body. As I recall even soldiers have a getout clause that they can use when they are ordered to do something that they believe is morally wrong to prevent them having to carry out orders that are 'flawed' (those in military service please correct me if I'm wrong) - why aren't the photoshoppers using the same sort of clause (or are they all just as sick as the marketeers they are working for?)

    Why don't the marketeers look at the 'sex sirens' of the screen and stage for inspiration? (Marylin Monroe, Sophia Lauren, Charlotte Church et all) Real Men want Real Women, anything else is paedophillia - and we should hang the ad-men as such.

    Even Paris has SOME curves about her....

  57. Mussie (Ed)

    IMO

    As far as most men (Men not boys mind you) are concerned curves are what we want....

    So why do they persist with this crap

  58. Winkypop Silver badge
    Stop

    May I just say...

    ...going forward...and all....

    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHH !!!!!

  59. skeptical i
    Pirate

    Can we leave orientation out of it?

    Any designer -- homo, hetero, pan, all of the above, none of the above, whatever -- is going to create what she/he/ze thinks will sell. If enough people clamor for clothes for a Marilyn (Monroe)-esque figure, the fashion world will respond. If people clamor for clothes for a Marilyn (Manson)-esque figure, we have seen the fashion world's ability to supply the demand. When people (some of the male models are also scarily malnourished) stop buying this shite (the clothes specifically, the whole "thin is in" message in general), stand proud in their own bodies, and only support brands that respect all sizes, the fashion houses will respond or risk losing sales.

  60. Ted Bovis

    Responsible

    How slippery - "We have learned that we are responsible"

    That's like saying "You know that ad with the stick thin mardy girl we did? Well, we did that." Surely if they'd thought they weren't responsible, they wouldn't have bothered with their arsey takedown.

  61. SirTainleyBarking
    Stop

    Appropriate Shoppage?

    I think not!

    I've had to look through adverts, and help with layout. What proper, ETHICAL, companies use photoshop for is the following:

    Cropping to fit

    Assembling an image of a model against a different background

    Obvious Zit removal / removing dust spots

    Making sure the colour balance is correct

    And thats it.

    I remember when the Dove real women ads came out (Normal sized lasses in underwear).

    Judy in the street loved it. Fashionista in the ad industry hated it. Guess who Dove listened to

  62. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ BlueGreen

    Please allow me in turn to question your assertion that gay women "seem to be man-haters for the most part". I mean, I can't speak for them, but I don't think you can either.

  63. MetaDude
    WTF?

    Try telling your GF/wife you like her curves !

    The really sad thing is that many women are brain-washed to think that we (men) perfer these pathetic stick insects that pass for fashion models. I've actualy had arguments with women because I've stated that most guys I know don't want really skinny women and the usual response is to be met with disbelief ... at which point I just give up.

    I hate the stupid assertion from those in the fasion industry that it's just about selling clothes and that the constand bomdarding of fashion industry images does NOT influence how women perceive themselves. This is ridiculous crap.

    The fashion industry has a profound influence on people and there needs to be some more basic regulation.

  64. Chris Long
    Megaphone

    What a load of nonsense

    I get a bit tired of men trying to outcompete each other with the 'I like curvy women' declarations. No shit, well, that's great, but we're all individuals and people like different things. Personally I prefer the athletic figure (triathletes in particular) and I completely reject the idea that this means that I secretly like boys.

    Some catwalk models may well look 'too bony' (whatever that means) in swimsuits or lingerie, but again, no shit, they're (generally) paid megabucks because they look good *in* clothes, not out of them. As for the earlier comment that all catalogs feature stick insects as models, bollocks, I have the Next 2009 Spring/Summer catalog right here and the models (particularly in the lingerie section) are not stick insects by any stretch of the imagination.

    Again, as for porn stars shaving etc, this is not to make them look pre-pubescent or 'like boys', it's so that you can actually see their genitalia - look up the definition of 'pornography' if you still need a clue. Check out the hideously inflated and unnatural-looking breasts on those shaven porn stars and see how that squares with the 'all men are secretly paedos' meme.

    The earlier 'sex therapist' comment made the right point - look at the covers of the magazines in your local newsagent. The ones aimed at women have slim models, the ones aimed at men have curvy models. That tells you all you need to know - despite any protestations to the contrary, *most* women like images of slim women (for whatever reason), *most* men like images of curvy women (for largely obvious reasons).

    As for that Dawn Porter prog where she nearly killed herself trying to diet down to size zero - no shit, again - if you were born sturdy and try to diet down to 6 stone you're going to make yourself ill - it doesn't follow that all, or even some, catwalk models are deliberately endangering their health to stay slim.

    I would have thought that the women posting here would have been apoplectic at the suggestion that slim or flat-chested women were somehow less feminine or less attractive... stand up for your sisters, curvy girls! And look up some photos of Hedy Lamarr, Bette Davis and Lauren Bacall in their prime to see exactly how much the image of a desirable female has changed in the last fifty years.

    Anyway, I'll try to calm down now...

  65. Hugh_Pym
    Stop

    @ lpopman EEWWWWHHH!

    "The shaving of bits (i.e. the Brazilian) is more of a hygene thing than a paedophillia thing. It prevents things like lice, and helps keep the area clean of smegma and other such bodily secretions."

    So it's because the person in question feels they stand a good chance of catching pubic lice and can feel that they are clean, fresh and clear of bodily secretions (their own or other peoples?) with just a change of pants (underwear in the US) that they shave off all pubic hair? I think I'll go for the hairy one next time they probably have a more realistic sense of proper hygiene. Anyway it's not paedophilia it's an over reaction to the fear of getting (or appearing to get) old. Why the fuck should it be considered wrong to ask a lady's age? Why is it considered a complement to say 'ooh, you don't look a day over x'? And what for christ's sake is the point of potions that 'Defy the seven sign signs of aging' (it makes me think of king Cnut 'defying' the tide). It perpetuates the myth that youth = attractiveness in order sell stuff that doesn't do anything. I'm in my forties and am finding that women in their forties are fun to be with and confident enough to talk openly about they want and what I want.

    Back to the point though. I would like to see of evidence to back up the 'The public gets what the public wants' theory that a lot of fashion industry apologists at trotting out. What would be the point of lifestyle advertising if that were true.

    I liked the suggestion on Mark Thomas's 'Peoples Manifesto' show that a law should be passed that advertisements could show only an untouched picture of the product and 3 verifiable facts about the product.

  66. Steve Swann

    All us blokes love the curves....

    ...but Ralph Lauren isn't selling to us, are they? In fact, I doubt those images even appear in magazines that most men are likely to even glance at, let alone pick up and buy.

    Gents, we have to take care not to fall into the idea that fashion, makeup, sexy underwear, perfume or anything of that ilk is designed in order to make women sexier for men's pleasure, or even to attract men; It isn't, apparently. As a notable psychologist/feminist recently explained to me it's about 'bragging rights' between women themselves. It's the same game of brinksmanship that men play with their cars, their golf handicap, or how many pints they can drink. It's all about having a stronger 'male' image.

    A shorter skirt isn't a woman dressing 'provocatively' to attract a 'partner'; it's about establishing their 'self image as a woman'.

    Now, I coughed a lot when this was explained to me, but I will leave you all to make up your own minds. I think, however, that I'm safe in saying that Ralph Lauren doesn't give two hoots what the average heterosexual male thinks, however, and isn't going to change plans simply because we all like more curvy lasses!

  67. BlueGreen

    AC @21:36

    My point was that if one takes a woman and make her deliberately look unlike a woman - more andro/masculine in figure - for the deliberate presentation to the public then its reasonable to suppose that one doesn't know what's good about the female figure. After all, it's just been carefully eliminated. The end result does not look female. Therefore...

    As for gay women, your experiences are clearly totally different from mine. Every last one, in fact.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Aargh!

    Comparison with Playboy, who are putting a woman with curves on their cover - Marge Simpson.

    Sad day when cartoon pronography is more natural than fashion.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Image manipulation's wrong...

    but the level of objectification going on in this comments thread is verging on the offensive.

    Diversity enriches us, and stating "women should be curvy" doesn't help.. least of all those who are thin as a result NOT of eating disorders or malnutrition, but instead through speedy metabolisms, or metabolic disorders, or serious illness, or any one of the many other possible reasons for being low weight. Let's not cast scorn upon them, or tell them that their body shape is not acceptable.. It's just as bad as telling those with heavier bodies that their shape is unacceptable. "Yeah - she's got no tits so she must be mingin, innit" is the implication of a lot of the posts on this thread. Sickening.

    While having personal preferences is fine, and healthy - otherwise how would you select a partner you find sexually attractive? - saying that anything that falls outside the bounds of this is unattractive is ludicrous. It's an entirely subjective judgement.

    And I'd like to disavow the implications down the thread that somehow men are unified in this "WE WANT CURVES, AND WE WANT 'EM NOW!" attitude - I for one can take 'em or leave 'em. Were I single, I'd not be looking for a body shape - I'd be looking for someone who could enrich my life, and for whom I can do the same. Someone who shares my loves, and with whom I can better enjoy my short life than I could without. All this talk of curves is frankly pathetic - it's like being in a schoolyard full of 14 year old boys.

    And as for the women supporting these views, I'm aghast. Feminism takes another step back... "F%ck the sisterhood! Curvy girlz only!"

    Remember -

    "It's all a rich tapestry"

  70. Jesthar

    And now for a female POV

    I have that kind of figure which makes me think I was born in the wrong century - classic hourglass with about a size 8 waist over size 12 hips, approximately (at least, until they change the 'standard' measurements again to make previously size 14 woman fit into a size 10-12), with the added complication of a 32" inside leg.

    Needless to say, under the current fashion regime I find clothes hunting an absolute nightmare, as do other friends who have fashion-abnormal body features such as hips, bum cheeks or reasonably sized breasts.

    And it's getting worse - ten or so yeas ago I had no problem getting jeans and some form of trousers and fitted skirts, and owned at least one dress. Now I mainly have to stick to a-line skirts, a few pairs of trousers where the waist still fits well enought to allow me to wear them with a belt without looking like a sack tied round the middle with string, and the only dresses I own are two custom fitted bridesmaid dresses. I bought my first pair of jeans in a long time earlier this year, which actually fit - unlike all other pairs I tried over the last few years, which (like most of the 'fitted' skirts and trousers I've tried recently) either fitted the waist but wouldn't do up round the hips, or fitted the hips but gaped open about four inches at the back.

    So, fashionistas, take note - I would gladly be spending more money on clothes - if only you'd take off your skinny-vision goggles and design something for a non straight-up-and-down body type! Oh, and I'll also carry on ignoring your overpriced glam-rags until you restrict your photoshopping to the excellent suggestions of SirTainleyBarking, and/or introduce Mycho's rating system (excellent ideas!).

  71. twiggystardust
    Coat

    @AC 21:36

    "Unlike lesbians, who seem to be man haters for the most part, gay men don't hate women."

    I'll get your coat.

  72. Chris Long
    Happy

    @Jesthar 13:20

    This seems to be a common problem, but I really find it hard to believe that the fashion / clothing industry is deliberately promoting and catering for some mythical average body shape which doesn't exist at the expense of their own profits. Is it not possible that you're just an unusual size and shape?

    I'm slightly above average height (only slightly - 6'0") and generally struggle to fit into seats on airliners and buses, but I fully understand why and don't really blame the manufacturers for their decisions.

  73. MetaDude
    Happy

    Diversity ? Don't make me laugh !

    Seriously, diversity in the fashion image really ? How come the vast majority of images are of unnaturally skinning models?

    And when an actual woman (Jesthar) points out one of the problems with the obession with "size zero" is that she can't find clothes to fit her an apologist for the fashion industry responds "Is it not possible that you're just an unusual size and shape" - WTF ? Putting your insult to her aside, do you have any idea how many women complain about not being able to find clothes that fit them ?

    I find this argument that they are just catering to the market extremely doubtful. All sorts of industries have got themselves into a "vicious feedback loop" where they convince themselves that they, and not the consumer, knows best. This persist until the consumer revolts - the problem is though that for the comsumer to revolt there has to be a credible alternative.

    Steve Swan (above) makes a good point that women's fashion is not aimed at men but the real question is who determines what today's fashion is? It seems to be an unrepresentitive elite who set unhealty standards. I suspect they operate in a feedback loop where they try to out-do each other trying to reach some internal industry ideal. And what the women in the street needs actually does not matter that much because she (the woman in the street) will want what the fashion industry creates - I mean its not like there's much choice. For any that doubt this - try to go shopping for something that isn't this year's style.

  74. Jesthar

    @Chris Long

    I suspect it's more accurate to say i'm not a 'fashionable' size and shape - well, not in this day and age, had I been born during the days of hourglass coursets I'd have done just fine! "Childbearing hips" I believe they used to call my type of build ;)

    And I do fully appreciate that mass production imposes it's own limitatiions (I'm tall for a girl, and my brother is 6'3"), but you kind of answered your own question when you said it seems to be a common problem. I don't expect the whole of the fashion industry to be geared to my tastes and body shape, but it would be nice for it to be acknowledged rather more than it is!

    After all, I can't be the only narrow waisted wide hipped girl out there who diesn't fancy the idea of low slung hipsters/skirts as the solution to their clothing problems... ;)

  75. BondGirl007
    Happy

    Men like curves

    I have been curvy, semi-curvy, and thin. Regardless of where I am in the overall scheme of things, I find the PShopping of pics and the use of super thing models to be dirty-pool. 0 isn't a size, it's the absence of size.

    I will say, I love seeing the comments from you gents stating that you love curves. Where were you when I had them? I was ever so invisible. I am thinner now (size 6, which by industry standards would make me a plus-size model, btw), but by no means skinny. My face and hair look the same and my personality is exactly as it has always been. Hmmmm, what oh what could be the difference?

    Ralph Lauren and his creepy company may not be selling to men, that is true. We may be brainwashed into feeling that 'Thin is in'. But, we also know that when push comes to shove, men may love curves, but they are not always attracted to them when they are looking.

    We love you, anyway, though! Smiley, because I am not that far off the mark!

  76. Pityacker Geekette
    FAIL

    Re: @ BlueGreen

    I don't hate men. Like most lesbians, the only difference between me and straight women is that I fancy other women and just don't want to have sex with blokes. We're not a bloody hivemind, we just don't like the cock.

    What I <i>do</i> hate is uppity queens who feel they can speak for an entire class of people. Ever thought that the common denominator in those "Lesbians who hate men" experiences of yours might be YOU?

  77. jake Silver badge

    It's simple, really. (&side-note @Jesthar)

    Love the skin you're in. Ignore the opinion of others. After all, it's the only body you've got!

    I might add that a healthy diet & exercise program is a good idea from a health perspective, but that'd be preaching.

    All else is pointless prattle. We're all different, no two people look exactly the same. Not even twins. I dated identical twins in college (hush, children, not simultaneously!), and I could tell them apart at a distance. When you think about it, this is a good thing ... if we all looked the same, think about how boring the world would be!

    Same for both guys and gals, of course.

    Viv l'difference, and to hell with the fashion industry!

    Note to Jesthar: Tailors aren't very expensive. My Wife has a similar body shape to what you describe, and probably spends a total of $300/yr getting clothes altered. Try it, you'll like it! :-)

  78. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Flame

    @The Cube

    "When a woman asks if X "makes me look fat" the correct answer is, "no, only Ralph Lauren makes you look fat." "

    And Karl Lagerfeld; read what he has to say about this:

    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4785154,00.html

    "Iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has defended the use of ultra-thin models on the runway, telling a German news magazine that "no one wants to see curvy women." "

  79. Jesthar

    @Jake

    I do have a friend who can alter clothes, might try learning myself too! The main problem is it's usually the tricky fiddly areas (like waistbands) which need altering, not really a beginner project and I can't afford to wreck too much stuff! :) Still, have to start somewhere :)

    Incidentally, I think "Viv l'difference, and to hell with the fashion industry!" might find it's way into a few online signatures of mine - if there are no objections, that is! ;)

  80. Jay Castle
    Coat

    @ Kwac

    "And a magazine gets criticised for not 'touching up' Sarah Palin."

    I know she's a crazy Republitard, but I would DEFINATELY 'touch-up' Sarah Palin!! *snigger*

    Don't worry, I'm on my way to the coat rack......

  81. jake Silver badge

    @Jesthar &@Jay Castle

    Jesthar: Correct. Trouser altering is not a DIY project. My wife tried in the years before I met her, usually reducing herself to tears (or so she says ... I find it hard to believe, she's not prone to that kind of thing). I suggested having a pro do it, and she hasn't looked back. Enjoy your new wardrobe! :-) Use the phrase all you like.

    Jay: Don't lust after the mentally ill. They already have enough on their plate.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    And now the model is out of a job

    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/was-the-photoshopped-ralph-lauren-model-fired-for-being-overweight-525248

    That's really taking responsibility... right.

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