Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Curvy Cause

First issue of the International Times

Artists blame lean times for life models on Size Zeros

Curvy girls too shy to pose nude for drawing classes.

By Ellen Widdup, London Lite, 3 October 2006.

Britain’s obsession with thin being beautiful is driving artists to despair. Fuller-figure models are too shy to pose, which has meant life-drawing classes being cancelled.

But the Size Zero figures who are volunteering are considered boring and unchallenging to the art world. Respected artist Pamela Lloyd Jones said: “Curvy figures are much more interesting but body fascism is discouraging people other than the slim to pose. It seems anyone of a buxom shape or with a bit of flesh feels they can’t expose themselves to view. The shortage of shapely models is now critical. If Rubens or Titian were painting now, they’d struggle to find the nudes they depicted with such grace, beauty and enthusiasm.”

The trend for slim models has grown over the past decade. Classes offer a ‘sitting’ rate of £11.20 an hour but some are even prepared to pay a premium to get a fuller figure. Ms Lloyd Jones, who teaches in London and regularly exhibits her work, says the problem is nationwide.

The Painter of the Pont des Arts

“There is nothing wrong with a slim figure. But people turn up to classes, see the model and go, ‘Oh no, not another slim one.’ The voluptuous figure is a thing of great beauty. I employ registered life models, all of whom are slim, slender or athletic, yet the more ordinarily beautiful bodies are the ones artists and students want to draw. A perfect figure can look clichéd and naff. It would be a crying shame if we lost the art of painting and drawing beautiful nudes who represent most of us out there.”

Her warning comes as fashion retailers launch the Double Zero waist size of 23in when the average British woman is a size 16 with a 36in waist.

[Yeah but the tutor at the drawing classes I attended in 1992 actually favoured quite grotesque specimens that were ‘interesting’ to draw (*yawn*) and I reckon got a buzz out of being exhibitionists.]

'Inktober 21-31' by gelipe

Another article from the same period, titled ‘Slim is out,’ reported that ‘curvy Kelly Brook’ was voted in a survey by Yahoo! Entertainment as the woman we would most like to see on the catwalk. The article also claimed that ‘ultra-skinny Victoria Beckham’ came bottom. “The supermodel Cindy Crawford was fifth, just ahead of TV chef Nigella Lawson...But skinny stars still have their admirers – Kate Moss was seventh while Keira Knightly was ninth.” The article continues: “As Paris Fashion Week kicks off, the size zero debate shows no sign of going away.” (The London Paper, 2 October 2006, p.14. These are free papers I found on tube trains btw).

[Yes, but catwalks are not about what the public wants to see. They are designed to show off new ranges of clothing to prospective buyers, fashion editors and the like.]

Art by François Dubeau

Armani bans ‘size zeros’

By Oliver Stallwood, Metro, 13 November 2006, p.28.

Size zero models have come under attack from an unexpected source- legendary designer Georgio Armani.

The fashion guru is urging his fellow designers to follow his example by refusing to send ‘thin girls’ down the catwalk. He also said the fashion industry has a duty to ‘work together against anorexia.’

Armani, who is designing the outfits for Saturday’s wedding between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, said: “I have never liked thin girls and never sent them down the catwalk. At my shows you will find girls in size 42 [UK size 14] outfits.” He added: “Sure, I choose very feminine women with little breast and straight hips. However, there are other designers out there who like to provoke, who like to make a show so they get talked about.”

Picture from Rimidesigns' Blog

The Italian’s comments came in the wake of ban on ultra thin models at the Madrid Fashion Show earlier this year. Italy’s Youth Minister, Giovanna Melandri, has also waded into the debate. He has appealed to fashion houses to drop the ‘thin is beautiful’ line. He said: “The industry has to recognise the link between its preference for abnormally thin models and the growth in eating disorders among young women. Abandoning stick thin models is a start and I would urge designers to work towards more realistic body shapes.”

And the organisers of Rome’s fashion week, which takes place in January, are also getting in on the act. They have announced they want ‘fleshier’ models on the runway and are demanding all those taking part in the show produce ‘good health’ certificates.

Different guys like different bodies

I blame the forces that axed The Benny Hill Show in 1989 personally.

 Voluptuous: Kelly Brook is the catwalk choice for many
An exchange I came across on Tumblr:

Lassie Chan: So question...I'm a bit overweight. I have a belly. But I have a great ass. Would a strip club be interested in hiring me?

Bunny Alexander (stripper, now married): Different guys like different bodies. A lot if strip clubs realize this. We have thin girls, big girls, muscular girls, average girls, all kinds of girls at my club.

Not to mention downright gorgeous and statuesque!

Created by Rockstarkate, of This is Not a Diet, It’s My Life

A large group of Farnsworth Art School students paint a nude model in 1946 — Andreas Feininger

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