Another and a new country! I have to admit I do like the basis of this show. I still have my reservations, but the overarching idea is right on. I wish I could do a project similar to it , but at a more in-depth academic level. I’m trying to work out some things regarding that so if or when it happens, I’ll let you know.
So let’s talk about the show which was in PARIS this week.
As you know, I fell in love with Paris during the summer of 2008 when I was living there so I was happy to see the city again.
First, like in Thailand, they met with their beauty correspondent, Rosemary. She’s a runway model and has been in magazines like Elle and Allure. Like in the U.S., there’s a lot of pressure on models to conform to a certain ideal.The average age is 16 years old, but she actually started when she was 13! The agents take your measurements every day (there’s actually a weight on your contract) and if those measurements changes too much, you can and will be sent home. While I wasn’t surprised with these statistics, I was torn because of all the talk about Paris trying to create laws banning photoshopping (or at least showing a seal that it was photoshopped) and age/weight regulations for their models. Maybe they haven’t passed yet or maybe they haven’t been enforced, but it was sad to hear the oxymoron.
They also met Isabelle Caro. You may remember hearing me speak about her in the recent Nolita ads. When she decided she wanted to model as her career, she was told she had to lose 10 kilos to be in the fashion world. So she did- and then some- until she got down to 86#. The scary thing: no one ever asked about her weight or if she was ok as she got thinner and thinner.
Thankfully, she’s in recovery now, but made the ads to help show the reality of the disease.
I had very mixed feelings on this part of the show because while I like her advocacy for the disease and the idea behind the ad, you can read my opinion on how I don’t think it captured the message in the best way here. I’m also a strong believer that you must be healthy before advocating for the disease. It can put another pressure of being perfect onto the person which dones’t help the recovery process. That being said, I’m glad she’s getting the help she needs.
And while I’m glad they touched on this disease in the segment, I don’t feel like it captured the whole disease. It showed anorexia as more of an extreme dieting outcome and while it is on the surface, there’s so much more than that inside the person. Personality traits, past abuse, family life all go into why people develop eating disorders to cope with life. Yes, her modeling environment helped to expose the disease, but not everyone wakes up one day and says, I’m going to starve myself at any cost.
Another thing I’m not so sure I like about this show is why do they have to go to a spa during every show? I mean I’d like to go to a spa too, but if they’re trying to find beauty at a deeper level, it’s not going to be hiding inside the wine particles of this week’s massage. Just saying..
but did you know that the average French woman spends $299,000 of beauty products in their lifetime? It made me wonder what she spend on products.
The best part of this week’s show was the second half when Jessica walked on the runway and had a fashion shoot with a diverse set of models. As she said at the beginning of the show, “when you think of Paris, you think fashion. You think of tall and confident.” That’s the key there: confidence. When I was there, I noticed the confidence these women had in how they held themselves and walked through the city. Luckily, as I was around it everyday, I felt it too and by the end of the trip felt never better about myself- holding my head high and putting a little swing to my step.
Jessica was nervous and scared to walk on the runway because it’s a very vulnerable thing to do and with her past criticism, I’m sure it would not be easy. She overcame her fear, did it and felt great afterwards. Fashion is no different from any other thing you do- confront your fears and stand up for what you’re doing! If people judge you, they judge you, but unless you let those words hurt you, they have no bearing on who you are.
The last stop was a fashion shoot with models with diverse shapes, sizes and ages with the Eiffel Tower in the background no less. Maybe they were in Monmontre? The theme for this part of the segment was finding your own joie de vivre. Living your life for yourself is so important and as one of the models said, “if you feel good about yoursef inside and out, you can do anything.” How true!
Paris is beautiful and those who live there, but more importantly- confidence, living and loving yourself are the most beautiful things you will find there 🙂
To keep this discussion going, please stop by my online focus group on beauty by going here!