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"Fashion Models" something sensible for once
You've got to credit it, for once again, Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London has said something sensible, OK he's made an remark looked at as anti semitic ( in the Jewish term, not the language). & that was under harassment by paparazzi. But a lot of other stuff has been common sense (which of course the government hate.

Anyway, here it is..:

"Zero trust: why thin doesn't sell

Advertisers love skinny models, but women see real body shapes as healthier, more credible and smarter, say researchers

Amelia Hill, culture and society correspondent
Sunday October 15, 2006
The Observer

They have been banned from the catwalk, blamed for devastating women's self-esteem and suspected of suffering eating disorders. Now ultra-thin models face another accusation: that they're no good at their job.

New research has found that instead of being admired by women, excessively slender models are regarded as less ethical, knowledgeable and truthful than their larger peers, such as the ones in the widely praised Dove adverts. 'The advertising and fashion industries are reluctant to use larger models because they say that thinness sells,' said Dr Helga Dittmar, of the Social Health Psychology Research Group at the University of Sussex. 'But our research has shown that thin models are less effective in selling products than average-size models.'

Dittmar asked 800 women aged from 18 to 30 to rank the effectiveness of adverts featuring slim models with a UK size eight dress compared with those using size 14 models. She said she expected women to find thin models more convincing and persuasive. 'Instead there was a strong message that models were evaluated more positively when they were average-sized,' she said.

The findings come after London mayor Ken Livingstone said the city's Fashion Week will not receive £620,000 in crucial funding from the London Development Agency unless it bans all models below a certain body mass from the catwalks. The row erupted after Madrid said models at its fashion shows must have a BMI - a ratio of height to weight - in line with United Nations health guidelines. Livingstone's announcement was backed by the Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who said that the use of ultra-thin models pressured girls to starve themselves.

A BMI of 18.5 or below is currently classed as underweight by the World Health Organisation. The average catwalk model is 5ft 9in tall but weighs just 7st 12lb, giving a BMI of only 16. Size-zero women (a US measurement equal to UK size four) weigh not much more than 7st 2lb. Hyper-thin Hollywood celebrities such as Nicole Richie, daughter of singer Lionel Richie, and actress Lindsay Lohan are examples of the trend.

If the ban were implemented in London, top models such as Lily Cole, Erin O'Connor and Irina Lazareanu would probably be barred. Also falling foul would be some of the world's most famous models: Giselle Bundchen is reported to have a BMI of 16 and Kate Moss apparently has a BMI of about 15.

Dittmar, who co-authored the Economic and Social Research Council study with Dr Emma Halliwell, head of the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of West London, said: 'Only the tiniest percentage of women can ever hope to achieve the bodies shown in most advertising. There are well-grounded fears that images of size-zero models spark a body dissatisfaction in women which can have a number of significant consequences, including negative self-perception, depressed mood and disordered eating. The message we received very strongly was that thin models have a negative effect on the self-esteem of women, which affects the effectiveness of the advertising message overall.

'Compared with ultra-thin models, those with an average, healthy body size were viewed as more credible, more trustworthy, and more knowledgeable than their skinnier peers by all women, whatever their profession, age or personal weight issues,' she said.

The reaction to the adverts held true for a range of different products, including bodycare items, make-up and food. The only item that the ultra-skinny models were better at selling was diet aids. However, a spokeswoman for the Premier Modelling Agency said: 'Statistics have repeatedly shown that if you stick a beautiful skinny girl on the cover of a magazine you sell more copies. We supply the women the advertisers, our clients, want. The clients would say that they are selling a product and responding to consumer demand.

'At the end of the day, it is a business, and the fact is that these models sell the products.'"


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