For those of you that don’t know, Runway Fashion Week has just finished. It was a great event; well organised (apart from the fact that I couldn’t find the location on any of their publicity material) and some great designers displaying their amazing talents; all-in-all well worth the trouble I had trying to find it. However, I was properly shocked at the ‘size zero’ avatars modelling at the daily fashion shows. I never realised before seeing it that it was possible to make your avatar that thin.
I suppose it’s inevitable, but think it’s a shame when (what I consider to be) the negative aspects of the fashion industry creep into Second Life. I’m certainly not in the politically correct camp, but feel that the promotion of incredibly thin avatars as ‘Elite Super Models’ by some of the top fashion agencies reinforces the real life fashion industry’s distorted view of beauty. Of course we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s well publicised that the portrayal of underweight women as the ideal of beauty has a part to play in the eating disorder epidemic.
For my money and putting the moral issues to one side, it’s just not attractive. I recently read an article about the ideal proportions for Second Life models and used it in combination with what I saw at the Runway Fashion Week to create a new shape for Dolly. What I came up with bore more resemblance to one of the baby aliens from Close Encounters then what I would consider to be a beautiful avatar. I would have posted a picture, but quite frankly I’m too vain to do it (did I just say that out loud?). I’ll admit that Dolly isn’t carrying any extra weight, but she does actually resemble my real life body shape and I’m comfortable with her shape and my own.
The article offered those interested in making it as a model in Second Life some telling advice. It said that it is likely that a designer will ask you to change your shape and this led me to wonder if this trend is driven in some part by the Second Life designers that employ the fashion agencies to publicise their work. Whilst I feel it would be very unfair to lay the blame solely at the designers’ door, they may be able to have a positive influence in reversing this trend. If Second Life designers refused to use underweight models in their fashion shoots and shows, they’re wouldn’t be the demand.
Of course, these are just my opinions… I’d love to hear yours, so please feel free to leave your comments *smiles*.