Friday, 23 April 2010

French women don't get fat. Could that explain why they're so bitchy?

Surely you've heard of the book "French Women Don't Get Fat". I won't lie, I haven't read it. Nor do I have any intentions of doing so. The title annoys me on so many levels, and not just because I've seen plenty of corpulent dames walking the streets of Paris. I have a sneaking suspicion that the book reeks of the kind of nauseating superiority that has given the French such an unsavory reputation the western world over. And doesn't that make it, how do you say, un cliché? It's not that I dislike the French (entirely) or that I disagree with their lifestyle. I mean, we are talking about a people who have given us champagne, camembert and Chanel. They can't all be bad.

"Plus-size is not flattering to fashion"

There is one in particular, however, who really ground my gears this week. Garance Doré, a Paris-based style blogger of dubious influence, went on the record with British Vogue to comment on fashion's recent trending toward plus-size models. "It's not such a good thing to show plus-size because it's not really physically healthy and not always flattering to fashion," she said. I'll give her this, at least she stands behind her blog, because the only intrinsically stylish on-the-street people she shoots are ones who look like they just walked out of a casting for a Jean-Luc Godard film. It bears mentioning that the following day she tried to recant by telling the Huffington Post: "...what I said is that I will be happy to see [plus-sized models] on a runway on a regular basis, just mixed [in with regular models] and not [walking] all together at the same time." That doesn't sound like much of an apology to me, but maybe the mea culpa was lost in translation. Because I refuse to believe that she actually said plus-sized models are fine to put on a runway provided they're interspersed with skinny ones. I bet she's the type of woman who goes on coffee-and-cigarettes diets five days before a big event.
There was a time, I admit, when I would spot a stick-thin girl on the street and stare at her longingly, while quietly cursing my genetic lot and the thighs that came with it. And despite a recent ceasefire between me and the skinny bitch who lies within and keeps telling me to step away from the bread, it's not over between me and my thighs. I really want us to be friends, but I'm afraid if people like Garance Doré keep telling me that thin is in, it's never going to happen. The reality is that the thinness obsession that has been perpetuated by the fashion industry (okay, and continues to be, for the most part) is really starting to seem outdated. If the sweeping obesity epidemic has taught us anything, it's that proper nutrition is paramount to looking and feeling great. And if Esquire, the men's magazine dudes come to for the scantily clad women but stay for the articles (or is that Playboy?), is going to crown Christina Hendricks, a bombshell whose curves make mince meat of 32-25-32, the best-looking woman today, it seems pretty clear that we're ready to toll the death knell of skinniness.     

Maybe Garance Doré should put down her camera and take a break. She could go to the South of France and work on other fashionable pursuits like increasing her nicotine intake and working on her tan. 


  1. Large-size women are a major market... and they've created major value in the domain, which you can buy at Retailer Lane Bryant is pushing the phrase "large-size women" into the news with their controversial new lingerie ad, featuring busty, plus-sized models. The ad, rejected by several networks, will finally air on Fox next Wednesday, during the closing minutes of the 9 p.m. edition of "American Idol."

  2. I have one word for you dude: Zerona! My first sesh is on Friday.

    Also: I adore Christina Hendricks. She blows all those skinny bags of bones out the water!!!