There is an Australian model and her star is on the rise (or rather, it has already risen, she has done a million trillion editorials and magazine covers, and has continuing popularity). Her name is Bambi Norwood-Blyth, she weighs approximately 37 kilograms and she has been the darling of the fashion world since her rise to fame in early 2010.
I first laid eyes on an editorial featuring Bambi (real name: Stephanie- nowhere near as catchy, dah-ling!) over breakfast sometime last year while I was idly flicking through a Cosmopolitan, or a Madison, or some other average Australian publication. My first thought was "Wow, those eyebrows are amazing. I quite like me a pair o' big bushy eyebrows" but then I took a second glance and was all "WHERE DID HER BODY GO??!!" I just about choked on my sourdough!
She is literally JUST A HEAD. Okay, well not literally. She has a body.
The body in question is very small and brown and withered, and my pet Chihuahua has bigger hips. I am all for loving all shapes and all sizes and everyone is beautiful blah blah blah, but it admittedly scares me a little that her body is the current fashion ideal. I really thought anorexic-chic was on the way out, what with the whole "plus-size" craze, and sending larger models out on the runways, and all that Robyn Lawley-love going around like genital herpes at a swinger's club on a Wednesday evening. And I am disappointed.
I don't mean to suggest that one size is any better than another, and for all I know Bambi could be stuffing her face with McDonald's cheeseburgers between shoots, but I highly doubt it. I am a supporter of healthy eating and healthy body image, and while I am aware that some bodies are just naturally thin, I think that Bambi's body looks unhealthy and unachievable for the regular Joe (or Joanne). But the pressure is still there for women to conform to the ideal.
I don't think that much good can come out of plastering the image of Bambi's twig arms, sunken cheeks and jutting hipbones all over the Miss Shop section in Myer. Fifteen year-old girls already have enough stuff to worry about without the pressure of trying to wear the current trends like the model on the poster, who is around an Australian size 4.
One blogger on a popular fashion blog commented on a post featuring Bambi declaring her "the perfect woman!" The truth is that Bambi actually has the figure of an eight year-old boy- not very womanly at all. I don't want my fifteen year-old sister to look down at her own perky DD's and think that she is anything less than perfect, even if it is not the shape reflected in the magazines. I don't want to look down at my (not as perky) DD's and feel like I need to starve myself down to become some kind of Lolita-ish woman-child.
Yes, she has a beautiful face. But for the greater good, I think it's time the fashion magazines jumped off the Bambi bandwagon and stopped idealising an unattainable, and unhealthy, size and shape.
The perfect woman?