Thursday, September 13, 2007

Livingstone - body fascist?

These two fine figures of health and fitness, Len Duvall and Ken Livingstone have set themselves up as arbiters of what is attractive and what is healthy:

And why are they straying somewhat beyond their respective remits of chairing the Metropolitan Police Authority / the Greater London Labour party, and hobnobbing with extremists being Mayor of London? Because London Fashion Week is nearly upon us.

Duvall thinks "young girls [are] starving themselves to death because of the lead being given by the fashion industry". Care to provide the figures, Len, or are you, as I strongly suspect, making it up as you go along? And not a hint of hyperbole either, I'm sure. Belief in free will is so terribly old fashioned, isn't it?

As to Livingstone, he goes that wee bit further and comments "I would be quite happy to ban under size models throughout the entire fashion world.“ A lot of the women on catwalks look disturbing. The idea that anything about this is attractive is just bizarre". And how do you look to them?

Yes, some models are thin. Then again there are plenty of people in the public eye who are not, and it ill-behoves anyone to make a judgement on what people should or should not find attractive, still less for a politician to attempt to wreck the ability of someone to maker a living based on their appearance. Insert the name of your preferred racial, cultural etc group in the place of 'under size' to get the full impact. Ideals of beauty vary greatly both across the ages and across cultures - I doubt that the average Samoan would find a Somali attractive, or vice versa. Given that the average Briton is bigger now than 20 years ago, I cannot help but think that the impact of 'size zero' models in shaping the popular consciousness has been less than enormous.

Always supposing that one's morphology is entirely in one hands, can we look forward to Duvall & Livingstone coming down like two tons of bricks on body builders, athletes, folk with orange tans, long hair, short hair, tattoos, piercings, thick ankles, split ends, acne or whatever else they consider "bizarre" for others to find attractive?

1 comment:

Rachael said...