ColumnWell, 2015 is almost over. And while it was filled with a lot of happiness, we’ve got to say that this past year was overall a bit icky. You know us, though. We like to turn lemons into lemonade (or at the very least “expose” the lemons), and that’s just what we’re going to do this week. So, let us bid 2015 ado with a post that asks us all to remember that we are so much more than how we look.
Let’s start off by discussing that whole Miss Universe debacle…
We’re not here to bash Steve Harvey (everyone makes mistakes), but we do have say, well, scream: what the hell?!
Sure, sure. We get that there technically has to be a winner of a “beauty” pageant and that means a lot of someones have to lose for that to happen. But when you actually see someone lose, have the crown removed from her head, and told, basically, “yeah, you’re not good enough – move along” makes this pageant (and now all pageants, really), seem a heck of a lot worse.
What type of message does that send? We’ll cut to the chase: it sends a bad one. When Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, heard that Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, actually won, she reacted the way anyone would – she was shocked. Both beauty queens handled the situation incredibly well – we’re not contesting that. But we think that the entire Miss Universe organization could have made the situation better if the powers that be just would have said, “screw it – you’re all great,” thrown away the crown, and awarded all the women with scholarships.
Yeah, that’s never going to happen. But, in a perfect world, women from all over the world would be recognized for their caring actions, smart work, and killer skills rather than how great they look in a swimsuit. So, come on, Miss Universe — let’s work on making that 2016 wish come true!
Onto our second topic of the week: France’s law concerning underweight models and photo retouching.
On December 17, 2015, “France’s National Assembly finally passed a law to ban extremely thin models, a first step toward healthier-looking catwalks that’s been in the works since spring,” Refinery29 reports. “The law, which was first proposed in March and approved by the French parliament in April, requires that before booking gigs in France, models must supply a medical certificate proving her overall health and appropriate Body Mass Index (BMI).”
If a fashion house or modeling agency decides to ignore the law, the punishment isn’t light: someone will have to pay 75,000 euros (roughly $81,300) and serve six months in prison.
In addition to keeping an eye out for models’ health, the law also addresses excessive photoshopping. “Any commercial photos (a.k.a. advertisements) of models that have been digitally altered, whether the airbrushing is done to make certain body parts thinner or larger, must now include text that reads retouched photograph,” Refinery29 reports. “The punishment for rogue photoshopping is a pretty steep fine starting at 37,500 euros (roughly $40,675) and climbing as high as 30 percent of whatever was spent to produce the incriminating ad.”
This is all pretty awesome because it shows that at least someone (albeit a governing body) is more concerned with a person’s health than his/her overall appearance. For the life of me, I can’t understand why super-thin models are still in high demand. Everyone knows that most people can’t maintain that low of a weight in a healthy manner. And equally, it’s common knowledge that when people are bombarded with crazy thin, altered images, it can cause a person (especially a child or teen person) to feel incredibly bad about his or her self.
So, let’s hope that come 2016, the French modeling trend will take the world by storm, too. And perhaps even those ridiculous beauty pageants will take a cue from the ruling as well.
We can dream, can’t we?
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Image of woman with a crown from Shutterstock