Thank goodness for fashion designers. If it weren't for them, we women would not be able to decide for ourselves what constitutes an acceptable level of beauty.
Take, for example, American designer and horse fancier Ralph Lauren.
Mr. Lauren has influenced a generation of fashion for Americans whose jaws don't move when they speak. To this end, he has crafted a unique brand based on:
- Embroidered polo players
- Eye-wateringly masculine scents
- Shirts you could get at Wal-Mart for $10 that he sells for $450. Only the Wal-Mart ones come in colors you can wear, as opposed to soft, feminine pastels. Sven, despite my urging, adamantly refuses to wear anything in a shade of tangerine, lime, salmon, or aubergine. Mr. Lauren, if you want my Sven's business, stick to "man colors:" charcoal, navy, maroon, and dead-whale grey. The occasional royal blue or forest green may make an occasional cameo, but let's not get crazy, okay?
Anyway, as a "man of the people," Mr. Lauren has taken upon himself the task of defining beauty for the American woman. And here it is:
"Wait, Deb," you may be saying, "do my eyes deceive me, or is her head larger than her pelvis?"
Your eyes don't lie. This photo was used in a Ralph Lauren print campaign and caused quite a stir. Not, surprisingly, because she looks so fit, but because she looks so fake.
After attempting to stop anyone from critiquing the photo through legal means, RL pulled it and apologized for his Photoshop fakery.
But who can blame him? When a model lets herself go, you have to employ the Photoshop, or else risk having a model who looks like this:
Yes, that is the model, Fillipa Hamilton, in her unretouched state. Bovine, isn't she? Come on, at 5'8" and 120 pounds, Ms. Hamilton is the whale of the modeling world. Probably why RL fired her.
Yes, after the controversy over the Photoshop catastrophe, Mr. Lauren decided that Ms. Hamilton was not Ralph Lauren material. Come on, people, she has a waist! Mr. Lauren's got his priorities straight. Lesson learned.
I guess it wasn't Ms. Hamilton's fault. Because here is the unretouched version of the above photo:
Is it just me, or is this model already gaunt enough to qualify for beauty? Why mess with that?
Mr. Lauren, obviously, is the only visionary bold enough to accept the next incarnation of American fashion: beauty will now not only be unattainable, it will be physically impossible.
In Mr. Lauren's future, to be beautiful you must have a pelvis smaller than an average-sized grapefruit, a head larger than a Thanksgiving turkey, and fingers that have at least four knuckles each. His fashion shows will take place on a virtual runway and feature animated holographic models displaying the fashion none of us could ever wear.
Alas, RL's bold vision seems self-defeating. But that's the boldness! I admire someone who is willing to degrade and insult his consumers, all for the sake of his own idealized vision.
Now, to do something about that awful cologne...