Real is the New Sexy; Olive Green is the New Black

The Today Show had a feature this week on the fact that “real women are the new sexy.”  Is this sort of like olive green being the new black?

An editor of Glamour magazine was on the show with two models, apparently representing reality (as opposed to stick-thin “only on the runway” gals).  One of the models on the show is considered a plus size model at — gasp! —  size 12. The other was called “curvy” whereas the only curves I saw were her ankle angling and her hair blowing (from the fan blasting on her to create a sense of movement).  She is pretty and normal and nude, but hardly “curvy.”

They talked about a “renewed appreciation for individuality,” about women no longer having to “fit a cookie cutter standard, be a size zero or have a perfect button nose.”  They said that “plastic surgery is dropping for the first time in about a decade.”

Apparently it’s now cool to be curvy and to look authentically like oneself.  Imagine!  What other option did we have really?

So before, women couldn’t look like themselves and expect to get work; now they can.

I’m sure this is all good news… but I’m annoyed that the fashion industry gets to decide that authenticity is now a plus, that anything beyond boy-body-slim is now acceptable.  Because next month “individual” and “breasts” might be out again. We’ll have to throw our breast implants in the landfill.

It actually made me feel sorry for women who have invested a ton of money in plastic surgery to hear that “casting directors in Hollywood are looking for women without breast implants and endless plastic surgery.”  These gals were just doing what they were told they needed to do to get work.  And now they’re left to waitress at the Waffle House while the girls with acne and frizzy hair and awkward upper lip fuzz get plastered on the cover of Vogue.  That’s what this switch means, right?

What a tricky issue… cause we really don’t want to see models that are… well… not beautiful to look at.  Yet we already know that all sorts of people are beautiful.  It has way more to do with what sort of vibe they radiate than what size they are. Attitude.  Spirit.  Soul.  Energy.

This applies to women and to men.  I’ve never understood men’s fear of baldness.  Men, speaking from one married woman who is not in the market, here’s an honest comment: “You can be bald and unattractive, or you can be bald and attractive. Hair does not make the man. Forget about it.  Live.”

Glamour is espousing the idea that the rest of us can’t relate to too-perfect people.  But honestly, I think we’re all beyond the point of thinking that even the models really look like models if you happen to catch them in real life.  Isn’t there even a column in People or Us Weekly or somewhere that reminds us that — egads! — stars are just like us (“They go to Starbucks!” “They recycle.”  “They have to buy toilet paper.”)?

Real is the new sexy.  It always was.  It ever will be.

And yet, for this brief season in the magazines and on runways, olive green is the new black.


~ by Cary on May 4, 2010.

3 Responses to “Real is the New Sexy; Olive Green is the New Black”

  1. Great article, Cary! Love it.

  2. me, too, Cary! home run!

  3. Would you rather be real or sexy? I hate that word. It’s worse than “panties” or “cookie.” They sound dumb.

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