Monday, May 16, 2011

Body Image: The Androgynous Male

While sewing my Crescent Skirt, a pattern designed by Tasia the Sewaholic for Pear-shaped women (like me)...I've been thinking about body types. Today this picture came to my attention in the Age newspaper:

What sort of woman's body type is that? Well, it actually isn't, it's a man's body with his hair and make-up done to resemble a woman. The article is here.

It has created a bit of a furore with Barnes and Noble and Borders stores requesting that the magazine be displayed inside an opaque sleeve.

A magazine cover featuring groundbreaking Melbourne model Andrej Pejic has been deemed too racy for magazine stands in the US because the gender-bending "Broady boy" is bare-chested and looks too feminine.

I wasn't confused by his torso ie. is that a barechested woman -- I think it is obviously a man so I don't think his torso is risque at all. It doesn't bother me that a guy struts the catwalk dressed as a woman. He calls it an 'art form'.

I think I am bothered, however, that a guy can easily blend in with women on the cat walk because of the issues it raises about realistic body types for women.

Now, there are women that have naturally low body fat and a very angular frame. I certainly don't think we should be saying "No to Zero" because some women are naturally a zero.

Charlize Theron, Naomi Campbell, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellwegger and Michelle Williams are amongst the most famous “inverted triangles”. You have broad shoulders, narrow hips, slender limbs, a straight waist, flat bottom and varying bust line. You are a rare breed and the least common body type found amongst women – the “pretty pear” being the most common female body type. It is interesting that it was your unique body type that was chosen to represent clothing best on the catwalk from about the 1960’s onwards. Twiggy started off this trend! ( I'm not so sure Michelle Williams is an inverted triangle -- or statuesque. Think they were confusing her with someone else?

But it isn't the average body type and I think having men displaying women's clothing just perpetuates the myth that most women should be androgynous.

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