Friday, February 8, 2008
Why is being “grown up” regarded as so … well, unstylish? That’s what I asked myself yesterday after reading in the New York Times about the current trend in men’s fashions. According to the Times, the season’s look for men is “chicken-chested, hollow-cheeked and undernourished.”
“People are afraid to look over 21 or make any statement of what it means to be an adult,” says Kelly Cutrone of the fashion branding company People’s Revolution. And George Brown of influential Red Model Management says when male models call and tell him they’re 6-foot-1, he asks what they weigh. “If they say 188 or 190, we can’t use him. Our guys are 155 at that height.” At that height a male model’s waist should be 28 inches and he should sport a long neck, pencil thighs and a chest no more than 35.5 inches, Brown says.
Of course we just saw the long-overdue breast-beating from Diane von Furstenberg, plus Vogue's editors and other fashion leaders about starved female models and the crippling eating disorders they engender. And now this. The irony is that the Center for Disease Control just released data showing that, since 1960, the average American male’s height has gone from 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-9.5, and his weight from 166 to 191 pounds in the same period. “Nowadays a model who weighed in at 191 pounds, no matter how handsome, would be turned away from most agencies or else sent to a fat farm,” the Times concluded.
Including yours truly. My disclaimer is that I’m an overweight male. But I’m not writing this out of personal angst or envy. I just don’t know what the hell is going on.