By Erika Panacci
Lights, camera, runway!
New York City gets ready to kick off the annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion week today.
Models will strut down the runway, showcasing the designers’ fall 2013 collections. Some designers include Betsey Johnson, Diesel, Lacoste and Michael Kors.
According to the Globe and Mail, while most buyers will be paying attention to the fashion, others will be looking closely at the models and their physiques.
Are “thigh-gaps” the newest obsession? According to an article released by Britain’s Daily Mail and reported by the Globe and Mail, the gap – if there is one – between upper legs is being increasingly scrutinized.
Dr. Blake Woodside, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, said he thinks young people live in a “societal soup,” one of which is a pressure to come to terms with the way you look.
“People look for ideals. They look for examples of what they think they should look like in the long term,” said Woodside. “There are lots of different places where you can find examples of that, and one is in popular media and women’s fashion magazines.”
Dr. Woodside said there’s no question that a typical model’s body weight and shape is an unrealistic goal for average women to attain. But the attraction to a thin model in a magazine affects teens in the way they precieve themselves.
“Younger people are differentially susceptible to these images and actually think that maybe they are achievable,” Woodside said.
Clark Gibbons is a model for Major model agency taking part in New York Fashion Week. He said he feels the pressure to stay slim.
“I definitely feel the need to watch what I eat,” Gibbons said. “However, male modelling is a little bit different than female modelling. There isn’t so much added pressure on staying super skinny because there isn’t really an ideal weight for every male model.”
Giulia Cancellara, was scouted by Showcase, and recently travelled to Montreal for a convention where she walked a runway, had professional photo shoots, and a portfolio created for her in hopes of being signed by an agency.
“It was a culture shock,” Cancellara said. “I didn’t realize how young children start modelling. It was intimidating to be honest, because being 21 and seeing kids so much younger than me in better shape than me, made me open my eyes.”
Gibbons said the pressure by designers to be skinny is way more crucial being a girl. When it comes to male modelling, casting directors and designers are looking for a good face and the right height. But when it comes to females, it’s just not that simple.
Cancellara agreed and said she had to lose weight before being signed on by an agency.
“They told me to lose two inches off my waist, and then they would sign me,” Cancellara said.
“It’s not a great idea to try and turn yourself into something that you aren’t,” Woodside said. “The most important thing is to have confidence in yourself as a person and that will allow other people to have confidence in you as well.”