Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coco Rocha on being "too fat" for runway

Here it is word for word:

There has been quite the commotion over the recent articles about me in the New York Times and The New York Daily News. As only a few select statements of mine were printed I find it necessary to properly express my point of view, without outside editing.

I'm a 21 year old model, 6 inches taller and 10 sizes smaller than the average American woman. Yet in another parallel universe I'm considered "fat"… This was the subject of major discussion this week and the story that was spun was: "Coco Rocha is too fat for the runway".

Is that the case? No. I am still used and in demand as a model. In fact I find myself busier than ever. In the past few years I have not gained an extreme amount of weight, only an inch here and there as any young woman coming out of her teenage years would.

But this issue of model's weight is, and always has been, of concern to me. There are certain moral decisions which seem like no brainers to us. For example, not employing children in sweatshops, and not increasing the addictiveness of cigarettes. When designers, stylists or agents push children to take measures that lead to anorexia or other health problems in order to remain in the business, they are asking the public to ignore their moral conscience in favor of the art.

Surely, we all see how morally wrong it is for an adult to convince an already thin 15 year old that she is actually too fat. It is unforgivable that an adult should demand that the girl unnaturally lose the weight vital to keep her body functioning properly. How can any person justify an aesthetic that reduces a woman or child to an emaciated skeleton? Is it art? Surely fashion's aesthetic should enhance and beautify the human form, not destroy it.

There is division in the industry in this regard. Although there are those who don't consider a model's wellbeing, I have had the honor and privilege to work with some of the greatest designers, editors, stylists, photographers and agents who respect both new and well established models alike. I know there are many others out there who I haven't worked with who also agree with me on the stance on this issue.

The CFDA has tried so very hard to correct these matters. As of a few days ago at their annual meeting they found everyone in the room in agreement on changing the sample size as well as booking models over the age of 16. It's great to see how many people's hearts are in the right place because we must make these changes for the next generation of girls.

As a grown woman I can make decisions for myself. I can decide that I won't allow myself to be degraded at a casting - marching in my underwear with a group of young girls, poked, prodded and examined like cattle. I'm able to walk away from that treatment because I am established as a model and I'm an adult… but what about the young, struggling and aspiring models?

We need changes. I'd prefer that there would be no girl working under the age of 16, but if that has to be the case then I'd love to see teens escorted by a guardian to castings, shows, and shoots. The CFDA has set codes in place for their members and I'd love to see the entire industry follow. Society legislates a lot of things - no steroid use in sports is one example - its only reasonable that there be rules of conduct to keep the fashion industry healthy.

In the past, models have spoken out on this issue, only to be accused of saying something because their careers were on the brink of extinction. This is not so in my case. I actually first spoke out about this two years ago at the peak of what a model would consider the ideal career and there was a reaction - those who were the worst offenders suddenly asked me to work for them! This was a public relations ploy and I wasn't prepared to fall for that. I said "No, lets go a few seasons, lets see if you change, then I will work with you". They didn't change. I haven't worked for them.

Of my generation of models I'm exactly where I need to be in my career and I'm grateful to use my position to actively speak out against this with the support of the CFDA and Vogue. My sincere hope is that through our efforts young models will one day be spared the humiliation, the risky weight loss, the depression that comes along with anorexia and the misery of abandonment by an industry ashamed to see them turn into actual women.

There are natural human standards in how we treat one another and how we treat children. There are those who continue to trample on these standards but there are also champions of a better way. I hope that the continued efforts of the CFDA and all those who hold these values in regard will bolster the opinion of those on the opposing side of the industry to ensure a true change for the better.

Read more: Coco Rocha Speaks Out About Her Weight

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Embarrassing Wardrobe

I was studying for my Social Psychology exam when I discovered that there's a certain phenomenon. The phenomenon studies how people seem to believe that there is an audience and are more likely to be embarrassed over wearing a tacky t-shirt when only 33% of people even noticed.
Well, I'm that 33% that notices.
Today I saw a young lady wearing jeans with about knee-length boots. In coordinating outfits, it's important that when wearing a black jacket and boots, that your jeans are a dark blue hue instead of a light blue hue. This will give you an overall slimming effect.
Next I want to touch up on wearing capris with boots. Don't do it. It's not summer and capris have not been cycled back into the fashion realm. Especially if you're not sure if the lines of your capri pants will show over the boots.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Proper Etiquette: Is it okay to put on your make-up in public?

I was walking through the an eating area at my university and I thought I saw a familiar face applying make-up for all to see. My immediate (and extremely honest) thought was 'She's putting on make-up in public and in a place everyone eats. I'm so glad that we're not friends anymore'. I know that this may come across as shallow but there are so many young (and older) woman (or girls) that just do not seem to know proper etiquette when to other people it's just common courtesy. Let me explain.

Let us analyze the situation I had presented earlier. This unknowing girl was putting on make-up in a public place. This was the first faux-pas. The second, was that she was applying her make-up in an eating area. Despite the casual atmosphere of an university, it should be common knowledge that applying make-up in a dining place is generally considered rude. Julie Rottenburg puts it quite plainly, "You’re still in a public place, and there’s something unseemly about having to watch someone else tend to personal hygienic business that should be done in the privacy of one’s bathroom." This girl (let's call her Amy**) should have realized that the application of make-up is considered a hygienic procedure. To put it quite simply: it is a personal practice that should be done in private.

What should have Amy done instead? Now if Amy wanted to be wearing make-up she should have (1) had done her make-up at home or (2) found a restroom or dressing room and applied her make-up there or (3) gone without any make-up at all. It is as simple as that.

On the other hand...

Several beauty experts seem to agree on a few certain exceptions. These exceptions include the simple task of touching up lipstick or lipgloss. This is probably because lipstick tends to wear off easily and can be quickly applied without the need of a mirror.

If you find yourself in a bind, and you see a cute guy across the room and you are certain that you look disheveled, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Many guys seem to like the more casual look, they feel like they are seeing the "real" you. If you must put on some make-up, try for a tinted gloss. A clear gloss would feel too subtle, lipstick would look too much, but a gloss with color can definitely pull the look together in a casual Blake Lively type of way.

**Not her real name

*Click on the picture to view the picture from the original site*