Gee. Women have boobs this season.

Even though I am well beyond the age where I actually care, once in a while I bitch about fashion.

Big fashion news in Europe this week is that a very few “fat” models were allowed on the runways.  By “fat” I mean they probably weighed 2/3rds of a normal woman’s weight (with most of the supposedly excess curve-age on these models likely being caused by the weight of plastic boobs).

Right now the reader is assuming that I’m a 2-ton Tessie with an almost visible chip on my shoulder and a very visible half-eaten box of chocolates in my hand.  No, I am not.  I am not and have never been fat.  Throughout most of my life, in fact, I’ve been somewhat underweight, and not through dieting.  Advancing age is modifying that, but only somewhat.

I was, at a younger age, a clothes horse.  Even the stupidest rag looked good on me because I was so skinny.  It wasn’t so for most of my friends, who are women with normal curves.

But after one passes 40, one wearies of the costume party — which is all fashion has been since the late 1960’s.

Not only have we had a parade of ugly Halloween costumes that only the truly very young could wear, since kids tend to be silly anyway — and silly on the young is interpreted as cute — but the ideal body for these icky clothes has been that of a prepubescent 11-year-old self-starvation case who is over 6 feet tall.

For many years this girl (if she existed) came in one or two colors, and she was actually in her mid to late teens, although there were a few furtive attempts to push the age limit even lower.  Some progress has brought the ethnic, racial, and age factors a tiny bit more in line with reality.  But only a tiny bit.  It’s one step forward, two steps back, just like the song says.  Every advance needs to be fought for, and then fought for again.

The advances in using models of more normal weight have been harder to come by, as has a viable excuse not to use them.  The French designers in particular seem to have a problem with the notion that most women have breasts and hips, and a sort of ultra-conservative politically-correct (after more than 40 years, what else can you call it?) fashion cult has built around pinning fabric on skeletons and sending them scowling down the runway.

The excuses are always the same, and they would be hilarious if they weren’t so potentially dangerous: “clothes don’t look good on curvy women,” “the public doesn’t want to see fat models,” etc.

How about trying this on for size: “we don’t know how to design clothes.”   Or this, “we lack any sort of creativity.”  Or even this: “we don’t like women’s bodies.”

I wager the last three are closer to the truth than anything the designers have actually claimed.

Anyway, this season curvy women are somewhat in style again.  But don’t take it for granted — a solid mesh of conservatism only gives way if plucked at repeatedly with a seam ripper.  This advance could pass away in the length of a runway walk, and take years to become the latest gimmick again.  Meantime the gap between actual women and the clothing being designed for them will continue to widen.

I suggest that clothes were never meant to be art, and that perhaps the acceptance of that fact is the beginning of a solution to the problem.  Modern art operates under the misapprehension that there is something new under the sun.  Clothes are just stuff you put on your body because in most places, you have to or else you’ll get arrested.

There are good-looking clothes and there are clothes that look silly.

Halloween only comes once a year.  So does Mardi Gras.

Most people, women included, are not over 6 feet tall, under the age of 20, and as thin as skeletons.

Curvy women and older women are not temporary trends.  They are reality.

Okay, designer, take it from there.  If you do, you’ll find yourself being as original as anyone in your trade can be.  If you don’t, we’ll be stuck with more of the same, only with an “older curvier woman” trend thrown in once every few years along with a slight, temporary increase in black and Asian models.

Enough, people.  It’s gotten old.

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