Kareena Kapoor says that it’s every woman’s dream to be thin. But, how do her comments and the hordes of picture perfect women we see staring out at us from magazines affect us? Rhea Dhanbhoora & Samreen Samad find out…
From waif thin model Kate Moss to Kareena Kapoor, size zero seems to be the most coveted figure. And, if you’re the sort of woman who regularly flips through haute couture and fashion magazines, you’ve seen women ranging from svelte and boyish to waif-like and borderline anorexic. This body type is considered ideal in the fashion world and most of us regular women can rarely match up. Add to that Photoshop, good lighting and makeup and we might as well bury our heads in our pillows and draw the curtains. We’re ghastly looking after all! But, wait, there is some good news; internationally there has been pressure for fashion magazines to ban underage models and Photoshop. So, we ask women in the city what they feel about the current fashion magazines and what changes they would like to see…
Bring back HEALTHY women
Zahra Khan (22) from Andheri says, “I love reading fashion magazines! I’m a short girl with glasses and this is my way of ‘trying to fit’ in the perfect magazine world. These magazines stereotype women and how they should look. They need to stop making unreal models pose on the front page. We want more real women. Stuff we can relate to! These models are not the epitome of beauty in any way. They have in a subtle way ruined the real women’s image.”
HEIGHT of fake
Women in magazines don’t look real to Bandra resident, Farheen Dharwesh (24). She says, “I read a lot of fashion magazines and they make me wish I had perfect dewy skin or a sexy, flat tummy. I would prefer if they featured real women and real stories. I think we need magazines that talk about relevant issues. These women are the epitome of fake or in other words, cosmetically created beauty with the help of Photoshop.”
While some women look at magazines and see women they want to emulate, Andheri resident Upasana Sharma (23) sees high prices and women that don’t look good according to her. She tells us, “I read a lot of fashion magazines and I feel so poor after reading them. I think they should bring back magazines such as Seventeen and give more importance to street fashion rather than high-end luxury products which very few can afford. Also, I find the models in fashion magazines quite ugly, so are the runway models.”
Don’t follow everything
Namrata Purohit (18) is the youngest pilates trainer at The Pilates and Altitude Training Studio, Santacruz and she isn’t very fond of women’s magazines. “I don’t read women’s magazines much but even if I do, I don’t feel very different about myself afterwards. Apart from personal things like being patient and hard working, I don’t want to change anything else about myself — definitely not my body. The women in magazines do look very nice, but even the ones outside the magazines who I meet daily are beautiful,” she says.
Tania D’Souza Samad (29) says that she flips past a magazine if it’s around, but doesn’t make it a point to pick one up. She says, “These magazines don’t affect me as I know they are airbrushed. However, at times I do think about concentrating on weight loss and going back to being slimmer.”
Cosmetic dentist from Dentzz Dental Care, Karishma Jaradi (33) believes that magazines are pretty influential. She says, “Sometimes, women in the magazines look like they’re the pinnacle of beauty. But, at times the looks are helped with Photoshop, styling tools and a model’s persona. I wouldn’t blindly follow it and I don’t want to change anything about myself. I love the way I am. I have always ensured that my body weight is in proportionate to my height.” The Bandra resident reads women’s magazines because they give her an ocean of knowledge and keep her updated on the latest trends in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She adds, “As a woman entrepreneur, reading these magazines creates awareness on the complete transition that has taken place amongst the woman fraternity. It is a decade where everyone wants a feel good. I am happy with how I look.”
More features, less ads
The ads in fashion magazines have the world’s most beautiful women posing for them, but Sucheta Sharma (55) finds them unnecessary. The Andheri resident says, “I sometimes read fashion magazines but they don’t make any difference to me. I think they should concentrate more on features and less on ads. The models are definitely not the epitome of beauty. These girls are full of makeup. It’s all artificial and in fact, my daughter and her friends look prettier without makeup.” We love real women too, Sucheta.
The next time you’re flipping through an issue of Vogue, don’t expect to see too many skinny models jumping out at you from the pages. The magazine has vowed to ban models who are painfully thin, as well as those who are underage. Vogue editors around the world are going to make an effort to send a positive message to the fashion industry with their proposal. They also want to raise more awareness of model health because as coveted as stick thin models may have been in the past, several suffer from eating disorders and severe health issues because of their low weight. We hope this sticks and spreads to other fashion avenues as well!
The good news!
So, here’s the good news. Whatever Kareena Kapoor seems to believe about her new, ‘curvy’ thin look, we’re not on board with size zero and would prefer voluptuous to waif thin. And, we’re really glad that the trend of stick thin models and cardboard lookalikes seems to be on its way out. Celebrities such as Aishwarya Rai are losing baby weight slowly, healthily and steadily, unobsessed with getting back to cardboard lookalikes before they step out into the public glare. Vidya Balan is another curvy woman who isn’t in a hurry to lose weight as is Sonakshi Sinha, who is fit, but curvylicious as well.
Television presenter Pooja Bedi tells us that magazines and Bollywood sell false images. She says, “The perfect beauties you see on the cover page of fashion magazines are Photoshopped to perfection. There is no such thing as perfect beauty. As they say, ‘Beauty lies in the eye of a beer holder.’ Fashion magazines sell illusions so do Bollywood movies. It isn’t reality, so there is no reason to follow them. Whether thin or curvaceous, it doesn’t matter. As long as you’re fit and healthy, you will look sexy.” Well said Pooja!
Actress Raima Sen thinks fashion magazines are good only when it comes to following trends and styling tips. Raima says, “Size-zero is something that most Indian women desire. However, Indian women have always been famous for their curves. I think we should be proud of our body type. Follow the fashion trends and styling tips instead.”
Sushma Reddy, model and actress says, “Fashion magazines are very unrealistic. Forget looks, the clothes that are shown are unaffordable. I don’t follow them. But their idea is to sell perfection and a dream. It’s up to us if we want them or not. I think curves look better on Indian women as that’s how we are made genetically.”
“Size zero is an industry standard and it’s a demand indirectly by the public, who want to see perfect women in magazines. It also makes products sell faster; nobody would buy or even care to look at a product if it wasn’t worn by an attractive person. A bit of post production goes in celeb centric magazines but generally, these models have almost perfect bodies and a little bit of tweaking on Photoshop makes them look even better.”
— Gaurav Sawn, fashion photographer