Sao Paulo Still Struggling With Body Image Issues

There’s a dangerous dichotomy at work in the fashion industry these days and Sao Paulo Fashion Week is the latest culprit. Just yesterday the Associated Foreign Press pointed out a growing concern among Sao Paulo’s fashion set about ultra skinny models on the catwalk. “The organizers of Latin America’s biggest fashion show raised the alarm Thursday over emaciated Brazilian models apparently following unhealthy US and European trends,” reports read. Paulo Borges, the creative director behind the biannual fashion week claimed that the emaciated models in question “are based most of the year in Europe and in the USA where they work majorly.” (Basically Borges is implying that it’s expectations further north and east that are encouraging Brazilian models to trim down to unhealthy weights.) But that debate in Sao Paulo specifically is nothing new.

(‘DiggThis’)Just over six months ago major model Karolina Kurkova caught a serious backlash when she showed up on Sau Paulo runways looking a bit heavier than in the past (emphasis on a bit). “One Brazilian paper blasted her back fat and cellulite, as did other outlets,” the Huffington Post wrote back in June of 2009. The conversation is no doubt loaded. But it’s a bit suspect when the director of Sao Paulo’s fashion week is claiming that Brazilian models are being negatively affected by the unhealthy standards of the US and European fashion industry, when Brazil’s own paper blasted a healthy Kurkova for getting soft. At this point it’s starting to look like a question of the chicken and the egg. The moral of the story: the issue of unhealthy weight expectations in the fashion industry continues to be a global problem, with far too few regulations, not to mention good examples set of well-rounded views on what body shapes are in fact beautiful.

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