Website of the week
There's been a lot of discussion recently about models and their weight. Between the controversy at Australian Fashion Week (one brazen designer featured--gasp!--"real women" as models in her show; Australian Vogue subsequently refused to cover it) and the ensuing controversy from Spanish Fashion Week (models with a BMI of under 18 were not allowed to work), everyone has been debating whether models are too thin, too young, too emotionless, etc. And there are some strong opinions, my favorite of which was Rachael Zoe defending the "naturally thin" models (I'm assuming she means those who don't abuse horse tranquilizers to fit into size 0's). There have always been thin models, although if you look at pictures from 15 years ago, during the heyday of the Supermodels, it's kind of shocking how almost-normal they look--I'm guessing that Cindy Crawford, for example, was a size 4 or maybe even a size 6, which would be considered almost heifer-like by today's standards. So, who do we have to blame (or, depending on how you look at it, to thank) for all of this? The long answer is rather complex, considering everyone from the designers themselves to magazine editors and art directors to advertising executives help determine which models have successful careers. The short answer is much more simple: Casting directors are the ones who actually hire models for jobs. Granted, they're usually taking directon from someone else, but they're the ones who interact with the models on a day to day basis.

Which is probably why I find Confessions of a Casting Director so fascinating. It's a blog written by a semi-anonymous model casting director, and while much of the content consists of polaroids taken from go-sees accompanied by commentary on the model, there's also quite a bit of inside-fashion gossip. I do enjoy the polaroids, because the writer likes to spotlight future stars as well as the current top models. (I recognized quite a few faces from Fashion Week!) The writer is, refreshingly, not a snob--he admits to liking street casting, as well as "genius" plus-size model Crystal Renn and even America's Next Top Model alums (winner Danielle from season 5 and Kim the lesbian, my favorite, from season 4 were making the Fashion Week rounds). And, well, let's say the writer is equal opportunity, as there are some tasty pictures of male models too--thankfully, no one is arguing over whether they're too thin. Because sometimes we need not to intellectualize the cultural signifcance models and their weight but rather to sit back and appreciate them for what they are: gorgeous human beings.

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