Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The lovely bones: Julia Saner

elite paris via
Have been toying with the idea of starting a couple of photo series. Thin models is one of them. And yes, this is quite possibly one of those lose-lose scenarios in which you can't please anyone, with body image zealots accusing you of providing thinspiration for those with mental health problems and model fanatics accusing you of “sensationalism” and hating on their favourites. But here goes. Frockwriter is well aware that pretty much everyone outside the fashion business thinks that everyone in it has an eating disorder. That is not the case. Being thin is however most definitely a job requirement for most models, it always has been and particularly at the top end of the industry. Just as it is for ballet dancers and elite athletes - that's what world number 5 Abbey Lee Kershaw claims in this interview. Incidentally Kershaw, who happens to be the daughter of a retired elite athlete, footballer Kim Kershaw, looked like this in 2005. There is a fine line however, pardon the pun, between thin and painfully thin. In spite of navel-gazing and industry initiatives over the past three years, including the best efforts of French MP ValĂ©rie Boyer to outlaw websites and fashion advertising that promote anorexia and to provide health warnings on Photoshopped images, images continue to pop up which make you do a double take. Case in point, this shot of 18 year-old Swiss newcomer Julia Saner. 

Now we are willing to concede that the lighting, pose and direction could all be contributing factors, making the model in question look thinner than she or he actually is. 

But that’s kind of the point here. Images such as this are not just candid shots. They are created, manipulated and used by industry power players to promote their talent. 

This image of Saner was published by influential modelling industry website on October 13, under the site’s “Top 10 Newcomer” series for the Spring/Summer 2011 show season. Notes MDC:
“With a show run that spanned Gucci, Fendi, Chanel, Lanvin, Givenchy, Vuitton and the opening slot of Valentino Julia was the girl model watchers were buzzing about in Paris. Now that the booking sweepstakes have turned from shows to editorials and campaigns expect Julia to be one of those must-book girls on all those call sheets”.

The shot appears to come straight off Saner's portfolio on the website of Elite Paris

Coincidentally, two years ago, Elite’s New York division was responsible for publishing these shocking images of a young American model, which prompted quite some international commentary.

Approximately four comments on the post note how alarmingly thin Saner looks.

Another 30 applaud her look, with some noting her “killer” and “to die for” body.

The post has so far been “liked” by 157 people on Facebook. 



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