J. Crew should face facts and post signs on its stores that read: ” If your BMI (body mass index is above 18,) and you have a single curve on your body, don’t even think about entering.” J. Crew is obsessed with hipless, small-breasted young women who favor skinny pants, skimpy shirts and sweaters and barely there skirts. They’re today’s versions of Twiggy and they’re splashed over the pages of J. Crew’s newest catalog.
These women slouch down the street with their hands in their skinny pants pockets (it’s got to be a struggle for them to squeeze their hands into the pockets in the first place), their shirts calculatingly tucked half in and out of their pants, their hair in that oh-so-cool, mussed- just -enough look and their oversized trendy glasses perched on their button noses.
Mind you, I love the look, but it’s one that 12 young women can pull off successfully in all the United States and it precludes probably 98 percent of the population of young American women. Of course, the people who run J. Crew have every right to create and cultivate whatever image they choose, but what I find disturbing is its striking indifference to real young women.
Fashion retailers and magazines have long believed they should use models other women aspire to look like. Hogwash! Why can’t young women aspire to be like women who are smart and successful? When Dove introduced its Real Beauty campaign in 2004, to critical acclaim, I thought it would mark the beginning of a new, intelligent culture in the advertising business. But even if a few companies here and there have subsequently made half-baked stabs at celebrating flesh and blood women–who may even have a little healthy fat on their frames–it hasn’t caught on with the likes of J. Crew, Ralph I-am-a-cowboy Lauren, The Gap and countless other “iconic” American brands.
I wonder if rugged Ralph allows women who wear size 12 into his circle of friends. And what would he do if his son brought home a size 16 girlfriend? Send her galloping into the sunset?
When young gymnast, Gabby Douglas, excelled at the London Olympics a couple of weeks ago, her hair style got more attention than the style of her routine. We have become Champions of Superficiality. Gold medals all around!