Clothes Look Better on Skinny People, Says Fashion Executive Denise L'Estrange Corbet, Not Realizing How Problematic That Is
Ready for your fashion face palm of the day? The CEO of a fashion house believes that clothes look better on skinny people and she expressed this thought, out loud, in front of other humans. I wish I were making this up, because it is insane and sad and problematic, but I'm not.
Denise L'Estrange-Corbet is the founder and CEO of WORLD, a popular fashion house in New Zealand. She is also a real person, unfortunately, with real (and horrible) beliefs about how thin people are the only ones who belong on the runway. According to BuzzFeed, she shared those beliefs on New Zealand television earlier this week when asked about the controversy surrounding a mannequin with protruding ribs at a store called Glassons New Zealand.
Here's what L'Estrange-Corbet had to say: "Models have always been thin. They always have been and they always will. Clothes look better on skinny people. They just do." Uhhhhh. I'm tempted to smash my hands on the keyboard and publish the resulting gibberish instead of a coherent article because that's about as much sense as these comments make. However, you came here looking for facts and analysis, and so I'll try and deliver.
Body shaming is just not okay. Comments like the ones delivered by L'Estrange-Corbet serve to perpetuate a terrible (and untrue) idea that only thin women with protruding ribs can be considered beautiful. That's really what she means when she says that clothes look better on skinny people. It's no secret that the fashion industry has a loooong way to go before it can be considered inclusive for all body types, although some strides are being made. But we don't need to perpetuate harmful stereotypes by buying into the old, outdated system.
There is nothing wrong with being thin, fat, or somewhere in between. Our collective body image won't improve as long as there are women like L'Estrange-Corbet fighting to keep fashion a "skinny girls only" club. (Hey, L'Estrage-Corbet, this essay on size inclusivity is a must-read for you.) A mannequin's ribcage might not seem like a huge deal, but women are constantly bombarded with images of so-called "flawless" bodies everywhere they turn. If we're going to have the mannequin with visible bones, we need to have the mannequin with a thick waist or — gasp! — back fat, too. Then, maybe, the body shame will finally stop.