Manorexic? Skinny male fashion models in Paris cause outcry.


Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent model. Just too thin?

The descent of the male model.

Reflections of a former Male Model.

The end of the male model?

Welcome to the disease known as manorexia. Men who strive to look like male models.

The Vanishing Point 

Making the rounds in fashion news this weekend is the horrid situation of what some fashion insiders are wondering is the existence of uber thin males basking in the fashion world. After all it’s one thing to complain about uber thin/anorexic female models (us tabloid types beg them not to do it but the fashion world insiders ignore us and covertly enforce ultra thin wedgies) but one is apt to wonder how what has traditionally been a female’s body issue has now translated now to that of the male model. Or was it always just there anyway before us media types picked up on it?

radaronline: A shockingly gaunt and sick looking male model walking the catwalk at Hedi Slimane’s  Yves Saint Laurent men’s show at Paris Fashion Week  has spawned international controversy about the fashion industry’s responsibility to promoted healthy body images, for men as well as women – and has the details.

First of all. Let’s back off. Hedi Slimane has always had a predilection towards waif effeminate boys and his designs have always catered to the uber thin gent. To be sure Hedi has been unapologetic about it and to some degree has been responsible for bolstering that image of men ever since he first came on to the scene in the 90’s.

Continues radar: After the French fashion house’s show, which featured several super skinny and emaciated looking male models, one incredibly gaunt gentleman  provoked fashion blogger Poppy Dinsey to tweet her concern.

“Woefully irresponsible model casting at YSL yesterday,” she tweeted. “Speechless.”

Speechless. Bad casting?

Poppy I’m going to let you in on a secret right now darling. It has always been this way. But perhaps not to this degree.

As a former fashion model myself who used to drag himself up and down sashay the European catwalks back in the early 90’s there was never a mystery as to what casting directors were looking for. Lithe, interesting, charismatic and flawless. Every casting involved having to take one’s shirt off so as for the casting agent could have a good perv look at us and to go from there.

And then there’s this personal memory too from my own frothy time as a catwalk boy:

It’s fast approaching eight p.m and that only means one thing – free pizza at Deco. This is what you get when you’re an expatriate of the supposed photogenic kind. I look into the mirror pump on the gel and strut out onto the street to get my first meal of the day. When I arrive, I am surrounded by hundreds of other models, mostly Americans, a few French, English but it’s the Americans I like, even if they are always the loudest, the brashest and most conspicuous. We sit there, line up for our drink tickets, margarita pizza, watch some imbecilic movie before the club opens to the general public and a bunch of Guido’s start swarming the place.

But then again one has to wonder has the desire to push the emaciated male model gone on to the next level? Even I remember the fascination for the real man, one that had muscles and a bit of meat on his body. But perhaps that was another era, other designers or just a time when we were all impressed with brawn and the idea of masculinity as opposed to the fashion world’s recent fixation on boy girls who look like recovering heroin addicts? Or maybe that’s just me being mean. Don’t worry Andrej, I still adore you. I know you eat well cause I have often seen you eat well.

“Getting a lot of tweets re that YSL model pic. The model himself is not the one to blame remember, it’s the casting director and YSL,” Disney wrote.

“It’s not helpful to call him disgusting,” she continued. “I don’t know if he has an eating disorder, but it was YSL who thinks that ‘look’ is ok & booked him.”

So let’s all point and scream at YSL and implore them to start using real men again. Maybe they’ll will again or maybe just maybe some of us men will diet ourselves to oblivion to live up to some designer’s appropriated sense of aesthetic perfection.