Karl Lagerfeld says “No one wants to see curvy women”

“No one wants to see curvy women,” Karl Lagerfeld, as quoted on the website of news magazine Focus on Sunday.

I just love it when a man tells me what women think.  Especially when it comes to my body. Remember “no means yes?” This is along the same lines.

“You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly,” he added.

Yes. Right.  The world consists of either impossibly skinny, beautiful women OR fat mamas in muumuus eating chips and watching daytime soaps.  I forgot. (I’ll be discussing this tomorrow on Chicago’s radio station WVON on the Santita Jackson Show at 12 noon EST/11am Central- you can listen live on their website)

Sometimes I wonder why God gave everyone a mouth.  The privilege of talking can be abused so easily.

The world of fashion is about “dreams and illusions”

karl lagerfeldHe claimed it was “absurd” that Brigitte magazine, Germany’s highest-circulation women’s magazine, said it would no longer feature professional models on its pages and instead use “real women.”

Look, here’s what I think is the truth.  He’s right—we like to look at fashion and be engulfed in dreams and illusions.  That’s true.  But when I dream, I want to see myself.  I don’t want to see myself looking thinner or taller—I just want to see myself looking good in a beautiful dress.

Excuse: But clothes don’t hang as well on curvy women…

Answer: Make clothes that hang well on all kinds of women. After all, most women have curves.  Please don’t make us hate them.

Excuse: But “real women” are overweight and ugly

Answer: Gosh, that’s harsh.  Women come in all sizes.  Some skinny women are beautiful.  Some aren’t.  Some plus-size women are beautiful.  Some aren’t.  And you know what? There are some people in between skinny and plus size that are beautiful too.

Plus-size doesn’t have to mean overweight, real doesn’t have to mean overweight, thin doesn’t have to mean underweight, and “real” can be anyone woman living, breathing, and desiring to wear clothes. How about widening your concept of beauty? You just called 95% of women ugly and overweight. Do you want us to wear your clothes of not?

Excuse: Nobody wants to see real women in magazines. Real women don’t support the fantasy that women want to see.

Answer: Oooh! Ooooh! Ooooh! I do! I want to see real women in magazines! Am I nuts here? I would like to see all kinds of women in magazines. Skinny, thin, plus-size, and everything in between.  Real women reflect real life. We want to dream but we don’t want to be delusional! What we want to see is…ourselves…looking great!

A telling comment by one reader:

“I think that the catwalk is very much a world of illusion and fantasy. But not everyone’s dreams include skeletal coat-hangers.” Larkin | Sydney – October 12, 2009, 8:11AM

Glamour Magazine recently has jumped on the bandwagon, promising to reflect more “real women” in their magazine  They are definitely onto something.  As Ben Barry (coauthor of a 3000 person study on how women in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom respond to advertising images) noted, women were most likely to want to purchase a fashion product if it was associated with a model that directly resembled them. Hmmm. Buy more clothes when the model wearing them looks more like us? Monumental thinking! But this IS very important:

“This does not mean that women want to do away with aspirational images. It is the very opposite. The worst thing a magazine could do is to showcase an image of a ‘normally sized’ model that looks like most driver’s license pictures, with poor styling, clothing and photography. Instead, women want these models to have the same glamour and artistry as other fashion models.

Yes, women with curves don’t actually want to see pictures of “ugly women eating chips”.  We’d like to see ourselves, looking amazing, looking beautiful, even if we DO sometimes eat chips. Is that so hard to understand?

Dr. Robyn Signature

Facebook comments:

10 replies
  1. Thomas
    Thomas says:

    Young men may be interested in the thin, waify look, but most men over the age of 25 or 26 appreciate a woman who looks like a woman, not a child. I’m not sure if this relates to what women want to see in fashion magazines or not, but I do believe that women are at least somewhat influenced by what the men they are attracted to are themselves attracted to. Adding “real women” to the pages of fashion magazines seems like a logical move, as it will open up the readership to women who don’t look like children anymore. The guy making those comments is obviously not filtering his thoughts through the mind of a man, if you know what I mean.

  2. cooper
    cooper says:

    Everyone has the right to express an opinion. It’s when an unthinking populace starts flocking to “celebrity” opinion” and fashionista demands that people lose sight of the real. The fashion industry is no different than hollywood…the bottom line is making money…the means to that money has no moral conscience so expecting people like Lagerfeld and that other goof to say anything without a hidden agenda of the bottom line is absurd. Models aren’t people, in their eyes, they are commodities to help them sell their stuff.
    The answer is simple yet so very difficult: stop supporting people that do not make sense; stop buying their products (including and especially the media that flog their products such as magazines and television). stop supporting any company involved with negative human standards masking as societal rules.


  3. Christian Gross
    Christian Gross says:

    I work in the stock market, but am an amateur painter. Let me tell you I actually hate the bodies of models these days. From a painting perspective they are completely without mystique. A straight line is about as interesting as a door knob.

    Whereas curves let an imagination run, and let you experiment with things. In fact when I saw the picture of the women at the top of this blog entry I was enthralled to the mysteries by these women. The real sad part is that when I need pictures I have to go back to the early 1900’s…

    BTW this obsession with the unimaginative extends to men as well. Men of these days are completely badly proportioned. Compare men of today to Arnold Schwarzenegger of the 1950’s 1960’s. Not the same body…

  4. Deborah Price Gentry
    Deborah Price Gentry says:

    I want to see healthier women and men in advertising. As a health and nutrition consultant I am concerned about the health of our nation. We are either overweight or underweight. We need to be healthier in general. Teach our children to be healthy and respect and honor our bodies natural beauty and curves. I think there is nothing more beautiful or handsome than someone who is healthy.

  5. Sydney
    Sydney says:

    But Not Everybody Chooses To Skinny! Its Just How They Are Sometimes! Sp Should They Be Banned Because They Are A Size 5??

  6. Shannon
    Shannon says:

    It really disappoints me that in your post, you embraced all women – skinny and not-skinny – but in the comments people seem to have missed the point.

    Skinny women are REAL women too – that, or I’m a living, thinking, blinking, breathing, digesting artificial intelligence.

    Your post was wonderful!

  7. broman
    broman says:

    this man is a idiot and I love curvy women not anorexic thin models that look like they’ve been starving for days in the desert. Those women on top have delicious bodies. If karl wants to have female that have boy bodies that’s his problem but I don’t care for and most men don’t either

  8. Anne-Marie
    Anne-Marie says:

    Shannon is right–it’s like being told that when you’re in college it’s not the “real world.” Um, excuse me, go away.
    I’d like to say I stopped reading fashion magazines because I don’t want to support what they stand for. But actually, I got bored. It’s been exactly the same since I started reading them at 16. Come ON. Give my imagination something to work with! Different images, please!
    This quote pains me because this man’s clothes are just so beautiful; he is so darn good at what he does. His fashion shows have an incredible fantasy element to them. But it’s not the *only* thing anyone wants to see. Narcissistic much?

  9. WillTruth
    WillTruth says:

    I think what Lagerfield has done is to state an ugly truth. We may not like it, but the people (mostly women) who buy fashion magazines continue to vote with their dollars. Lagerfield made his comments in 2009. Two years later, the same types of magazines with the same types of models continue to dominate.

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