Here’s an interesting item in our ongoing series of observations that everything happens in the Omniculture. Women’s Wear Daily reports that photo editors are beginning to retouch photos of seriously underweight fashion models in order to make them appear . . . healthier:
PUTTING ON THE POUNDS: As the body mass index of runway walkers continues to make headlines, skinny models just might present a whole new problem for editors. Everyone has a story of a celebrity cover slimmed by Photoshop, but several editors have been quietly ordering the retouching of gaunt model shots to make them look, well, a little fatter. "A model shows up and you realize she’s too thin and has lost weight since the booking, but the show must go on," said Allure editor in chief Linda Wells. "When the film comes to me, I realize I don’t want to see hip bones and ribs in the magazine."
Enter the retouching process, which helps make the haggard look healthier. "If a girl shows up at a shoot and she’s too skinny, a good stylist can pose her so that the reader doesn’t have as much of a sense of it," said Lucky editor in chief Kim France. But, she added, "There are angles at which a girl’s arm can look haunting."
"It’s never something where you made the girl look heavy," said France. "It’s just a quiet, small change." . . .
"It seems like we’ve been doing it more lately than in years past," said Wells. "It is something we noticed at the fashion shows this year — there were some alarming moments on the runway. And that caused some chatter."
It seems unlikely that the fashion in ladies’ figures will soon become Rubenesque, as in the image immediately above, but a comparison between the Rubens image and that of the fashion model shown at the top of this item suggests that it is a good thing indeed if the trend toward increasingly gaunt fashion models has run its course. The change suggests a salutary self-correcting aspect of the Omniculture. Everything happens, and often good things do occur.