The Weight Issue: Can You Lose It Fashionably?

Hannah Yakobi is an award-winning journalist and communications specialist. Throughout her career, she has written for the National Post, OK! Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, Canwest newspaper network and dozens of publications around the world. Currently, she is the Editor-in-Chief of FAJO Magazine, a Canadian publication with staff in Canada, U.S. and U.K.

About a month ago, I was once again reflecting on how the fashion industry has changed over the last decade. Fashion houses grow, designers get replaced, new names are discovered and fresh trends developed. But there are always things that remain static and one of them is what I like to call “the weight issue.”

The fashion industry is frequently, and often rightly so, scrutinized for being too focused on women who are skinny to the point of unhealthy. As someone whose life has been greatly immersed in this sector for many years, I know that the “weight issue” can often be taken to the extreme, but what I can also tell you is that it does not relate to the fashion industry alone. Wouldn’t you agree that almost every other person you know is talking about their weight – on Facebook, Twitter, in text messages and over the phone? Women are particularly obsessed about this, although many men are endlessly dreaming about getting an eight-pack, so that they could become a “chick magnet.”

Last week, this craziness about weight loss reached a new height when my boyfriend mentioned that he read an article about a new perfume that helps…wait for it…lose weight. We both laughed at the idea of spraying yourself to smell good, while also shedding a few pounds in the process. I forgot all about it until this morning, when I found this.

In the midst of business brands being ridiculed for using too much Photoshop in their marketing campaigns to make the models look like mannequins, and health magazines making their “XX number of ways to lose weight” headlines bigger every year, it seems that the whole world is discussing the latest diet, detox or workout session. Everyone is asking: “Does this make me look fat?” Everyone is concerned.

But how has this global obsession affected the fashion world? A typical example would be to bring this topic back to the runway shows. I attend many of these on a regular basis where I see a variety of models. Yes, they can all be classified as “slim”, but they all look different. Some have flawless, glowing skin and the clothes look incredible on them. These women exude a certain confidence and sex appeal that I think many women cannot boast. Yet, there are also models who look pale, tired, unhappy and the circumference of their legs is so small that it often scares me. These women look unhealthy and depressed, and this is exactly what we need to avoid. Thankfully, however, I have noticed that over the years, the number of women in the former group has started to greatly outnumber the latter.

It seems that losing weight may still be on everyone’s mind but people are being more responsible and cautious of their health. Seeing a stunning woman on the runway always reminds me of that and makes me smile.