the New Face of Beauty Part 3 & the House of Dior

the New Face of Beauty Part 3 & the House of Dior

A couple of weeks ago I saw photos of the Dior launch of Raf Simon’s as their new designer for this classic fashion house. I wrote about it because I thought the setting for his first show was truly beautiful, and the clothes certainly reflected the traditional and classy classic Dior look…but, now I’ve seen the show itself and I am disenchanted to say the least!

Is this how we want to define beauty today?-image via pop stop TV

In April I wrote a post about the New Face of Beauty in response to Ashley Judd’s outcry against the media for their gross representation of her weight and looks. It was my first commentary against the media for their portrayal of what beauty is and should be based on their reporting, reality TV, and the movie industry in general.

At that point I barely touched on the fashion industry’s part in setting the standard norm of beauty as an anorexic 14 year old. But they have. Twenty years ago the average model weighed 8% less then the average woman. Today they weigh 23% less. And no, it’s not just because America has gotten heavier (which they have) but the models have gotten thinner as well!

When I was in the fashion business in the late 80’s and early 90’s I had the opportunity to work with Elle Macpherson better known as “the Body” in the industry. I will never forget the day she came into a shoot near tears as she was told she could not be in the Sports Illustrated Swim issue again because she was too thin. The Fashion world had told her that if she wanted to walk down the runways, she had to loose weight. She lost the weight and SI told her she was too skinny.

Lovely Elle Macpherson a natural beauty, then and now! image via

The message…”you are never good enough!” Here was one of the most natural beauties of our times, then and now, and SHE wasn’t good enough? Yikes.

Today some of the designers have banned anorexic models from their runways, as has Vogue Magazine. In an open letter to models, super model Tyra Banks stated…

To models around the world, I want to celebrate Vogue’s recent groundbreaking announcement. The editors of Vogue’s 19 international editions have pledged to ban models from their pages who “appear to have an eating disorder,” to create healthy backstage working conditions, as well as several other revolutionary initiatives. This calls for a toast over some barbecue and burgers!

BRAVO! So, what does this have to do with Dior?  When I first saw pictures of their show I was stunned at the beauty of the setting, the clothes and the sheer joy on the faces of the models when they first saw the floral rooms. At least in the photos that were released at the time.

Then I saw the video of the show itself! Skinny, skinny, skinny models with no smile and who actually looked angry as they walked the beautiful clothes down the runway. Personally, I thought they made the clothes ugly…and this is who Dior is claiming should wear Simon’s clothes and is beauty today? YIKES

Women…this is NOT beautiful. Really. The face of beauty must be redefined to tell us that happy women are beautiful, women with real bodies are beautiful, women at all ages ARE BEAUTIFUL.  What can we do about this as women? Vote with your pocket book. Don’t spend where the portrayal of what WE are suppose to look like is unnatural and not attainable by us mere mortals! AND, think about it, is this the message we want to send to our young girls? Our sisters, friends, daughters, grand daughters, nieces etc? I don’t!

I would love to hear your opinion on this matter. Check out the video below of the show and tell me what you think? Do the models portraying beauty for this line look beautiful to you?

Speak up women…it’s time!




  1. Connie Lee 10 years ago

    I do think that the standard of beauty is changing but that said I think we all need to take responsibility for what that standard is. The thinness of models is not necessarily attractive. I have watched many fashion shows where I do not even notice the models, which I think is the goal in using very thin models. When the model is what you notice more than the clothes it is because they went too far.

    • Author
      Irene Turner 10 years ago

      Actually when I was in the fashion industry Connie, they used models that regular women aspired to be like…not necessarily a great message either as most of those models from Christie Brinkley to Christy Turlington were also not our norm. But they were closer to the norm then the one’s used in many shows today! It is slowly changing thank goodness. And as those of us who have achieved self confidence and are over the age of 40, 50 and 60 and find ourselves comfortable in our skin spend our money where we feel supported…it will change even faster! I say vote with our pocket books and with more conversation like this. It’s time, really.

  2. quintessence 10 years ago

    As you know, I was just recently at fashion week and there are many shows using very thin models – I am used to that. But by far the worst show for me was Jenny Packham – I could barely even appreciate the clothes – the models were painfully thin and young and did not fill out or enhance the clothes – in fact I found them distracting. I have met and worked with many models over the years including Christie Brinkley – she is actually rather normal (thin & trim but healthy) and I actually found Elle McPherson way too thin when I saw her in real life – what saves her are her shoulders!

    • Author
      Irene Turner 10 years ago

      Yup, worked with Christie and Elle, both were more inspiring then the models I see today. I truly think that we women have to take a stand and tell companies that promote their clothes on unhealthy models that we won’t stand for it anymore. It sends a really bad message to our young girls and us older one’s too that always thought we weren’t good enough! I say…ENOUGH!

  3. Paula Marshall 10 years ago

    Speaking as the mother of 4 daughters things like this make me ill. There are so many things these girls have to worry about these days and their weight should not be one of them. It adds or takes away from their feelings of self worth. It was always a struggle to let them know that it’s what is on the inside that counts. Pier pressure is awful for young girls. They have grown into wonderful young women, and now Mom’s who are facing the same thing with their daughters at an even younger age!! They just have to look at their Grandma and know fat is where it’s at! They asked me one day why I was fat and I told them God loved me so much he gave me a little extra. 🙂 Thanks for bringing this out Irene. Bless you in your quest to end this dreadful disease ..anorexia.

    • Author
      Irene Turner 10 years ago

      Thanks for your heartfelt response Paula…even more then a quest to end anorexia is my quest to end the “self talk” that makes us feel less than. We are all beautiful the way we are, after all, I believe this quote entirely!

      “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us: it’s in everyone. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

      – Nelson Mandela taken from Marianne Williamson– ’94 inaugural speech


  1. […] then I’ve written 2 more posts on what we can do about it, and the fashion industries part in this conversation.  I suspect there are many more in the works. Why is this an important […]

  2. […] it’s gotten worse with the Fashion Industry looking for younger and skinnier models each season. The waif look began with Twiggy, and escalated after Calvin Klein started using young […]


  1. sport 9 years ago


    […]the New Face of Beauty Part 3 & the House of Dior | Irene Turner "Little Bits of Beauty™"[…]…

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *