If, like me, you were a teenager in the 90s it is highly unlikely that you won’t recognise these lyrics as they come from one of Blur’s early hits, Girls and Boys from their ‘Parklife’ album. As a true Britpop girl, I had to pick a side; was I a Blur girl or Oasis? And there was only one answer as far as I was concerned. Blur, all the way. I mean, did you see Alex James?! Now, not so much but then?
What I don’t think Damon Albarn foresaw whe he wrote was the current situation where we have a male model being used, quite extensively, to model women’s clothes. The model is of course Andrej Pejic, who, when you look at his face, you’d never know he wasn’t female. This man is beautiful. He has slightly hooded blue eyes, high cheekbones, full lips… If you look at his face, surrounded by long, blonde hair, you wouldn’t guess he was male. His features are incredibly feminine.
And if he was being used to advertise beauty products, I wouldn’t have a problem. And I should make it clear that my problem isn’t with Pejic per se, he is simply taking advantage of the opportunities being offered to him. But when a man, who despite the work he has evidently put in to reduce his waist size, still has the broad shoulders and flat chest of a man, is being hired to advertise bras and bikinis, you have to wonder what exactly designers think women look like?
As a woman who has boobs and hips in abundance, I find it really kind of offensive that a designer thinks that his designs, aimed at women, will look best on a man. An oustandingly beautiful man, no doubt, but he still has a man’s figure. It’s bad enough that the majority of models have the bodies of pre-pubescent girls but to actually put a bloke on the catwalk? In addition, to have a man advertising bras is blatantly ridiculous. By writing about it, I have further achieved the company’s aims but I really feel strongly about this.
Women are under a ridiculous amount of pressure to look a certain way. Even before you take the body fat issue into account (because of the lack of boobs and hips their body fat is far lower than women’s) clothes will look different on a man than on a woman. The broader shoulders and smaller hips will make things hang differently and I think a lot of women are likely to consider how they hang on them as compared to Pejic, to be worse.
So to the designers out there, for the love of God, if you’re designing for women then use women in your catwalk shows and adverts. Why put clothes on someone who was never intended to wear them?
Would you buy clothes that you have seen advertised by a man?
Average Josephine x