• Wed, Mar 9 2011

A Model Explains Why Size 4 Is Too Big For The Fashion Industry

Katie Halchishick, a former Ford Model, just started a fantastic new modeling agency called Natural Model Management. Their motto is “healthy is the new skinny” and they’re focused on girls sizes 4-10 who don’t fit into either traditional straight or plus sized modeling. However, since most of the people we know are size 4 to size 10, we’re kind of baffled about why the industry wouldn’t typically be using girls in that range. Katie explains:

It’s an aspirational industry: The way we have it structured now a size 0 is marketing to someone who is a size 8 to a size 14. They get  marketed to by a really young size 0. And when I’m a size 10 I’m marketing to women who are really plus sized.

People don’t expect a “size 4″ to look like a size 4: When you’re working you’re talking about how you’re a size 14 when you’re clearly a 10. There are lies across the board about sizing.

Because there’s a notion that some girls are “naturally thin!”: It’s not true. They take girls who naturally have skinny frames and tell them to lose 10 pounds. Industry skinny is absurd. They take a thin person and force them beyond what their bodies are capable of.

Eating Disorders are glamorized: We go into high schools, and had one of models, Angela, who was really bulimic in high school talk. When she talks about it it’s genuine and honest. But in the straight size industry that’s glamorized too. If you’re straight sized, and then you switch over and do plus sizes, you can use that to do a book on how you struggled with bulimia.

Young women think skinny = perfect: Kids aren’t learning about nutrition in schools. Girls want to know how to lose weight so badly, and the schools don’t want to talk about it, because they’re worried they’ll develop a complex. I’m pretty sure we’re past that point… We surveyed this high school because we wanted to know what high school girls are really thinking, and asked them what they thought was fat, if they tried starving themselves, and what size they would be perfect at. What we got back was really sad. They think what makes a girl beautiful is “skinny with big boobs perfect hair perfect make-up”. What people think is fat is “when your legs are kind of big” “love handles” all specific body parts. Everyone said 0, 1 or 2 is the perfect size. 95% admitted to skipping meals or throwing up foods, and then getting frustrated because they said it doesn’t work. The number one wish for all teenage girls is to be thinner, and there need to be models to show them to wish for more. We’re not going to blow smoke up people’s asses and say “just look in the mirror and love yourself!” That doesn’t work. But we have to figure out what does work and what can change in our own outlooks. We can fight and put up battle-stands with the industry, but ultimately, is it the fashion industry’s responsibility for how we’re feeling about ourselves? We have to start changing this thought process in ourselves. If we have a healthier mentality then there are going to be changes, because the same advertising won’t work. We’re the only ones who can change that.

Share This Post:
  • Jamie

    Wow, she’s really pretty. I know there’s more substance than that to this article but that’s the first thing I noticed! I hope this “healthy” thing catches on.

    • Icepop

      you idi oTTTT tha’s a man! Open your eyes and smell the nose job, brow lift, lips pumped, eyelids reshaped and jawline shaved. that’s a MAN!!! LMAO!

  • MizzJ

    Very true. I don’t even know how we can change this outlook that is so engrained in us. Every girl I know wants to change her body, even the skinny ones. I myself am a size 2 and I still look in the mirror everyday thinking of something I’d like to change.

    http://highmaintenancewoman.blogspot.com

  • G

    Basing body size on clothing size is absurd. If you have hips at all, chances are you are never going to be a size 0. But healthy, you are still going to look amazing. Even at 18% body fat (this is very low for a women), I could still not wedge myself into a size 2. I like that the article acknowledge that telling girls “just love who you are” isn’t some quick fix for all their insecurities. I think girls need to know more about waist/hip ratio and fitness instead of obsessing over the amount of food they eat. If you eat healthy and get active you will feel good because you’re body is getting what it needs, it’s not being deprived of what it wants.

  • ThisIsMyFace

    It’s telling that she’s come from Ford. They are much more into pushing “healthy-looking” girls in the industry.

    I’m also interested to see that Jennifer is surveying girls in high school and really attempting to get to the heart of the matter.

    Good luck to her and her agency!

  • Sarah

    I think this is so amazing because I read more about what they are doing with http://www.healthyisthenewskinny.com it is a cool site and It makes sense that all of us can share the same common goal to live a healthy life… instead of a thin or skinny life. I love that this can bring women together instead of always going against one another. I hope to see more about this… really cool.

  • Emma

    Wow. That’s sad. People should also start hiring shorter runway models as well. It may not make sense unless you are or were a short kid in middle/highschool. Shorter girls tend to feel bad about themselves because tall is portrayed as “good”. Those of us who will never be 5’9 are hurt

    • Madeleine

      I’m 5’9, and have been tall since the fourth grade. Being tall is not all fun and games, it is tough to find shoes in my size and all skirts and dresses are far too short. Being tall is not portrayed as good to those who are tall.

    • Barb

      I think the whole ”tall model” thing started with these beautiful tall girls that felt bad because they were taller than most of the men and modeling was created for them. It’s easier to be thin when you’re tall, so the modeling business saw that advantage and the whole thing started from that.

  • Kelsea

    I completely agree. This sentiment of “pretty” places perfection on a pedestal. Every day women and girls are told what pretty is supposed to be and what beauty is by billboards, photoshopped models, fashion magazines and plastic surgeons explaining why we need liposuction here, a face lift there and while were at it, a boob job too. I have fallen into this trap.. I look at myself and see a “plain jane, girl next door” who has hips that are far too big, love handles and thighs. I’m 5’6″ and 130 lbs. I’m ashamed to know I see myself as fat and call myself ugly.

    Im trying to accept healthy as beautiful and posts like this are always motivating.

  • Rompnstomp

    I used to be a 6. I now wear a 6. But I’m BIGGER than I was before. Several times since my 20′s clothing has been enlarged and labeled as a small size. I’m NOT in favor of this. If I’m really a 10, so be it. If you don’t realize this is going on, go to a good vintage store and try on clothes from the 60′s.

    At least with honest sizing, women would start to diet and exercise if they didn’t like that larger number.

    • Tracy

      Hm..what stores do you shop at that they have dont this?

  • muzzmmilabbas

    141861

  • Stile

    I’m 5’5″ 1/2 and that’s the PERFECT HEIGHT!! I chose that size as a kid and like a subconscious command I stopped growing when I reached it. 5’9″ are giraffes, are you kidding me!? Being 5’9″ is the equivalent of weighing 400lbs for a female. Considering that most yanks (men) are only 5’7″ average and that being 5’5″ 1/2 makes a man 5’10″ too short for me (5’11″ is short as well but tolerable) I can’t imagine what all those giraffes are feeling LMAO!!! Men 5’7 to 6′ will never go for a girl who is even 5’7″ or above! Face it girls, I can steal all the men you want because only gay men 5’7 to 5’11 will want a woman who is 5’7′ or above LOL!! Sucks to be you.

    I have perfect height and perfect weight and y’all can eat & drink your rBGH meat & milk & keep on stuffing your face full of junk foods cos no men want you. That’s why girls like me will always have the men you can only dream about! :-)

    • Evan

      Really? Are you serious right now or are you just fucking around? If your not fucking around than I am so sorry for you. I am a “yank” and there is no way I would even talk to you let alone want to be with you, you self centered, egotistical bitch! Now go back to your mirror and plan out your future body;)

    • Shell

      Stile… you’re probably 5’5″ and havent found a man, excuse me, “yank”, over 6 feet because you’re walking around with your nose too far up in the air. You didn’t even comment on ANY part of the the article, which has some great points, especially about teaching high school students, especially women, about nutrition. Instead, you’re too busy comparing yourself to others, calling them giraffes, hoping we’ll all agree with you that youre height is perfect. Congratu-fuckin-lations, now stop littering comment boards thinking people care about you, its just annoying.

    • Nina

      I’m 5’9, I live in Italy and get several (annoying but sometimes flattering) comments a day…the men here love my height especially when I wear heels and I’m taller than them! I have never, ever had a man criticize me for being tall.
      But that’s beside the point, Evan said it perfectly. And if a guy is judging a girl on something like height than it’s not a guy I’m interested in at all… There are hundreds of fascinating and beautiful things about me, and height has nothing to do with any of them :) Only brainless, shallow, guys with low-self esteem would think of a girl over 5’7 as a giraffe. Are YOU kidding ME??
      And also to add- are your appearances strictly for men?? Because if so that’s pretty sad. You seem really sad in general. Boo. If you are serious about what you said, it sucks that you’re out there representing women in any form. How embarrassing. Good thing there are idiot guys out there too, you will be perfect for each other <3

    • Lauren

      That’s got to be one of the rudest things I’ve ever read. LMAOO you’re not funny. You’re just a fucking cunt who never learned her manners. Men don’t like arrogant overcnfident bitches; they like bad girls in bed, but nice girls for life. Hope you picked up a thing or to.

    • Tracy

      What’s hilarious about you is you think any man will actually want you. They could just look at you and you’ll think they’re checking you out when they’re really thinking how crazy you are! HAHA sucks to be you.

    • Eric

      Coming from a dude, your attitude is what is going to keep you from getting the guys that all the girls want. You’ll probably attreact every d-bag on the planet, but apparently you’re all about looks so you’ll probably be fine with that. Trust me all the men women want, which is to say a very hot, sofisticated, intelligent and kind hearted man, will not take a second look at you, because you are a selfish, egotisitical trick. We all know you’re a size 22 sitting behind your computer screen eating KFC and trying to come up with ways to trick david beckham into sleeping with you anyways.

    • Craig

      You’re 5’5 1/2.

      And about 450lbs.

      Go troll somewhere else, fatty.

  • ps

    In regards to women
    I love every woman I married very short and did’t know she was short until several years divorced hanging with 6′ girls from 5′ size is nice but over plump is not cool or doable for me but it’s a Wopper of a new world ,and the average is too big for me I am afraid that she will steal my food like dogs sharing the same bowl. How embarrassing , what our society has become still
    I love people that are into being fit and looking it and if it makes you feel good inside than I think you become the complete package .This is from a man that at 50 is rippen in his size 29″ high school waist diet and exercise than work on your spirit or psyche or soul than I’ll find the right girl . Just one man’s opinion.

    • Holly

      What the heck are you trying to say? No, litterally. I cannot decode your comment. All I understood was that you have a 29 inch waist and you’re fifty. Good for you?

  • Zoe

    I liked this article because, unlike so many others, it did not vilify small girls in order to make everyone else feel better. I’m Eastern European, and typically, when healthy, I am 110-115 pounds at 5’7. I realize this is really low, but that’s just my build. I am long and narrow. It is the weight I maintain with a healthy diet.

    Even with this body type, for years I have felt pressure to change, become even thinner, mainly because I felt that being a size 0 was the only thing I had going for me, in terms of beauty. Point is, every person has to deal with their own issues, physical and psychological.

    Nowadays, plenty of beauty articles will attempt to boost their reader’s sense of self-worth by saying that supposedly real (read: curvy) women are so much better than anorexic size 0 models, throwing the psychiatric diagnosis around so gratuitously. Then, they will fill the adverts with girls who may have a body type similar to mine, but who have been enhanced to an unattainable point – prettier hair, perfect skin, flawless makeup, the works. It sends the message that real thin women, minus the photoshop, are rather worthless.

  • Melaina

    I think a size 4 is the perfect size.