Wrinkles on the Pages of a Catalogue

I love clothes. My guilty pleasure is “Project Runway” and I harbor not-so-secret dreams that my daughter’s love of fashion combined with her creative bent will someday produce our own family designer. This summer she spent a good chunk of time collecting empty juice bags to make a tote bag and lunch bag as well as designing shoes made out of duct tape. She’s been known to take scraps of fabric and create things like gloves and shrugs. Forget piano lessons. I am getting my sewing machine oiled up.

What I don’t love about fashion: the power thread, fabric and notions seem to have over people (if you don’t understand, watch an episode of “What Not To Wear” and how people react too the transformation), the skin and bones models,  the catalogues, magazines and runways full of airbrushed models who are still more often than not white/Caucasian,

There is something insidious about the half-truth images of women and the message they send to us: You can never be perfectly perfect, but we want you to keep trying. My brokenness becomes painfully obvious as I flip through the pages of a magazine as thoughts start with “Oh, that I like” and then move onto “Wow, wouldn’t it be nice to have a personal trainer and hours to spend at the gym”  to “I don’t like what God gave me physically, and I’m not satisfied with my closet, my makeup, my jewelry, my life”. Overly dramatic for literary purposes? Maybe. Does it really slide down that far and that fast. Yes, it can.

So, I have to say that I was amused and rather surprised to see the latest Talbots catalogue featuring beautiful but overpriced red clothes on models WITH WRINKLES! OK, so some of the models are “mature” models meaning they are older than I but younger than my mother. But they clearly had not been airbrushed. On page after page I saw A-line dresses and crows’ feet, big beaded necklaces and laugh lines, scarves knotted into bows with brows minus Botox. If only there was an Asian American model…just sort of kidding.

My disbelief compelled me to stick the catalogue under Bethany and Peter’s noses and ask them what they saw. They both noticed right away that while the clothes were impeccably steam ironed the models themselves were not.

Has anyone seen other ads or catalogues with real faces?

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