Francois Mori/AP
A model shows a creation by French designer Hedi Slimane for Dior's men fall-winter
2005-06 pret-a-porter collection presented in Paris Monday Jan 31, 2005. (AP)

Male Models Shrinking To Fit New Ideal

June 12, 2008 02:53 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The fashion industry, which has long favored emaciated women, is now developing a preference for skinny, pale and feminine men.

30-Second Summary

Just a few years ago, most male models had large pecs and biceps and six-pack abs. Now, male models are losing weight to cater to the demands of designer labels and fashion magazines here and in Europe that are looking for slim men.

“Scrawn is the new brawn. And lean guys with chicken-chests and scrawny legs are starting to overshadow the beefcake boys,” reports The Age.

The New York Times in February traced the trend to designer Hedi Slimane, who promoted stick-thin men when he first started working for Dior Homme. Other designers wanted to emulate the sleek look of his suits, and started reducing the size of their models as well.

In contrast to the concern often raised about waiflike female models, the current vogue for slim male models has brought about some praise.

Male models no longer have to work to become buff, notes Matt Anderson, of Chadwick Models agency in Australia. “The types of guys being used now are way more reflective of the general population. Whereas 10 years ago, it was Adonis types with ripped (prominent) muscles and six packs,” he says.

But some critics say that the skinny look is pressuring men to meet an unrealistic ideal, just as it has with women. “What you are getting is men starting to engage in unhealthy eating and exercising practices to try to achieve those ideals,” says body image specialist Marita McCabe, a professor of psychology at Deakin University.

Headline Links: ‘Too fat for Paris’

Related Topic: ‘French Fashion Industry Joins Move to Ban Extremely Thin Models’

Reference: Top male models


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines