Twiggy’s popularity not only influenced many people to try and imitate her look, but also drastically influenced the rise in power of models in the fashion industry. She was a role model and revolutionary for today’s top models, but her popularity also brought along with it the irrational image of the ideal woman. Twiggy was a major trendsetter in America during the sixties, even though she hailed from England. In the sixties, the thought of a model taking advantage of her success to start a fruitful business was completely revolutionary. ” Her influence is still seen on runways and television today among models like the figure of Kate Moss.
If these models exemplify ideal beauty, then the message is sent that today’s average woman just doesn’t measure up. She’s exactly the right look at the right time, and the right look is seventeen and starved. Twiggy is the pivotal woman who paved the way for the top models of today, and changed the image of the ideal woman as well as the face and body of fashion models. She reflects neither the cool good looks of Anita Colby in the 1930’s, nor the ‘tennis anyone’ freshness of Jinx Falkenburg in the 1950’s.
She may have positively affected the power of the supermodel, but her success became one of the underlying factors behind society’s obsession with ultra-thin bodies and the increase in women resorting to eating disorders.
By doing exactly that, Twiggy paved the way for models like Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, and Naomi Campbell, all of whom opened highly successful restaurants and endorsed exercise tapes, clothes, calendars, posters, and many other products.
From Twiggy to Kate Moss, the industry has been idealizing such extreme slenderness, placing an immediately negative effect on a “normal” woman’s self-esteem and encouraging them to hate their bodies, which eventually leads to dangerous methods of losing weight. Over three-fourths of professional models have body weights below normal and about one-fourth of them meet the criteria for anorexia nervosa, a life-threatening disease. When Twiggy was a child, her mother worried about her weight, and even took her to numerous doctors, who concluded that the thinness was simply a result of her body type.
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