Sunday, February 26, 2012

Forget Oxfam, Feed Twiggy!

When Twiggy rose to fame in the mid-sixties, her tiny frame took the world by storm. At a height of 5'6.5, she was considered short for a model, her weight was approximately 41 kilograms, and her measurements met a tiny 31-22-32. Her boyish figure acted as a complete contrast to the traditional curvaceous and voluptuous body ideals for women at the time.
She says “You were supposed to look like Brenda Lee, very curvy and round, pointed breasts and pointed-toe shoes". Thus, it was only natural that she caused such controversy and received an endless mix of both criticism and approval.

In 1966, in the Daily Express article that was to launch her into fame, journalist Deidre McSharry called her "The Cockney Kid with a face to launch a thousand shapes". This young girl of only 16 would be the face that would not only challenge the traditional ideals of beauty, but extend them to incorporate all shapes and sizes.
Head of Vogue Magazine, Diana Vreeland saw only beauty in her: "the straightest legs, knees like little peaches, tiny narrow supple feet, rounded arms, and beautiful wrists and throat. She was both modern and romantic. She was perfect" She considered her the ultimate embodiment of "the look of the sixties.".

Many thought otherwise. There was an alternate view that Twiggy's figure had a negative influence on young girls, advocating an unhealthy body ideal, and that she was responsible for an increase in the amount of people with eating disorders such as anorexia in the population.
Marshall McLuhan said "Twiggy is an X-Ray. Not a picture", whilst President of Leeds Women's Shop, Mark Cohen, claimed that her legs reminded him of "two painted worms."
Almost as quickly as she began appearing in shoots for Vogue, bumper stickers and badges in day-glo colours of orange, yellow and green appeared throughout the UK reading: "Forget Oxfam, Feed Twiggy!"

However, the modeling sensation spoke out against this. Though she was clearly underweight compared to the average person, she was not anorexic: "The irony is that I've always loved my food - even including wicked things such as sticky toffee pudding and buns."
"I was very skinny, but that was just my natural build. I always ate sensibly - being thin was in my genes," she claims, "I always got blamed for inventing anorexia, but I ate like a horse. I just couldn't put on weight."

(Information: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. )

(Images: 1. 2. 3. )

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