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15-11-2006
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Discussion - tFS' Weight Policy
A bit of back history..

Fall 2005
Extremely nasty weight comments and photo-shopped pictures flourished all over Supporting Cast to the exasperation of the SC mod team.
Warnings were given out, SC threads were closed and finally on 11-10-2005 *AndoraStar* pinned a message in SC, that made no-weight talk official.

Some members commented that they enjoy weight discussions. Some mentioned being interested in discussing the weight of individual models and celebrities, others that their interest lied in discussing it in the context of the fashion industry, arguing that it would be good to be able to question the fashion world and the beauty standards it imposes on us.

In order to accommodate this, the idea of a weight thread that would serve as a vent/exception to the rule was brought up.

The thread was to function as a discussion thread for weight related posts moved from mainly SS and SC, thereby keeping those sections free of any weight talk.

The thread ran successfully for a trial period of one month.
After the first month, the thread was evaluated and the mod team was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. This was also reflected in the feedback received from members and the thread was made permanent.


Summer 2006
The original thread is spammed as the thread had turned it into a diet advice thread.

A mod discussion thread is made on the weight thread because it is growing increasingly hard to moderate.
One problem the team is facing is rather unspecific thread rules that leaves a lot open to the interpretation of members/mods.


Fall 2006
There is a new focus in the weight thread. Personal experiences with eating disorders are suddenly discussed, as well as discussions about drug use in the modeling industry. Some members voice the sentiment that many threads in SC are pro ana and thinspo as a result of the no-weight talk outside of the thread (eg it’s okay to say a model is beautiful in her thread, but to say that one thinks she is a stick figure will result in having ones post edited/moved to the weight thread).

One thing is very clear, the weight thread is not working the way it should.

Several suggestions are voiced :

- Clean up the weight thread, and make the rules of the thread more clear (no personal weight talk, enforcement with warnings).

- Delete the weight thread and ban all weight discussion.

- Delete the weight thread and instead allow a zero size thread in Trend Spotting AND a thread discussing the recent issues with zero size models on catwalk in D&C.

- Allow weight talk again everywhere across the forum as long as it is focused on fashion and style only. Any discussion on personal experiences, medical advice, dieting/weight loss recommendations or tips will still be edited. Weight related posts out of compliance with the rest of our tFS guidelines will be subject to editting as usual. Such guidelines include but are not limited to the following:
  1. Be respectful. It’s perfectly fine to disagree with others as long as it is done respectfully and maturely, but do not attack other members in your posts or comments. Name calling of other members is absolutely not tolerated here and may result in suspension.
  2. tFS is not a hate forum – continual negative posts in threads about models or celebrities will be regarded as trying to start a flame war and as such is grounds for a warning.

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Last edited by Curious; 15-11-2006 at 08:23 PM.
 
 
15-11-2006
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A very interesting comment was made on stylebites.blogspot.com

Posted with the permission of Style Bites

The Fashion Spot bans commentary on underweight models

If you're not familiar with the website, the Fashion Spot (tFS) is one of the most widely read and dynamic public bulletin boards on the Internet covering fashion. Chances are you've stumbled on it while doing a Google search. There's no better place to get the word on the street about everything from the coming styles to what people think about Paris Hilton on the cover of French Vogue. Want to become a fashion photographer? Check tFS forums for info. A stylist like moi? There are threads there for you? Aspiring to be the next super model? Advice abounds!

I frequently post comments there and, following the skinny model debate post-NYC Fashion Week, I decided to weigh in on a few faces I'd seen on the runway in the flesh.

We all know it: they were skinny. We read about it in the newspapers and have seen it on TV. A few figures were so alarmingly thin and I asked one of my contributors (SGT1025) to write about it for Stylebites. To date, that piece has been one of the most heated debates on this site.

So I was surprised when a few "she was really skinny...it wasn't even attractive" comments left on the Fashion Spot by me were removed and I was warned via private message by a moderator there not to post comments about weight and to review the posting policies of the site.

I did. Here's what the rules state:
The following are not permitted in any shape or form at tFS, and are grounds for warnings, suspension or a permanent ban...
7. Weight talk is not permitted.
What I asked the moderator in response was simple, while I understand the danger of allowing girls to chat about weight issues on the Net (one has only to look at the alarming nature of the pro-anorexia sites), how is it positive to restrict comments about how these frighteningly thin models look unnatural and un-sexy?

Since these "weight comments" have been banned, if you check the thread on any dangerously skinny model and you'll find plenty of comments which muse, "She's soooo pretty" ..."I wish I could look like her" ..."I'd give anything to look like her." A member could (possibly) write, "I don't think she looks sexy," but wouldn't be allowed to justify that with why ("because I can see her ribs").

Surely it's not the goal of tFS to encourage girls to adopt unhealthy eating habits or lifestyles but I'm concerned that they may inadvertently be doing just this.

The debate over models and their weight is important for 2 reasons:
  1. Because they are arguably risking their health to be "cast-able" for the shows and campaigns.
  2. Because they serve as body image role models for millions of girls and women around the globe.
In case you missed the story, that whole mess about Madrid banning models with dangerously low BMIs didn't come out of nowhere. In Uruguay on August 2 this year, model Luisel Ramos dropped dead of a heart attack after stepping off the runway. As a result of being told she could "make it big" if she lost a "significant" amount of weight, Ramos had reportedly been eating only green leafy vegetables and drinking Diet Coke for months, starving herself for several days before the show. (It should be mentioned here that Diet Coke is a staple of many supermodels, one of which I watched sucking down Diet Coke while she was running on the treadmill. Heinous.)

Argue what you will but more than a few of today's top girls and up and coming new faces are also starving themselves as anorexics or subscribing to laxatives and bullemia. What can I say? It's their career. They've been offered a way to make a lot of money if they can fit a prescribed mold and while they may be harming themselves it is their personal issue in the end.

It's the same lifestyle being passed on to regular girls and women that I find more alarming. Becoming more and more obsessed with weight, women are offered thinner and thinner models to admire. It's the worst within the fashion and entertainment industry itself, where I'm able to listen colleagues debate whatever latest no-carb, no-fat, no-fun diet they're trying this week to slim down even further, even though they already look better than great. As mentioned on MSNBC, Banana Republic and Nicole Miller in the U.S. are introducing sub-zero sizes to their lines to offer these women. I have to wonder, how many of these women are there out there for whom a size 0 is too big?

It's time to start a discussion about this. Where will this slimmest of the slim trend lead? When will women who are a happy size 6 or (gasp!) something larger feel that society isn't pressuring them to diet? Is the kind of dieting most must commit to in order to reach these tiny sizes even healthy? Will the pendulum ever swing back towards athletic or even curvy?

This is what I'm wondering today.

In the meantime, if you'd like to drop the moderators at tFS a message expressing your opinions on this weight talk ban, I'm sure that they'd be happy to start a discussion and hopefully the boards can be opened up to a more positive conversation about what looks beautiful and what looks otherwise.

Shake it up,
Stylebites

Note: If you would like more info on eating disorders please visit the Fashtastic for personal stories, factual articles, essays and links.

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Last edited by Hanne; 15-11-2006 at 04:01 PM.
 
16-11-2006
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To tell you the turth, i don't agree with the "Allow weight talk again everywhere across the forum as long as it is focused on fashion and style only" rule, and here's why:

ESPECIALLY on "style star" and "model" threads, they talk a lot(well used to) about weight. If i want to see what "insert celebrity" wore or pics of my favorite model and instead i find 100 posts (she's very thin, she's very fat, god she's disgusting, etc) about her weight, it's completely off topic and definately not the reason we made the thread. I never wrote anything about anyone's weight, except for one time when i said that i don't think Jessica alba is too thin (because i don't think she is ), and one member (who in a previous post, that i hadn't even read, wrote that she's too thin) attacked me by saying that i don't respect other people's opinion (see the irony). As you can see, people aren't mature enough to talk about things like that, they take it personally and they attack people with different opinions. It would be a constant debate, and we wouldn't be able to talk about clothes (which is why we are here in the first place ).

On the other hand, since most of the members want to talk about weight, it would be veary reasonable to have "the weight" thread. They can talk about weight (which will be on topic for once ) and everybody will be happy.
Just make the rules more clear as you've already pointed out.

So i think that the solution is, imho:
Clean up the weight thread, and make the rules of the thread more clear (no personal weight talk, enforcement with warnings).

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Last edited by FashionJunkie; 16-11-2006 at 05:50 AM.
 
16-11-2006
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Thanks for bringing this up, Hanne

I don't read and don't post on the weight thread anymore because of the this or that model is skinny/fat/healthy/unhealthy talk.
I don't know about deleting the thread, but I do think that there should be rules, because it was getting a bit crazy.

I was thinking about starting a new thread, something like a 'Body Thread' I think there is so much to talk about something as wonderfull as the human body. Talking about the way we see a body image, what the differences are in cultures and demographic groups etc. The way beauty is seen and, dare I say it, what we LOVE about the human body, ours and others.

I didn't start this thread, because I was afraid it would turn out to be another skinny/fat model thread.

 
16-11-2006
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^ I like that idea kan-i-ta. As for the weight thread- i think it started out one way and became a my- model- is -skinnier- than- your-model thread. I don't post there and only check in ocassionally but I think the best thing to do is make the rules clearer and promptly warn those that do not obey them.

I know there is concern with posting personal weight issues, but since I am interested in mental health, I find them interesting.

Thanks for opening this up Hanne

 
16-11-2006
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I think the weight issue latley is way to much I think nothing will change. I mean its not because u are really skinny that u have an eating problem. I have a 34,5 inch hip I'm 22 and 5'7 and Im perfect condition. I think what is becomming a bigger problem is the age of the models. johanna from supreme is not even 14 so I think its quit notmal that kids like that have a really slim body at that age. But when they turn 17-18 these kids will have a total diffrent body.

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16-11-2006
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I think we really lost track of what´s thin, and what´s abnormally thin. As I was saying in another thread regarding the recent and tragic death of the brazilian model, people in the industry calm their consciences by saying that some extra thin girls are naturally thin.

I know there are people who are naturally thin... Some friends of mine measuring 1,75 cms (around 5´8) weight around 50 or 53 kilos (I don´t know in pounds) and I can asure you they´re SKINNY!

So when a model sometimes way taller than that weights around 45 or 43 kilos...nobody with a minimum of knowledge in medical science can say that´s a normal weight, or a possible weight for a person eating 4 meals a day.
I don´t mean you need to eat junk. But even if you eat healthily: a little starches, some fruits, a little meat, some eggs, veggies and a little fat...you cannot possibly weight so little. NO WAY!

There´s no way we can go on believing these girls when they say: Oh! I eat like a truck driver!, I eat like a pig! I just had a pizza!

I mean one thing is being thin, even very thin, and another thing is having a weight that´s only possible by food deprivation.

Those are medical facts, available to everyone in the modeling-fashion industry. They don´t want to know, they like to believe those super skinny girls...just happen to be that way.


It´s time to wake up!

 
16-11-2006
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I think that cleaning up the weight thread option would be the best idea.

If weight talk was aloud every where the whole board would just be a complete riot, I mean even this thread is nearly verging off topic. and like Fashion Junkie said, in model's threads there would just be pages and pages of "shes thin, she anorexic, no shes just normal, haha look how fat her thighs are" which is not exactly the purpose of the Supporting Cast forum.

I've stopped visiting The Weight Thread now because I think its started to get a bit out of control and in some cases a few posts seem like personal attacks.

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16-11-2006
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It depends on the restraint involved, on one hand it's a clear design issue when governments start mandating policy that effects the budget of designers in terms of pattern drafting prodcedures and standard operations procedures...

On the other hand, it could become a fast and furious flame war of opinion and spite...

I'd love to discuss weight in terms of governmental involvement in the field, since their opinion could create a situation of discarding thousands of dollars in forms away from workshops or displacing them to the student market in high schools; though it depends and it would have to be moderated so on topic, the lines would blur between nervous humor, precise and colorful opinion among other issued for discussion...

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16-11-2006
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I created an lengthy opinion article series for MySpace and my personal library collection around the time I believe Spain mandated the weight of runway walkers in their country and let out all of the emotion months ago about governmental impact on the industries of patternmakers and apparel designers among others and how it could affect the economy...

Yeah, I'd say that's a bit different than a young woman stating Kate Moss is a coked out you know what.... the reason the Fashion Spot policy is likely in place to a degree...

Nutrition advice might be nice here since I'm writing a column as a semi-professional former athlete and someone who's decided to turn the coming middle-age blues around this past 30 days and begin a weight training program...

There are many models here and nutrition advice could be helpful as it relates to weight discussions, though very technical and likely it would take one or two sharp comments to spin everything way out of control...

If more people were interested in moderating the thread alone, then it could be a great thing with judgement, or perhaps someone directing a bit of the conversation to hold it to be somewhat related to something of use and education of one's self and others...!

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Last edited by TheDesignStudent; 16-11-2006 at 02:07 PM.
 
16-11-2006
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Personally, I think the current policy is waaay too harsh! I mean, even one tiny little comment about a model's weight is deleted! I think that moderation is a good thing, but it's gotten to the point where you can't even truly speak your mind within someone coming along and editing it. Models and celebrities are public domain by choice, and I think that commenting on their weight isn't a bad thing. The whole point of fashion, at the end of the day, is to get people to buy products. As consumers, we have a right to judge what's being presented to us.

Deleting the weight thread and banning all weight talk would basically turn this forum into something that I don't want to be a part of. I loathe censorship, and doing that would be taking it too far.

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16-11-2006
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I would get rid of the weight thread. The conversations go round and round in circles and everyone says the same thing a thousand times over. AND some models/celebs are getting targeted and its not fair.

Weight is not relevant to fashion. YES one can comment on how body shape affects clothing but to start pointing out who has lost/gained is futile. Fashion is a passion..and I though TFS is about expressing ones love for the industry. How is weight talk anything to do with that? We are affected by the clothes because we wear them..at the end of the day I dont have a hard nights sleep over a model's body shape..but I sure do have nightmares over leggings.

 
16-11-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieRL
I would get rid of the weight thread. The conversations go round and round in circles and everyone says the same thing a thousand times over. AND some models/celebs are getting targeted and its not fair.

Weight is not relevant to fashion. YES one can comment on how body shape affects clothing but to start pointing out who has lost/gained is futile. Fashion is a passion..and I though TFS is about expressing ones love for the industry. How is weight talk anything to do with that? We are affected by the clothes because we wear them..at the end of the day I dont have a hard nights sleep over a model's body shape..but I sure do have nightmares over leggings.
Amen to that!

I love fashion and I love the human body, it is about the shape for me, in fashion al kinds of shapes can look really good and attractive, and the same is true for people.

So I would say...check out the Body Thread..

 
16-11-2006
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I think the weight thread should be cleaned up and monitored more. I posted in there the other day and to be honest some of the stuff in there is so uninformed it is untrue.

If weight discussion were allowed across the forum it would just clog up the threads. At least if it all stays in the one thread it can be moderated easier.

I liked Kan-i-ta's idea for the body thread and feel that it can be alot more positive.

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16-11-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieRL
I would get rid of the weight thread. The conversations go round and round in circles and everyone says the same thing a thousand times over. AND some models/celebs are getting targeted and its not fair.

Weight is not relevant to fashion. YES one can comment on how body shape affects clothing but to start pointing out who has lost/gained is futile. Fashion is a passion..and I though TFS is about expressing ones love for the industry. How is weight talk anything to do with that? We are affected by the clothes because we wear them..at the end of the day I dont have a hard nights sleep over a model's body shape..but I sure do have nightmares over leggings.
Weight isn't relevant to fashion? Then why are there strict limitations on a model's height and measurements? If weight wasn't relevant to fashion, there would be no need for this thread. ANd I agree with some of the threads turing into thinspo. I can go into Vlada's thread and post a million times saying "OMG, she has an amazing body, she's so delicate and perfect, etc, etc" but the minute I say, "I don't like her body, it's too thin", it's censored. I dunno, I must be the only person who thinks that censorship (in any form) is truly awful. I understand that there needs to be rules, but this is a FORUM where people can discuss things that are relevant to them. It's not a FORUM anymore where every comment you make is watched and edited for content.

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