Slight derail, but I had a lightbulb moment some years ago when I went to a real fashion show and saw runway models in action.
I realized that models are tall and thin because you're not supposed to look at them -- you're supposed to look at the clothes they're wearing instead. One of the models in the show that I saw had a hint of proto-curves showing, and when she walked down the runway you noticed a person (or at least a body) rather than focussing exclusively on the outfit. That's not good. It messes with the presenter's intention.
Once I understood that, I immediately stopped feeling uncomfortable about not looking like one of them.
Regrettably, the culture has somehow absorbed the idea that models -- who have to be thin because their job is, effectively, to be walking clothes hangers -- constitute some sort of beauty standard for other people. Of course, there's no particular reason why they should.
Hmmm.. not sure! if they were supposed to be so "invisible" how come they are always looking for a chance to stand out and become famous - to get themselves one of those fabulous advertising contracts for example, or take the leap to the movie industry? Think for instance of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bundchen, Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigova, Liz Hurley, Paulina Porizkova, Mila Jovovitch, Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford... let alone the additional chance to become a celeb's wife (like a footballer, soccer player, singer...) Therefore I think the idea of the "invisible" anonymous model belongs in the past (like, before the 1980's).
My opinion is that top designers give their preference to thin models, thus pushing that body ideal, because it's more difficult to create a garment for a curvy body than a lean one (on a curvy body you never know how a fabric will hang), and besides with thin models they save on the fabrics....... :lol:
But I agree with you in one point: that body ideal was taken universally to be the standard, for no valid reason. How did we let that happen??? What message are we telling our daughters, and if not exactly us, how come we are allowing "society" (or rather, certain economic interests - the fashion industry and the related press) to impose that standard on our children???