[Glossed Over] The Skinny on J. Crew

photo from J. Crew Spring 2010 women's catalogue

Photo from J. Crew Spring 2010 menswear

The interweb is all abuzz about the newest J.Crew catalog. (I just moved and my catalog doesn’t seem to have followed me, so thanks to Sociological Images for the tip on this.) Were you to compare the apparent ages of these two models, you might think we pulled the first spread from a new tween line. But no. It is, in fact, from the women’s (as in grown-up) section of the catalog.

Even better: While the female model is, well, just a model (and apparently, one prone to dropping flower pots at that, thanks again to SI for pointing that out), the male models in this catalog are all real “green-minded guys:” Goat farmers, green roof designers, you get the idea, who are identified by name and featured in fancy Q&As on the website. Yet another opportunity for the green movement to act like it’s actually a secret no-girls-allowed club. (Remember PETA’s obsession with naked chicks and Method’s creepy stalker soap-bubble ad? Oh! Not to mention the Miss Earth Girls Pageant!) We love that. You’re welcome for all the checks I write, by the way. (Please stop sending the damn address labels already.)

Meanwhile, over on Salon, Tracy Clark-Flory posts about receiving an email chain outraged at the uber-skinniness of the latest crop of J. Crew girls — and shamefacedly admits that she didn’t even notice. Tracy, you’re not alone. I flipped through a few old catalogs I seem to be carting around and J.Crew ladies have been barely filling out their Matchstick Cut Jeans for years now. It’s interesting that the whole anorexic model fervor usually heats up during Fashion Week, when  hungry girls are up on every catwalk except the one where the token designer has hired the token “plus size” lady to close the show/make headlines for him — yet here we have one of the biggest mall chains (read: Supposed to be clothes for the rest of us) promoting the same disturbing standard all throughout the year.

Of course, J. Crew styles itself as couture for the mall shopper (with a much higher price point than Gap or Banana, plus those random $1000 coats that show up in every collection). And it’s not like they’re the only mid-market chain to use frighteningly thin models. (Hi, American Apparel. Hi, Abercrombie.) So it’s hardly surprising that we’ve gotten so numb to this look.

But it is scary.

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3 Comments

Filed under Beauty Schooled, beauty standards, Glossed Over., week 21

3 responses to “[Glossed Over] The Skinny on J. Crew

  1. Gawd I hate fashion more and more these days. I haven’t seen a JCrew cat in years. Haven’t been a fan since two of their items fell apart on me in college (i.e. broke students don’t like it when $$ clothes fall apart). Now I know I haven’t missed much of anything.

    And honestly, would it have been SO hard to find some real “green” women to dress up and interview?

    Also curious to know: have these “real” men been photoshopped beyond recognition?

  2. Marian sole

    He also looks old enough to be her grandfather.

  3. Merryn

    How horrific that she is depicted as confused / bemused over dropping the plant pot. A girl with such a low BMI would actually drop the pot because they would be too weak and dizzy to keep a tight hold on it! I wonder if they think being so thin is just all a part of being a cute silly little girl who stumbles around in Goldie Horn fashion giggling, being clumsy and looking confused. It’s 1950’s Gidget (right down to the rolled up jeans outfit) meets Nicole Richie anorexia 2000’s…. Whatever she’s growing in that pot, lets hope it’s edible!

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