I am writing in response to Elissa Silverman’s article “Model Behavior” (8/11). As an intern at the National Organization for Women (NOW) and as a featured participant in the fashion show, I would like to thank you for covering our event. The pictures and title were great attention-grabbers and reflect the atmosphere of the day. However, I would like to clarify the purpose of the action. I believe Silverman failed to pick up on a few key aspects of the event.
NOW’s Love Your Body Day campaign promotes awareness of the media’s negative portrayal of women’s bodies. One of our major concerns is the objectifying nature of mass media. Unfortunately, the article that your paper published reinforced this objectification by referring to the models’ sizes as opposed to their messages.
The messages that we hoped to project revolved around personal comfort and loving one’s body in its natural state. The models selected their outfits because they felt comfortable in them or wished to make a statement with them, not because the clothes made them look “slim.” My outfit (a man’s suit), for example, accompanied a statement about defiance of society’s rigid gender roles. I wore it because I do not agree that men and women “should” be one thing or another. I did not choose the outfit because it “complemented my short, dark hair.”
National Organization for Woman