Just when the “curvy” debate with regards to female models is heating up, New York magazine reports that display mannequin manufacturer Rootstein has debuted a new item, the “Homme Nouveau.” This “new man” has a 27-inch waist. The “classic” male mannequin has a 33″ waist; the average waist size of an American man in 2006 was 39 inches. But apparently, for men, skinny is “in” and “now.” But what is the cost of declaring a downsized and slender mannequin as more fashionable? What happens when you send the message that to be stylish is to be skinny? Women have been struggling with this for years, and some of us are pissed. Instead of being abandoned, is this ideal just getting traction? Consider this statement, included in the New York piece by David Colman: “All the mannequins out there are these beefcakes, and we can’t even fit our largest size on them,” says American Apparel’s Dov Charney, who is a size 29. AA’s denim Slim Slack only goes up to waist size 33 inches. And Leigh Cohn, author of Making Weight says: “The prevalence rates for women with eating disorders have not significantly changed over the years, but they have risen for men.” Body-shame and lowered self confidence: Now for everyone. So damaging, making physical characteristics — often dictated by genetics — “cool” or “not cool.” So sad. Article by Jezebel * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * This is truly awful. I knew it was going to happen, considering that there has been many new slimming products for men (example: Spanx), as well as a lot more pressure being placed on men through advertising and media in recent years. It’s unfortunate, though – as women have just begun to fight back regarding the abuse of our unique bodies, it seems that we’re paying less attention to men and they are still being targeted – more heavily than ever. American Apparel’s Dov Charney’s comment about most mannequins being “beefcakes” is one of the worst body idealization quotes I’ve seen (for more awful news on American Apparel, click here). And then to refuse to make jeans or certain clothing no higher than a certain (small) size?! This is insane, because if if the average man had a 39″ waist in 2006, you can imagine that the standard has gone up a bit, as we have gotten larger as a nation in the past four years. It seems that in fashion and other idealizing industries, the more society goes one way, the industries go the polar opposite, creating even more unrealistic expectations for everyone. The thing that scares me though, is that there is much less support for men than there is for women regarding body image issues. We need to remember that this is not just a female issue any longer. If there are any guys reading, I would love to know what you think about this! And ladies as well, I would love to know your thoughts!