Is it so wrong for the perfect figures of this world to admit that yes, they diet? And yes, they work out? And no, looking the way they do is not entirely natural or easy? As if driven by mysterious Gods of Honesty, one male model racking up the bookings in Milan — Calvin Klein, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Bottega Veneta — has done just this. A. J. Abualrub, a 22-year-old American model, confesses in the New York Times that he dropped 30 pounds for the show season. Described as “impossibly fat-free” by Guy Trebay, A.J. says his natural weight is “closer to 200.” He wrestled in high school and practices martial arts and has booked many more shows than expected in Milan. “I see a nutritionist,” A.J. tells the Times. “I only eat, like, maybe twice a day.” Well color us not-at-all shocked.
Why can’t more lady models admit that their impossibly fat-free frames don’t come without effort and willpower, either? Sure, they’re genetically blessed, but past a certain age, those bodies don’t come from eating chimichangas and bacon explosions or even Annie’s Pasta Shells all day. It just might make a few young ladies with eating issues out there feel better about themselves. The fashion industry might, at its core, be all about making people feel good about themselves. But God forbid it attempt to alleviate any young person’s body-image concerns.
And though the issue’s been beaten over the head, we’ll raise it again: Why do the men have to be so skinny? Recall the glory of the unlikely bear of a male model, Sergio Lo Re, in Vivienne Westwood’s spring 2009 show. Most of the guys on the runway — probably six one or six two — would look amazing if allowed that third meal every day. Perhaps not as resplendent as Sergio, but fabulous still.