Disturbing or Legendary?

The other day I was reading the Huffington Post on my way to work, and skimmed through a crazy image of Stella Tennant on the cover of Vogue Italia’s September Issue. This is the image, and oh boy, is it avant-garde?!

But then it has an explanation – the cover is channeling the image of Ethel Granger, a past Guinness Record holder for the smallest waist in the world- mere 13 inches, or 33 sm. Ethel’s image is too over the top for me – facial piercings and crazy proportions. There is nothing natural about it-

More photos on the page of Vogue Italia.

According to Vogue  the story goes that Ethel was bound in a corset for years in order to please her husband who had a fetish for wasp-waisted women. She was sleeping with a corset, wearing high heels and had multiple facial piercings, in order to “outshine other members of her sex in some way [as] this is a victory worth any amount of suffering”.

I have one word – disgusting. To be honest I am a bit repulsed by the story and the whole idea and message of it. It is not promoting a healthy values and balance of the self, but pushing the human boundaries for something that is simply ridiculous. Why do this to yourself? I completely understand the desire to be unique and fashionable, but the pictures of Ethel are simply disturbing and freaky.

Part of me is happy that Vogue Italia is telling this story, but another part is asking- how far are you pushing girls to go because of fashion? It is an interesting parallel because the June cover of the issue was graced with full figured models.

What do you think about the cover and the story of Ethel Granger? Disturbing or legendary?

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