Attention to all those sporting neon jelly shoes, scrunchies and flannel: your 90s prayers have been answered ’cause MTV’s “House of Style” is back in action. Amidst our own nostalgic excitement (BRB getting my slap bracelet and choker), we stumbled upon an episode highlighting the whack standards of beauty in the model world — as told by the supermodels themselves.
Quick history recap. MTV’s “House of Style” first aired in 1989 and soon became THEE insider place to learn about all things fashion and music, a place where host Cindy Crawford went shopping with Duran Duran, Naomi Campbell applied zit cream, and Destiny’s Child chilled backstage at the VMAs. At times, the series also focused on serious contemporary social issues, such as AIDS awareness, body image and eating disorders.
In this particular episode from 1993, supermodels Naomi, Cindy, Linda Evangalista, Christy Turlington, Lauren Hutton and Beverly Johnson chat about the misleading portrayal of models in magazines, the “flaws” that made them famous, and their frustrations with the business.
They also discuss industry racism. Naomi mentions magazine editors that have told her repeatedly, “You can’t be on the cover because you were on the cover three years ago and we can’t have another black model on the cover right now.” Naomi also sings hers praises for Iman and Beverly who paved the way for young black models, pointing out that Beverly was the first African-American to grace the cover of Vogue in 1974. Check it:
What got to us the most is that these issues are still crazy relevant 19 years later. According to Half of Us, our society has become increasingly obsessed with weight and physical appearance, with more and more people dieting and taking extreme measures to shed a few pounds. It’s time for a reality check. Just like Cindy Crawford said: the magazines don’t tell you that the beautiful girl you see on page 25 legit spent five hours taping her boobs, squeezing into a dress, and getting her hair did. Amen. And can you please pass the cookies?
If you can’t get enough of vintage fashion, models and music, be sure to watch “House of Style: Music, Models, and MTV,” a 22 minute short doc chronicling the history of the series and its influence on stylish singers like Azealia Banks, Rita Ora, and Kat Graham. And if you have a sudden urge to know everything about 90s fashion dive into the “House of Style” archives.
And check out Half of Us if you are concerned that you or someone you know is grappling with an eating disorder or other emotional issue.
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