Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Big and Beautiful Silk Dresses

The healthy range of Body Mass Index (BMI) is from 20 to 25. The average for all English women in 1951 is reported to have been 24.4, within the healthy range but tending towards the upper limit. By 2004, the mean BMI had risen to 25.2 and the average woman was a little overweight. At the same time a typical fashion model had a BMI of about 18. It is obvious that this could not be representative of the typical Englishwoman and only a very small proportion of the population could relate to the models on the catwalk.
If BMI is a somewhat abstract concept, actual body measurements are easily understood. In 1951 the average waist measurement of Englishwomen was 70 centimetres (27.5 inches), and by 2004 this had increased to 86 centimetres (34 inches). How can a model with a 65 centimetre waist (25.5 inches) provide any indication of how a new dress style would look on the average woman?
But it's not only the average woman who yearns for adornment that is flattering, there are increasing numbers of women who are well above the recommended range of BMI. The proportion of Englishwomen who were considered to be obese increased from 17 percent in 1993-5 to 26 percent in 1011-13 and 45 percent of women now need dresses of size 16 and above.