IMAT 2016 Q19 [Argument | Unrealistic Images]

In recent years there has been increased concern that fashion models reflect an unrealistic and unattainable image of femininity and that this has a negative effect on the self­-esteem of many young women. Many major designers continue to design for an exceptionally tall and flat-chested female frame. It should be no surprise therefore that there have been several cases recently when designers have favoured male models on their catwalks to model their womenswear. Rather than being a cause of surprise or concern, this should be welcomed as a recognition of the fact that these designs are unsuitable for most women and it draws attention to the major differences between catwalk fashion and clothing for the real world.

Which one of the following statements, if true, would most strengthen the argument above?

A. Some designers have favoured male models simply to generate more media attention for their collections.

B. Some female models struggle to maintain the necessary physique for catwalk modelling.

C. Some designers are recognising that the physique of many catwalk models represents an unhealthy ideal for most women.

D. Very few observers noticed initially that the male models were not in fact women.

E. Surveys of young women have suggested that the use of male models makes the typical model physique less desirable to attain.

Steps:

  • Find the Argument
  • Find supporting evidence in the text, this is needed before we analyse our possible answers.
  • Eliminate easy options
  • These will be the answers that are opposite to what you want (ex. Strengthen instead of weakening)
  • Determine which answer strengthens or weakens the argument THE MOST

The argument by the author is that these catwalk looks are unreasonable and unattainable for most women, so we should recognize and draw attention to this. This can be taken from the last sentence and it is pretty clear based on the language (‘this should’ = opinion). Now that we have what the author is arguing for, we can figure out that a statement that reinforces this belief of unrealistic fashion design and its comparison to clothing in the real world is unreasonable.

A Some designers have favoured male models simply to generate more media attention for their collections.

This would not strengthen the argument because it says that male models are used to generate attention and not because they fit the clothes better. This is the opposite of what we want because having men wear clothing meant for women because they fit them better, it shows that these clothes cannot be realistically compared to the clothes of everyday life because men and women have different body styles. Therefore A is incorrect.

B Some female models struggle to maintain the necessary physique for catwalk modelling.

This could strengthen the argument slightly by showing that these clothes are difficult to fit into and wear and many struggles to maintain their body when trying to wear them. This however may not be the strongest of connections, so before sticking with this answer, we should read all the other answers and then decide which strengthens the MOST.

C Some designers are recognising that the physique of many catwalk models represents an unhealthy ideal for most women.

This is similar to B, it does slightly strengthen the argument but it is not solidifying the relationship between catwalk clothes and real-world fashion. These answers are focusing more on the people wearing the clothes, rather than the clothes themselves. Therefore B and C are incorrect because they focus on the wrong priority.

D Very few observers noticed initially that the male models were not in fact women.

This weakens the argument because if the men were built like women or were mistaken for women, it would show that these clothes in fact could be fine for wear by most women. Therefore D is incorrect.

E Surveys of young women have suggested that the use of male models makes the typical model physique less desirable to attain.

This is a really tricky choice between B, C, and E. E is focusing on how one of the main audiences of fashion, the people to who these clothes are most likely being marketed, believe that the industry’s use of male models went as far as to convince them that the typical model physique is less desirable to obtain. That shows a huge difference between catwalk fashion and clothing for the real world because one of the main audiences just said that the body standards are so undesirable they are not even interested anymore. As a result, E is the correct answer.

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