Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Disturbingly Prepubescent Berroco

Berroco has released a lot of new patterns in the past few days, including this book, Berroco Weekend.

I really like the designs... they're simple and will work for lots of figures (albeit the size range, as always dammit, only goes up to a 52-inch finished bust size).

My real frustration though is the model. She's very cute. But c'mon! She has the figure of a prepubescent girl. The last time I was built like her was in fourth grade. By fifth grade, I had larger breasts and hips than this chick!

I wouldn't hope or dream that Berroco would use plus-size models, but how many knitters in America wear a size -200??? This chick is SO thin and non-curvy she could model Berroco's children's clothes. If Berroco won't use real bodies as models, couldn't they at least use realistic ones?

Norah Gaughan (shown below), the incredibly talented lead designer at Berroco, wears a size 16. Don't you think she would get it? Based on the book's waif-like model, I don't think she could imagine herself in a single garment. I sure can't.


  1. I totally agree. This girl has the body of a 12 year old, and as cute as she is, I can't visualise these sweaters on my body. Since Twiggy (spelling?), models with womanly curves have disappeared and are now replaced by girls shaped like boys, no hips, no breasts. Like if a curvy woman body was something to avoid, hide or be ashamed of. I wonder why they don't just use a hanger. Maybe it is just easier to design with no darts and not a lot of shaping. Oh well...Go figure... or should I say: NO figure!

  2. Three cheers. I totally agree. It not only bothers me that there is no reality to the way these garment will look on the average women but it also really bothers me that these child-like models are posed in with come-on looks. Now that I have young teen granddaughters I find it so offensive and feel it really give the wrong message to todays young women.

    Geri G

  3. My first thought, when I saw the model in the pictures on Ravelry, was that she looked disturbingly like my ULTRA-SKINNY 7 year old daughter with darker skin & hair! We have worked for 5 years to help our daughter gain weight (adopted from Russia at 25 months, 15 pounds & 27"). Nothing has worked, tho she is now closer to the bottom of the weight charts! Gabby hates it that clothes never fit her right. I wonder if this model had the same troubles when she was younger? I would MUCH rather see women of ALL sizes in the knitwear, then we can get an idea of how it will fit different body types.

  4. I am shocked to read your words about N. Gaughan
    wearing a size 16. I could swear she wore a 20 or above by seeing her model her new pattern! If I, a finished 54 bust wore her new jacket, I'd look like a basilica!

    As for the patterns on the Twiggys...how do you find the size of these patterns? I couldn't. I just figure the ads are being geared to selling to the younger set of smaller size.(I was wearing plus sizes in middle school, so am used to just overlooking and skipping over these ads)
    HOWEVER....the model is way way too thin and is an encouragement to the girls starving themselves as many skinny models do.
    What bothers me is that this is not a very YOUNG model, but is an older gal dressed up and looking like a teen with an 'I am so innocent and cute-come get me' vibe around her!
    good post today, julie!

  5. 100% agree. And who needs to wear a vest when in summer clothes and barefoot, hmm?

  6. My dd is only 10, but she is very thin. I used to be that way when I was younger before children. She is also a dancer. She can never find clothes that fit her properly either. She is very tall for her age so she needs extra length. She is very thin, but has dancers legs and a muscular tushy. The graceful arms and neck of a dancer with the flat chest of someone pre-teen. I am at the other end of the spectrum in my weight at this point in life. I have always been curvy and tall. It is difficult to find nice things for my size either. Thankfully my dd eats what she wants/needs and doesn't get the girls who starve themselves. She is happy with herself. What we need is a society, and designers, that accept all shapes and sizes and help us look good at whatever those sizes are. I think the modelling industry has lost the Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford's who are stunning and curvy and eventually this will blow up in their faces--if we are dilligent! :) The only way WE can make a difference is to keep voicing our opinions and not buy things from companies who do this. Don't buy the magazines, patterns...etc.
    The companies will say there are too many size 0s out there to quit. But there are more size 16s and above--there needs to be a common ground for all of us. Until then, I keep creating special garments for my dd and hope to find nice patterns and things for myself. Thanks for sharing your post.

  7. To all of you: thanks. I am glad I am not alone in my concern and frustration. As Amberlee says, the only way we can change this is to vote with our pocketbooks and NOT buy books that feature waifish models.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading my blog, too.

  8. Me too, glad I found this blog. I totally thought the same thing when I saw these models. I tried finding out what larger sizes these patterns offer, but haven't found out yet. The yarn looks yummy, and I like the patterns, but darn they need to fit

  9. Cathy, thanks so much for weighing in on this issue. But most of all, thanks for reading! Please keep coming back.