I wrote a column this past semester, “Catwalk Society,” which lampooned various issues in the fashion industry, with a focus on those concerning modeling. The problems I described were pretty serious, I thought, and would require a total overhaul of our society’s way of thinking about race, body, gender, etc.

They would also be easily ameliorated by substituting runway models with actual cats. Aside from raising potential controversy over breed-ism as more elegant breeds like the Turkish Angora gain prominence over, say, the British Shorthair, which is chunky and grumpy-looking (and thus representatively British), I think it’s a pretty solid solution.

Problem 1: Lack of racial diversity


Cats have fur. Fur masks skin tone. What color is cat skin, anyway? Do cats have skin, or are they just skinless, boneless, soulless masses of fur quietly plotting our demise? All coat colors are welcome as well to fend off any possible allegations of discrimination.

Problem 2: Promotion of unhealthy body image


When I first took my cat home from the Humane Society, I was told that we didn’t need to worry about portion control because cats will stop eating when they’re full. Ne’er hath a greater lie fallen upon the ears of man, I found, as my cat’s cheeks swelled to alarming proportions before my mother found it in herself to take away the kibble bowl. No worries about body image here.

Problem 3: Use of “plus-size” to mean “size 8 and above”

Thanks to the siren call of Fancy Feast, my once-sleek orange tabby now weighs as much as a small child despite being just half the size of one. Enter the era of the gloriously rotund model, in which the integrity of designer clothing is determined not by its critical reception from the fashion industry greats but by its ability to contain the well-fed bellies of the felines that are wearing it.

Problem 4: Commercial exploitation of androgynous and transgender models

If you’re close enough to a cat to see its genitalia, you’re too close. Step away from the cat. You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?


Recommended Articles