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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Connector of the Day: Mira Nair

October 7th, 2009
08:06 PM ET

She is one of India's most succesful and prolific film producers.[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/07/art.nair.gi.jpg caption="Former Oscar nominee Mira Nair is one of Indian cinema's most successful exports."]

Now based in New York, Mira Nair has won numerous awards and has used her fame to help those less fortunate than herself.

Her debut feature film, "Salaam Bombay," was nominated for an Oscar and she capitalized on its success by using the proceeds to set up an organization that helps street children.

Educated in India and at Harvard University in the U.S. many of her films are considered controversial and provocative.

Currently engaged in a huge number of projects she looks set to be yet another fascinating Connector of the Day.

Post your questions below for Mira and we'll put as many as we can to her on Thursday's Connect the World.

Have your say on the 'size zero' debate

October 7th, 2009
04:36 PM ET

LONDON, England –- Join the Connect the World team this Thursday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. CET (5 p.m. GMT) for another live text chat - via Skype - with CNN viewers and Web users. [cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/10/art.anderson.cnn.jpg caption="Join Becky Anderson and the CTW team this Thursday."]

This week we’ll be discussing the “Size Zero” debate following a German women’s magazine decision to ditch using models in favor of “real women.”

The magazine’s move has thrown the fashion industry’s apparent preference for “super-skinny” models on the catwalk or in glossy photo shoots back into the spotlight.

Would you prefer to see more “real women” modeling the clothes you buy or appearing in the magazines you read? Or is the fashion industry merely presenting an idealized image of female beauty that shouldn’t be judged by real-world standards?

If you want to have your say then make sure you join in with Thursday’s chat.

The Connect the World live chat is powered by Skype and it’s free to sign up — all you need to take part is a Skype username.

Just click on the link from the Connect the World homepage.

If you have problems accessing the chat, please make sure you are using the latest version of Skype or check the Skype help pages.

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Filed under:  General

Are skinny models going out of fashion?

October 7th, 2009
03:13 PM ET

BERLIN, Germany - Brigitte, Germany’s most popular women’s magazine, says it’s to ditch using models in favor of what it calls “real women.”[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/07/art.model.afp.gi.pg1.jpg caption="Glamour's unairbrushed photo of Lizzie Miller caused a stir last month."]

“These will be women who are taking part in normal life,” says the magazine’s Chief Editor Brigitte Huber. “Women who have their own identity, a job and a name.”

No more full-page spreads then of super-skinny perfection. Instead, Brigitte’s inviting readers to send in their own photo applications and since the campaign launched on Monday, they’ve already received 600.

“Of course we’re still looking for attractive people,” Huber says, “but for women who’ve also got something to say.”

Her photographers and scouts will also pick prospective “real-life models” from the street. All will get paid the same amount for a photo shoot as regular models do now.

“It’s not going to save us any money,” says Huber. “In fact, it’ll cost us more. Production costs will be higher as these girls won’t know how to pose for pictures in the same way professional models would.”

But she’s hoping the venture will pay off and that readers are ready to accept more true-to-life role models.

Earlier this year Vogue’s UK Editor complained to designers that they were providing such small sizes on photo shoots that the magazine was forced to employ girls “with jutting bones and no breasts or hips” to fit the clothes.

Last month U.S. fashion magazine Glamour magazine sparked a media storm by publishing an unairbrushed photo of plus-size model Lizzie Miller complete with tummy fat.

Brigitte’s move adds to the recurring debate over whether size-zero models encourage eating disorders amongst women. But the catwalks remain dominated by the super-thin and designers still cut for small sizes.

Have skinny models had their day? Should the fashion industry use more normal-sized models? Do you care about body image? Send us your comments below.

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Filed under:  General