Did you know that the average height of a female model is around 5’10-5’11’ and weight is 120-124 pounds? When the actual healthy weight for women that is 5’10’-5’11 should weigh around 142-150 pounds, to me that is ridiculous and is a significant difference in weight (Evea). What the modeling industry has brought to society and to young teenage women is that apparently it is okay to be the size of a stick. I personally think that that it is completely unhealthy, and our society needs to do all that we can to try to change the view of teenage woman on their self-esteem, self-image, and confidence.
Teenage women need to know that having curves and meat on their body is normal, because the models they see on television, the runway, and magazines are absolutely unhealthy in every possible way. What do you bet; those models are probably wishing they were eating that juicy double cheeseburger you had for dinner last night from McDonald’s. One of the biggest concerns I have about what the modeling industry is that they are promoting images of models that are size 00-0. Who knew there was even a size double 0?
According to Reuters, 9 out of 10 women say that they are pressured by the media to be skinny. (Evea) I believe it’s very unrealistic for most women in America to achieve that kind of weight. Models portray an image that to be beautiful you need to be their size. Not only is it the models that are a big contribution to this problem, it is also the influential people that many young women look up to. There are people in the fashion industry that support and encourage the use of thin models. (Evea) A prime example would be the Chanel fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
Karl believes that the people that are opposing the belief of being thin on the runway are “fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly”. He believes that the rest of the world is “Just jealous because they are fat. ” (Evea) Because this Chanel fashion designer has a huge influence on the fashion world, people are going to follow his belief. (Evea) From my own experience, being in the retail business for about two years, I have witnessed young ladies and women that had struggled with picking out clothes because of their self-image.
When young ladies come into the store, they are looking for things that are tight and reveal the size of their body. A young lady will go in the dressing room with a size 0 dress, and come out and look in the full-length mirror and try to suck in. She’s very angered and frustrated that the dress is a little snug and she has to go a size up. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times this has happened, between young girls and older women. In my eyes, they look completely fine and beautiful.
But the things that these women have their mind set that you have to be wearing a single digit size, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I even have people ask me where I work at, and when I tell them Express, they quickly turn around and say “oh they don’t make clothing for fat people here. ” How discouraging. It really makes me sad, especially when women don’t think they are good enough to wear cute clothing sometimes because they are bigger. I know that the media and certain stores are trying to work on promoting the fact that having curves is okay by carrying plus size clothing, etc.
According to the Center for a New American Dream, many young teens and children are exposed to over 25,000 ads in a year. Companies are spending over $75 million marketing things that are directed towards teens. (Zeiger). Advertising and marketing are sometimes making the youth feel bigger than they actually are. In a paper entitled, The Media, Body Image, and Eating Disorders, it reads, “at least 60 percent of Caucasian middle schooler’s regularly read at least one fashion magazine.
” Because children and teens are exposed to so many advertisements and magazines, organizations focused on teens believe there must be an effect (Zeiger). I can definitely relate and understand to the youth of todays’ generation. I have noticed that the things these children and teenagers are seeing right now, and even early on, like school age children, are going to have an affect on them for the rest of their lives. What the media has been promoting to the youth is that you should lose weight to be attractive.
About 70% of the magazine articles have things of such matter. (Zeiger) The more the youth feels like they are bigger than they are, the higher desire they have to lose weight, which can inevitably lead to eating disorders. Mostly females are affected by the modeling and media industry because it makes the females think that just because you have the perfect body, means you have a perfect life. Which is very untrue, people who are aware that they are perfect just the way they are, are going to be genuinely happy with them.
But when you are that young and naive and believe all the media, you will be persuaded by it. According to UCLA’s division of Student Nutrition (& Body Image) Action Committee, “The media sets unrealistic standards for what body weight and appearance is considered “normal. ” Barbie is a woman that every young girl looks up to as she grows up; she has no fat whatsoever on any part of her body, but huge breasts. Did you know that if Barbie were life-size, she would stand 5’9” and weigh 110 lb.? Only 76” of what is considered a healthy weight for her height.
(Mcgee) Many young girls are aspired and believe that they should try to achieve this type of beauty and as they grow to be young adults, they are inspired by Barbie dolls, which then are replaced these with the fashion models. (Mcgee) Not only does the modeling industry affect women, it also affects men. According to Center on Media and Child Health, men can face the same challenge. If men feel like they do not meet up to the expectations they see in the modeling industry, they began to have lower self esteem.
(Zeiger) The modeling industry promotes that men should; have six-pack abs, acne free faces, toned arms, and tall height. When that image is what men see, they began to work out more, push their bodies to the limit and even take steroids. On the National Eating Disorders website they state that, in the United States, “as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. ” That number really doesn’t surprise me, these kinds of eating disorders just don’t happen overnight.
They are the kinds that are slowly progressing as more youth see images of these everywhere. Taking a closer look at the actual models in the industry, it also doesn’t surprise me that they are the majority of the victims that are affected by these eating disorders. According to The Telegraph, Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima didn’t eat solid food for about 9 days before the runway show. When Victoria’s Secret is a company that supposedly promotes models with curves, even their own models are victims.
(Whitworth) It makes me sad knowing that models are feeling pressured to be skinny, so Adriana Lima pushed herself not to eat anything other than solid food, which definitely isn’t considered a healthy diet. Diane von Furstenberg, the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America is trying her best to take the issues of eating disorders in the modeling world to hand. One of the guidelines that she has for New York Fashion week is that models are needed to be asked for ID on the day of the show, to make sure they are at least 16 years old.
And for the last five years, Diane has implanted CFDA’s Health Initiative. She says “We do impact the lives of women and we can set a strong example of a well balanced life on our runways” (Whitworth). But as much as she does there are still victims of these eating disorders. Crystal Renn, is a plus-size supermodel that wrote the book Hungry, which was about the early experiences she had as a model. Even when she had been revealing her skin and bones and her hips were even “jutting out at sharp angles and her face gaunt,” her agent advised to her that it would be in her best interest to lose more weight (Whitworth).
Which leads people to eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive workout routines (Whitworth). Even other models have given in to eating cotton wool or tissue paper to feel full and not to absorb calories. The fact that the fashion industry belief is emphasizing being thin is just ridiculous, unacceptable, and unrealistic. And there are numerous ways to stop this; The Council of Fashion Designers of America has created the CFDA Initiative (Evea).
The CFDA have ideas of immediately consulting a model that could be identified of having an eating disorder and they won’t be able to actual work until they seek professional help. Another way the CFDA is trying to contribute to the modeling industry is supplying healthy food during photo shoots and runway shows and educating both models and the rest of the industry on eating disorders” (Evea). In conclusion, I feel that the modeling industry has a lot to work on in helping women around the world feel comfortable in their own skin.
They can do this by promoting curvier women in popular advertisements, encouraging their models to eat regularly and not have certain restrictions having to do with height and weight that prevent healthy beautiful women from being able to model in today’s industry. Everyone should feel like they’re beautiful, no matter their shape, size, or race. The modeling industry can have a positive effect on women if they made these changes. Bibliography 1. Evea, Juliet. “The Effects of the Fashion Industry on Eating Disorders. ” fashionspirations. com. 7 April 2010. 20 November 2012.
Web. 2. Mcgee, Jasmine. “Unrealistic Body Image In the Fashion Industry. ” Voices. yahoo. com. 16 April 2010. 3 December 2012. Web. 3. Pearson, Catherine. “Fashion And Eating Disorders: How Much Responsibility Does Industry Have? ” Huffingtonpost. com. 13 September 2011. 20 November 2012. Web. 4. Whitworth, Melissa. “Model health guidelines for New York Fashion Week released by the CFDA. ” Fashion. telgraph. co. uk. 27 January 2012. 1 December 2012. 5. Zieger, S. “The Media Affects a Teen Body Image. ” Teens. lovetoknow. com. 14 March 2011. 4 December 2012. Web.