Saturday, 8 December 2012

Why Is It We Can Admire The Natural Beauty Of Nature But Not Of Ourselves?

Over the past 40 years the people we look to as representatives of ‘beauty’ have been getting thinner and thinner. We’ve gone from admiring the voluptuous curved figure of Marilyn Monroe in the 1950’s to this...

What’s natural about that? It’s really no wonder that the amount of teenagers with eating disorders has massively increased by 400% since 1970. Yet we still see models like the one above constantly advertising our favourite products on the TV, in magazines and blown up on billboards. Is that why you bought that dress last week? Or the pair of jeans last month? You’re purchasing the goods worn by size 0 models hoping they’ll look as ‘good’ on you. The bottom line is… they won’t. It’s due to the major influence of fashion industries such as Vogue that you, as a human being, feel it matters what crowd you sit with at lunchtime, or what your best friend looks like. What happened to the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’…?!  The obsession with body image has left everyone feeling uncomfortable in their own skin.

Currently the average UK dress size is a 16, meaning today’s models weigh on average 23% less than the average woman. The healthy Body Mass Index for women is considered between 18.5 and 25. Yet the fashion industries still use size 0 to promote their goods, this seems absurd and something clearly needs to be done. Size 0: “31.5 inch bust, a 23 inch waist and a hip size of 34 inches”, giving the average model the BMI of only 16. This is pretty close to being classed as starving. (BMI of 15 or under) Next they’ll be using African children suffering from malnutrition, with skeletal limps and haunting eyes to promote the products you use and love. Would you want to buy it then? Or would you feel sympathy. Sick. Or maybe consider yourself lucky you don’t live in poverty?

The pressure young girls are feeling to look a certain way is increasing all of the time and it doesn’t help that stores such as Abercrombie and Fitch even sell size 00. This shouldn’t be allowed. The number, 00 isn’t even mathematically correct yet they’re allowed to stock it. Worst of all, they don’t mind that adolescent girls growing up aren’t only aiming to be size 0 but aiming for the impossible, size 00. 
In reality we are all, as women, aiming to look like someone who doesn’t even look as they appear in the advertisements. I’m sure if you were photo shopped you’d be able to look as ‘ill’, oh sorry I mean as ‘glamorous’, as they do.  All of the images that reach us daily have been edited and adjusted in some way or another in order to manipulate us into buying goods. Well done you, you’ve fallen for it. Hook, line and sinker. 

Photographers no longer need to rely on their models to look good in the photographs they take. They only need to rely on their ability to Photoshop the images… To elongate leg length, change skin tones, slim down waist lines, banish flaws, etc…By industries airbrushing the shit out of their models they’re raising the bar to a standard that nobody can live up to in reality. Teenagers need to be protected from the idea of having perfect hair, perfect skin and a perfect figure. I’m sorry to be the one to break the news to you, but no matter how many carbs you don’t eat, you’ll never look as ‘good’ as the adjusted Barbie’s above. 

On the 14th November 2006, Ana Carolina Reston, a successful model, covered all magazines and newspapers. Not due to her modelling ability but due to her death. A result of an evil battle with anorexia. Reinforcing how destructive the current perception of ‘beauty’ really is. Reston was the second model to die from an eating disorder in 2006, yet the media still continue to allow underweight models to promote their products.  Surely this shows you that the media don’t really care about you as their consumer! All they care about is getting the money from your pockets! 21 year old Ana had deteriorated from 8 stone to only 6 after ‘surviving’ on a diet of fruit juice, tomatoes and apples. Is this really a way to spend your precious life? 

Something needs to be done. Not tomorrow, not next week…now.  An end needs to be put to the horrible habit of girls trying too hard to look like photoshopped models by starving themselves so much their bodies begin to consume themselves.  We need to use healthier models in fashion shows and on the front covers of our magazines, stores need to increase the sample sizes of the products their buying in. The ‘ideal body image’ was once a healthy size, who’s saying that can’t happen again?