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The vanishing model

March 16, 2011

anorexic, anorexia, biny model, skinny model, anorexic model

After reading a thought-provoking post by a fellow blogger Catherine of Silhouette Girl, I was inspired to do the same. This is an issue on which I’ve been wanting to express my thoughts for a long time now. (I hope those who this is meant for are reading. Yes Tanya, you too).

For those of you who think that the model in the above photo has a great body, you’re wrong. Sadly mistaken. It’s not a body to kill for, it’s a body that kills. Being underweight can lead to serious health issues like osteoporosis, infertility, kidney failure and even heart conditions. Even then, the fashion industry insists on spewing out clothes on Kate Moss clones who accessorize with ribs, jutting hip bones, sunken cheeks and listless eyes.

It is a sorry state of affairs as reports state that including the young teenage models, 30% of the models have a BMI less than the acceptable 18. Fashion industry top brass defend by saying that they want to portray a picture of health and beauty and shun the gaunt emaciated look. Honestly, if skeleton models are supposed to portray healthy, then it sure is a scary definition of health.

But the real scare is not the ladies who walk the ramp, but those out there who are bombarded by and bombard on their sisters, friends, mothers, daughters, cousins and media that being beautiful is being skinny. About 53% of American girls report that they are unhappy with their bodies at age thirteen, which increases to a 78% till seventeen. Although anorexia and eating disorders are most common in teens, the disorders can start from an age as early as eight.

Around 15% of teenage girls have some type of eating disorder or eating disorder related behavior and more than 5 million Americans suffer from eating disorders every year, according to the NIH. Instead of pointing fingers, we should first change ourselves as victims of eating disorders admit to being influenced by popular media and peers. This has to stop. Around a thousand women die each year from anorexia. Who is responsible for their deaths? Media? Well, the media serves what the audience like. We are the audience. Unless we raise our voice against this atrocity, the numbers are likely to increase than decrease.

It’s proven that 5 to 20 percent of teens who have anorexia will die for reasons related to the disorder. Their whole lives are laid to waste for some cruel, disfigured sense of beauty. The ‘size’ factor is just a fleeting trend. The dialogue from Devil Wears Prada pretty much sums it up

Andy: Doesn’t anybody eat around here?
Nigel:  Not since two is the new four and zero is the new two.
Andy: Well I’m a size six…
Nigel:  Aha, the new fourteen.

Again I say, we are the only ones who can change it. Realize that women are beautiful no matter what shape or size. Look around, think of the people you know. What matters? Their size or personality? Educate those around you. You might just save a life.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 12:36 am

    Oh my god, that picture is horrible. 0__0

    Well, I’d argue that people (especially asians…) can have BMIs of 17-18 and still actually be healthy because there are actually people with extremely fast metabolism and they stay that way despite eating double the amount of the normal person. Despite that, it’s true that a lot of models are too thin.

  2. March 17, 2011 3:20 am

    great post, i just agree.

    i got the shirt by H&M :) good luck.

  3. March 17, 2011 10:28 am

    I really appreciate this post, I really think more people need to be aware of things like this. It was a very hot topic for awhile, and then it just faded away; people think eating disorders have gone from the mainstream, but they are very prevalent in everyday life, especially teens. Thank you for making this post, it was brilliant.

  4. March 17, 2011 10:24 pm

    Thank you for this post. I really like how you targeted the effect on the viewers as the true problem, and not just the effect on girls in the modeling industry itself. You’re absolutely right — it’s the viewers who need to make it clear that these images are not what they want to be seeing everyday. If it no longer sells, there is no longer any reason to continue it. Also, those are some pretty scary stats. 78% of girls unhappy with their bodies by age 17? Yikes.

    Halie

  5. March 18, 2011 12:40 pm

    Yikes, this photo is even more terrifying the more I see it. :(

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