Eating Disorders In The Fashion Industry
In the fashion industry, models are constantly being put on the spotlight. So being thin is part of their job this can lead to serious health issues. Not just in models, but also in the women and men that see the models all over the media. Fashion is all over the world, but there’s one place that almost all of the famous designers come from. Europe is known for starting fashion trends that others quickly follow. Models in France do extreme diets and go through mental scarring to be “paris thin”( Katherine L., and S. B. Austin.).
Israel, Milan, and Madrid are other European cities that don’t give the required attention to eating disorders in their models. Even though they do have laws about models having a BMI (Body Index Mass) of 120 pounds, and having to be over the age of 18. But with the whole world watching it’s not a surprise to see models starve to look “perfect”. ‘It is my job not to eat'(Katherine L., and S. B. Austin) was stated by a runway model during an interview with Vogue.
Social media is a blessing but also a dangerous place. Some eating disorders can be developed due to negative perceptions of body image on social media. Back in 2017, there was a hashtag called “thinspo” that was popular in many social media platforms. The social media platform called Tumblr was notorious for having a large community of people who followed “thinspo”. This community consists of people who liked to post pictures of extremely thin women and men. They also shared dieting tips, meal plans, and recipes for low calorie meals. They would also share their struggles and achievements with their weight loss. Many of the girls posting pictures of themselves looking worryingly thin. Tumblr has tried to stop this type of content from being posted and spread on their platform. In fact there’s a community of people called thinspirationals that share their eating disorder transitions and discourage getting help (Chloe Angyal).
The Council of Fashion Designers of America have issued new terms of agreements so that whenever anything related to thinspo is posted then very quickly it is blocked and the account is deleted.“The Council of Fashion Designers of America recently issued a series of guidelines aimed at minimizing professional factors that could contribute to the development of eating disorders in models”(Wintour, Anna). But thinspo is only the tip of the iceberg and it is much worse the deeper you search on the internet to find material related to thinspo and glorifying eating disorders. On social media, many famous singers, actresses, models and influencers who show there body on social media can give young girls a negative image about their bodies. It is crucial for social media platforms to do as much as they can do to protect young people from these negative influences. More companies are now promoting body positivity so that men and women can feel perfect just the way they are.
Now that more people are starting to promote body positivity the fashion industry has received major backlash for keeping models so thin and unhealthy, it seems that the future is looking bright. More people are starting to promote the idea that loving your body is important and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Judging others based on there weight or looks is quickly met with backlash from angry men and women on social media. It is crucial that we teach young people that being healthy is more important than looking exactly like those models on the runway shows. Aiming these problems can help decrease dysregulated eating behaviors and body dysmorphia (Treasure, Janet L., Elizabeth R. Wack).
Though many don’t necessarily agree with this point of view. Some think that the body positive movement is leading to a problem regarding another eating disorder that is not as widely talked about like anorexia, binge eating disorder. This eating disorder usually leads to obesity and can be deadly. Some people who are obese will use the body positive movement as a shield to protect there unhealthy lifestyle and some have even capitalized from this.“Models are thin. But I do take my position seriously and I wouldn’t want to use very skinny girls.” (Crocker, Lizzie) . It is a deadly disorder and it is critical that people realize that being healthy is the most essential thing. Being overweight and underweight are severe problems and neither one should be glorified. As a society we grow and educate ourselves and we change. In the future, we could see a world where models are not promoting an exaggerated thin physique and instead models are regular healthy average women. This would in turn teach young women and men to be confident in the way they look and have a positive body image.
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