PART 1: BODY IMAGE IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY
Body image. It’s a controversial topic. It’s really important for us as human beings to have a good mental representation of ourselves. However, a lot of people believe that the fashion industry is leading them in the wrong direction. Instead of promoting good body image, they push being “skinny” and really thin models, which, everybody knows, is not how the world works for the average person, especially the average woman. Pushing these unrealistic standards makes women feel like their bodies are not good enough or skinny enough, which can be very unhealthy, mentally and physically.
In an article by Fox News, they reveal the unhealthy and even dangerous methods that models use to lose weight. Fashion model, Kira Dikhtyar told Fox News that models use cigarettes, laxatives, diet pills, Adderal, and many other things to aid their weight loss. She has even heard stories about some modeling agencies that encourage their models to use drugs, such as cocaine or speed, to speed up metabolism and suppress hunger. When I read this article, I was shocked. Being a fashion merchandising major, you hear a lot of things about the fashion industry, some good and some bad. I knew about models eating cotton balls to fill their stomachs, but I did not know it went to this extent. It’s shocking. In another article on The Business of Fashion website, the editor Imran Amed brings up a really good point: if designers are trying to sell their clothing to women, who on average is 5’6” and curvy, why do they display their clothing on stick thin 6’ tall women? It just doesn’t make sense.
But alas, don’t write off the fashion industry yet. There have been advancements towards promoting positive body image. Women’s Wear Daily posted an article saying that Vogue publisher Conde Nast is taking measures by having the 19 editors of the international Vogues sign an agreement to promote healthy body image in their magazines and even in the fashion industry. Part of this agreement includes not working with models who are underage or models who appear to be unhealthy or who appear to have an eating disorder. Will it be abided by and to what extent? I guess you will have to decide for yourself next time you take a look through Vogue.
Another important pusher of positive body image have been bloggers. I recently came across a plus-size blogger, Nadia Aboulhosn, whose blog I absolutely love. She is a great role model for real girls. She’s motivated and hard-working and you can see that it pays off. In the style section from the Huffington Post, she wrote an article about body image in the fashion industry and I believe it’s worth reading. She gives four pieces of advice to young people:
1) “Focus on what you like rather than what you don’t like.”
2) “Don’t compare yourself to others.”
3) “Don’t give other peoples opinions importance.”
4) “Disregard the media.”
So how do you guys feel about this issue? Do you agree that body image is a problem in the fashion industry? Do you think that Vogue will stick with their agreement of the promotion of healthy body image? Do you agree with Nadia’s advice? Do you have any good advice yourselves? Let me know what you think!