Think Healthy, Not Skinny

Thursday, March 1, 2012

There's a body image war waging on in our society. In one corner weighing in at 110 pounds and 5'10" is your average model. In the other corner coming in at 5'4" and 164 pounds is your average American female.  Each contender is vying for the chance to represent for all womankind, but one size does not fit all.  In our fight between our ideal body size and our actual weight, we're forgetting what really matters.

Every year around Fashion Week, I get all worked up about models and their weight. My concern is that many of them will go without proper nourishment to look skinny for a show. (It's similar to when a bride-to-be tries to lose weight before her wedding, but the ramifications are even worse.)  Even though the CFDA's health initiative has been in effect for five years, noticeably thin models still walk the runways and grace the pages of fashion magazines.  

If these young girls are looking for positive reinforcements to stay skinny, all they have to do is look online.  Try twitter for example. You'll find messages from models, entertainers, and from well-known fashion bloggers almost promoting being thin.  It's quite disheartening.

When I first started modeling, I knew a few girls who chain-smoked and were on laxatives just to stay skinny. After a few months of that regimen, they looked tired and emaciated. Those once beautiful models were now suffering from mood swings and a lack of energy because they gave in to the temptation to stay thin no matter the cost. It just proved to me that some women will go to extremes to maintain their girlish figures: dieting, surgery, and eating disorders.

According to statistics, the majority of models are thinner than 98% of Americans.  Yes many people in our society are overweight, but many fashionistas are just too thin.  We need to meet somewhere in the middle. The bottom line is- I would rather be a happy, healthy average-sized female than a sickly skinny model chick.

In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, what beauty standards do you think need to change to improve body image?



vonnie (socialitedreams) said...

def need a happy middle the 80s/90s model size 6. that was perfect and looked GOOD....not a fan of the skeletal frail look now, hasn't it been in fashion so long that it has become passe? trends change all of the time, this one needs to

Britney D. said...

You're 100% correct. I wish that more mainstream and popular brands that hire models for magazines and runways would promote being healthy by using models that are of a healthy weight (BMI between 18.5-24.5).