the stereotype behind models and eating disorders

Topics: Nutrition, America's Next Top Model, Eating disorders Pages: 5 (1431 words) Published: December 12, 2013
Section One
Why isn’t it possible for a society to view groups of people without labeling them with harmful stereotypes? Stereotypes, commonly unavoidable, members of society continue to accept them. In accordance, all young women that become paid models suffer from eating disorders to stay thin. This stereotype deems harmful because eating disorders develop into a dangerous disease, and need treatment before death occurs. No career should risk one’s health or life.

Claiming that all young women that become paid models suffer from eating disorders is a stereotype that society develops a common misconception of. Paid models can be seen on the runways, on television, and even walking the streets. When designers dress these models in minimal clothing, their body structure becomes exposed for all to look at and judge. As a young woman walks down the runway with her small frame and bone structures sticking out, viewers are often quick to form a conclusion that an eating disorder explains their body structure. Although a number of models appear extremely skinny, another part of the model population includes healthy women with normal body types. Viewers and the media focus on the models that appear emaciated and malnourished, because the fashion industry becomes an easy target to blame.

With the conflict of focusing on body image, aspiring models may take their actions to far and develop an eating disorder so that they can fit the image of a stick thin model. Physical appearance is a key aspect of being a model; so young women focus on it and take charge of their body to make it what they envision it as. Body images become distorted as these young women criticize their looks, which will push them closer to developing an eating disorder.

America raises young women while being surrounded by influences that persuade them to recognize the importance of their physical appearances. Sources of media exposed to women include television shows, movies, and magazines. The media appeals to women’s senses and desires, and influences them to developing an idea of “the perfect body”, which in return, women strive to reach this perfection.

Young women that feed into the media and decide to change their appearances by unhealthy means are deciding to go down a dangerous path. Just because a famous model on the television fits into a stick thin size 00, does not mean that she had to harm her body to look that way. The stereotype that eating disorders became the cause of model’s body’s gives young girls false hope that they need to develop these disorders to look the same.

When discussing models in America today, Victoria’s Secret models formed into one of the most popular groups of young women models. It’s no secret that these women have thin and desirable bodies. Former Victoria’s secret model Kyle Bisutti “reveals . . . the dark side of the modeling industry” in her book “I’m No Angel (Adams, 2013, para. 1). Also included in the Huffington Post article by Rebecca Adams (2013), Bisutti talked about the “horrifying . . . behaviors” of models, and how “she was expected to shed even more weight from her already-thin frame (para. 3). Many models in the industry may experience other models harming their bodes, but may not take action because of the commitment to the company and their careers.

Previously, in an Article by Neil Katz featured in CBS News (2011), Victoria’s Secret model, Candice Swanepoel was criticized for being “super skinny”. Swanepoel “assur[ed]” fans that “she is fine” and “healthy and happy”, showing that not all small body frames are the result of eating disorders (stupid celebs, 2011, para. 3). The fact that Swanepoel defeats the rumors that she’s suffering from an eating disorder shows that she is comfortable and strong with herself and her body. This input defeats the stereotype of young models. Victoria’s Secret and “the fashion industry . . . has come under fire for promoting impossibly thin models”...
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