Unhealthy Body Image

PLUS Model Magazine recently released a shocking photo shoot that compares plus-sized models to the average model. One of the photos shows plus-size model Katya Zharkova, link a size 12, abortion embracing an anonymous “average-sized” model. Initially, I thought this picture was perhaps a mother embracing her child. Instead, this picture is followed through with shocking statistics revealing that the body mass index of most runway models fits the criteria of a victim of anorexia. To put things in perspective, the magazine goes on to compare how fashion model’s twenty years ago weighed less than 8% of average woman, but now the gap has widened to a whopping 23%. What is even more disturbing is the fact that plus-sized models ten years ago averaged between a size 12-18, but now the average plus-size model has expanded into including sizes 6-14.

Who is to blame for the rejection of the female physique? Some blame the fashion and film industry, while others argue that the indoctrination of an unhealthy body image starts with the seemingly innocent Barbie doll. Typically, the average woman weighs around 140 lbs, wears a size 14, a waist between 30 and 34, hips between 40 and 42, and a shoe size that fall between 8.5 – 9.5. On the other hand, if Barbie were a real woman, she would weigh 101 lbs, wear a size 4 dress, her waist would have the same circumference as her head, and her hips would be a size 33. Translated, Barbie’s head would only have room for half a liver, a neck twice as long as the average female neck, legs twice as long as her arms, and a chest that pulls her down and forces her to walk on all fours since her feet are disproportionately small. Hot, right? Yeah right…..

If you are one of those few who scoff at twisting a child’s plaything into something far more sinister, then consider the impressionable subconscious state of a child. There is a reason for children appropriate shows, toys, and books. So why not factor in the thought process of a young girl who equates “Barbie” with “beautiful.” Does this mean you have to throw out all Barbies and anything pink, sparkly, and soft? No! Just talk to your daughter about beauty, health, and personality by opening up dialogue before the advertising industry teaches your daughter on what it means to be beautiful. Dove’s commercial  – “Onslaught” – beautifully sums up the disturbing message media sends to women everywhere. Sincerely, Aiysha