What is the ideal beautiful body? With the latest link between wafer thin models and eating disorders, it’s a question that deserves a moment of consideration. Millions of people are exposed to a barrage of skinny images of women on the cover of fashion magazines. Is it really the body image we should be striving for?
While many models are starving themselves to meet advertising expectations, many don’t believe that being underweight or anorexic is beautiful, and it certainly should not be idolized. Acting on this sentiment, Israel made a landmark decision to pass a law that requires their high fashion models to have a medical report showing that they are not malnourished. Models are now required to have a body mass index of at least 18.5. On a 5-foot,8-inch tall model, that would be 122 pounds. All this is to promote a healthier body and beautiful ideal in their society.
Time will tell if our own government will take on our American advertising industry. But, in the meantime, when you see those magazines, at the grocery store, ask yourself, “does the model look healthy?” What is this publication selling: fashion, diets, exercise? If you would have to take your body to extreme levels to look like them, maybe that is not a natural or healthy look. Redefine what is beautiful and healthy for you.
Healthy Futures offers body image counseling, nutrition counseling, exercise consulting and other types of counseling for individuals, groups, couples as well as families. Contact us today for more information on our counseling.
Anchor: “New at 10,” there’s been a lot of talk between the link between wafer thin models and eating disorders, but now one country is doing something about it.
In what’s being called a landmark decision, Israel has a new law requiring models to have a medical report showing that they’re not malnourished. They have to have a body mass index of at least 18.5, which is considered to be in the healthy range.
This is the first attempt by any government to tackle the fashion industry’s connection to eating disorders. The question here is, could something like this work here in the US? Would the US even consider something like that? William Pitts spoke with those in the fashion industry. Will?
William Pitts: Surprisingly, everyone we talked to today thinks it’s a great idea. Arguably, the models here in Arizona aren’t the ones that are being targeted by this. It’s high fashion, where models are supposed to be clothes hangers.
Will: Raise your hand if you look like this. No? You’re not alone. Lots of people want the model body, and that’s fine. It’s when you start starving yourself to look like this that there’s a problem.
Alexa Rizk: I know that people look at these super models and they want to look like that and we understand that, but they need to understand that that’s not reality. These people are being airbrushed and there’s Photoshop.
Will: The Ford Robert Black agency sends models around the world. Depending on the job, there can be pressure to be thin, maybe too thin.
Alexa: They’re asked to lose weight and fit into the fashion clothes. The fashion part in New York is much more about looking like a hanger.
Will: That’s why lawmakers in Israel passed a law banning skinny models. Too many malnourished women and others trying to be just like them.
Rachel Adato: Beautiful is not underweight. Beautiful shouldn’t be anorexia.
Jeanne Phillips: I think it’d be fabulous. I think we have to not promote dieting and fitness as being the beauty ideal.
Will: Jeanne Phillips councils people with eating disorders. It’s more than just wanting to be thin but a constant barrage of skinny images doesn’t help.
Jeanne: You go to the grocery store. What the latest diet is out there. How you can lose 30 pounds in 30 minutes. You too can look like this movie star or that movie star.
Will: Agencies like Ford Robert Black say they have a bad rap. They’re just providing what advertisers want. That doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about their models.
Alexa: We said, “You don’t look good. It’s not looking well like that. We have to sit down with those people and have a serious conversation about your health.”
Will: The magic number in Israel is a body mass index number of 18.5. For me at 6’3″, that’s only 150 pounds. For a woman about 5’8″, that’s 122 pounds. In the information center, William Pitts, “12 News.”