The BBC sexual trade union mouthpiece finally brings a breath of much needed honesty to its reports, or at least its headline in this case :
From super-skinny celebrities to models with low BMI, people are speaking out about women they perceive to be too thin. But some experts worry this behaviour makes things worse.
This week, Israel passed a law banning models from advertisements or fashion shows if they measure less than 18.5 on the body mass index (BMI). It’s part of an effort to promote health for women of all sizes, and to stop glorifying the ultra-thin.
“Beautiful is not underweight,” says Rachel Adato, one of the creators of the bill.
In recent years, much attention has been paid to how women are portrayed in the media, whether it’s an overly airbrushed magazine model with an impossibly slim waist, or a TV starlet with protruding collar bones.
In an era when pro-anorexia communities congregate on social media sites like Pinterest, it’s no wonder that lawmakers are concerned with women’s body image.
For sure, reducing the number of images that portray women as very thin is beneficial, says Claire Mysko, director of Proud2BeMe, a website created with the National Eating Disorders Association (Neda) to promote healthy body image.
“There is a danger in being constantly exposed to one image of beauty,” she says. “There is a serious lack of body diversity in the media. People are not seeing themselves and their bodies reflected.”
It’s been claimed by homophobes that the use of ridiculously skinny models is rife in the fashion world because the industry is dominated by homosexuals – the nearest thing they can get to dressing up sexless boys in their favourite dresses.
I think it’s more likely that the fashion designers, and those who attend the shows and buy the magazines with the models on the front covers, simply want to see beautiful fashions associated with beautiful girls. Models tend not to be fat and ugly because nobody would even be able to look long enough to notice the clothes.
Despite what blank slatist feminist fantasists would have, men and women know what female beauty is, and it’s not a size 14. Having said that, neither is an anorexic 6ft model. So why are there so many fashion models like that?
Steve Moxon argues that eating disorders in adolescent girls and young women are a kind of psychological resistance to the awareness that one is changing from a peak sexually desirable menarcheal girl into a woman. I suppose skinny models could therefore be presenting the subliminal message to women that, in this dress, you too can be back to your young adolescent virginal self. Height isn’t noticeable on a magazine cover when the model is alone, and is even hard to judge on the runway. Long slender legs, and a slim girlish waist are more noticeable.
Ironically, the ban on young girls taking part in fashion shows and model shoots might be making the problem worse, if skinny models are a kind of replacement for the teenage girls who would otherwise predominate.
Regardless of all these thoughts, the fact remains that, no matter how tragic anorexia is, the problem of obesity is an immeasurably greater and more serious health issue facing children and young people today (both boys and girls).
To focus on slim models as ‘the enemy’ because it supposedly presents a ‘narrow ideal of beauty’, and to actively encourage larger women to be portrayed as an ideal in the media at a time when a fifth of children are already obese in the UK, is nothing short of child abuse, and one of the sexual trade union’s most wicked crimes against children.