There are so many campaigns going around these days about the evils of skinny models and Photoshop happy photo editors dominating the fashion market. I think it’s all ridiculous. Some people think I’m just taking the side of businesses in this debate, but I think that that is the only reasonable side to take in this argument, and here’s why…
1. People are over thinking modeling.
You aren’t supposed to look at a model and say, “That person is so beautiful! I want to look just like them.” You are supposed to say, “Would you look at that skirt? I’d totally buy that!” They are mannequins that can actively walk and pose. That is their job. While there are strict dietary guidelines, these women and men have bodies that naturally have unique proportions suitable for showing off clothing. Most people will never be as slender or as tall as some of these people, but that’s life.
2. Magazines and ads should be allowed to alter photos all they want.
Altering images of human form to emphasize the features that the culture finds most desirable is not new. Many ancient sculptures and cave paintings, from societies that struggled to find food and fight famine, portray obese gods and goddesses. Different societies around the world developed styles that emphasized proportions that were certainly impossible or at least very uncommon. Remember the Mayans and the ancient Egyptians? While photography and computer editing have only recently become available, how are the alterations made any different from those portrayed by ancient artists?
Now that I’m done counter complaining, I’ll offer what I think a good solution would be. Learning. That’s it. I don’t think it matters how many images of skinny or larger women the media crams into a girl’s head, they need to learn what they should look like. Girls should be encouraged to eat healthy and taught how to exercise effectively. They should learn about a variety of healthy body types and be encouraged to figure out how much they are meant to weigh (and by that I mean really…none of this BMI business). Girls should learn at a young age how to take care of themselves. Many people think the answer to this problem is to simply accept yourself as you are. While I agree that we should learn to love the bodies we were given, why should we continue to accept the abuse this allows for? We should love ourselves, but continue to strive for our own best form. Overeating and sedentary lifestyles are just as big of problems (if not bigger) in the United States as eating disorders. We shouldn’t try to persuade the people suffering from any of these problems to replace one for the other. People with eating disorders should learn healthy ways to deal with their stress and manage their weight just as overweight people should.