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Old 11-25-2006, 12:05 AM   #46
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Originally posted by yolland

This was more or less what the situation with my student who died of anorexia last year was like, except that she avoided her family by doing summer school so she wouldn't have to go home...I don't know that we've ever kicked anyone out of a dorm, but we can and do require obviously eating-disordered students to attend therapy as a condition of staying enrolled.

See, to my knowledge my school doesn't even do this. We have a counseling center, but I believe in some cases, it should be required. If kids get caught breaking the alcohol or porn policies, they're required to go to sessions. It just goes to show how people in general are a) in denial about EDs b/c they don't understand what to do or b) are in denial because they don't realize that an eating disorder is a disease, it's FAR different from disordered eating, which while unhealthy and very damaging physically and emotionally, is not quite the same.


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Other than that though there really isn't much anyone can do, sadly--hospitalization and forced completion of an inpatient program can temporarily stave off the worst, but unless and until the person accepts that this WILL ruin their life if they continue to do it...and recognizes what an absurdly pointless waste that is...they'll simply resume the cycle once they're back out on their own.

I agree, but there really isn't any other option than forced hospitalization or treatment via intervention. It's not a behavior that can be turned on or turned off. In all of the cases I've ever seen involving diagnosed life-threatening anorexia, NONE of the girls showed ANY improvement until they were basically forced into treatment. The ones that were never forced, even though their families and friends were supportive and tried countless things to get them to change, died or to this day could drop dead of heart attack or organ failure at any minute.

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I had an obviously anorexic employee for awhile back when I managed a bookstore in grad school, and there wasn't much I could do about that either, short of occasionally giving her the meaningful-look-accompanied-by-a-pointed-"Let-me-know-if-I-can-help" spiel. So long as it wasn't interfering with her work performance, I really had no grounds for pressuring her to seek help myself.
I agree it's difficult and heart-breaking to be in these types of situations where if the person was a relative or close friend, you would force them, but since you're not close enough all you can do is sit back and watch. That's how I felt in the case I described earlier. The best I could do was talk to administration and try to talk sense into her roommates. I let them know that I felt that what they were doing was no better than enabling, like when a drug addict's friends gives her money she says is for food, but they know it's for drugs and keep giving it to her. That's what they were doing watching their best friend DIE and "praying" about it. So help me God, if I ever got to that point, PLEASE drag me to the hospital and put me in restraints if that's what it takes. Actually, I know two girls from high school whose families did just that and now they are over the eating disorder, very healthy young women no longer dominated by that need to maintain control. At the time, they went kicking and screaming, but you can see them actually happy today and know it was all worth it.

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It's true that overbearing parent(s) who taunt or ridicule their children can play a role in this, but there are all kinds of ways parents can inadvertently give their children the impression they need to be "perfect" in some way to be loved, and not all of them need be that obvious...thinking back to a couple eating-disordered friends I had in high school and college, one came from a family where an emotionally disturbed youngest child ate up most of the parents' attention and all three of the others wound up having serious problems stemming from feeling unappreciated, while another had a neglectful (not cruel--just distant and disinterested) mother and a doting but nerdy father who only knew how to relate to her through intellectual stuff, and kind of withdrew when she became a teenager and far more interested in noncerebral stuff like boys and music.
Exactly, which just points out that some people are just more predisposed to eating disorders. It's ALL about control. Food, weight, and looks are completely incidental. Someone like me, no matter how many people can call me fat and how bad I can feel about myself, could just never develop and eating disorder. I can't develop that level of control. I came very close one summer in high school. It got to the point where my life revolved around counting calories, not because I was actually concerned I was eating too many, but I could wake up in the morning and think "haha! All I ate yesterday and the day before was a row of saltine crackers! If I can do that, I can do anything..." After a month or so I lost focus and found other elements of my life that made me happy. I didn't NEED that element of control in order to feel worthy. It was never about looks or weight, it's a constant mind game and for those with eating disorders, it literally becomes and addiction.


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I'm not sure how much deliberately incorporating more average-sized women in modeling would do to change things, though--part of the appeal of those more "ideal" images is precisely the escapist, wow-wouldn't-that-be-nice! aspect of them...but, perhaps it would be more reassuring for many women and girls to see average-sized women portrayed as glamorous, especially if they saw that men find them sexy too. But then again, this leads you back to the Well-wait-a-minute,-why-are-we-placing-so-much-value-on-embodying-physical-appeal-to-begin-with dilemma. A reasonably confident person ought to be able to look at pictures of "ideal" women or men without being deeply distressed by the idea that Nope I don't look like that, never will, and neither does my girlfriend/boyfriend. Trying to redress that problem by "supplementing" the ideal with the less-than-ideal still feeds into that whole Being-attractive-is-everything mentality, and I'm not sure whether the tradeoff ultimately works in anyone's favor.
I agree. It kind of gets into the whole chicken vs. egg debate - do these pictures of skinny models cause more girls to become anorexic, or does the higher occurrences of disordered eating cause the skinny-model idea to exist in the first place? As I've said before, In my heart of hearts I truly believe that eating disorders are about control and that food and weight are a way to maintain this control. I think that if our culture didn't idealize thinness, then these people who become addicted to control would move on to whatever outlet they can use that our culture idealizes. Like say we preferred overweight women, but liked small feet. Anorexia would slowly fade and you'd get millions of girls and women destroying their feet in order to win their own mind game.
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Old 11-25-2006, 11:33 AM   #47
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I'm familiiar with OCD, and I've been in therapy groups with anorexics. I even take some of the same medication as OCD's. I can relate to alot of this even though I'm autistic and not anorexic.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:17 PM   #48
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I think the earth just fell off its' axis

WWD.com

PUTTING ON THE POUNDS: As the body mass index of runway walkers continues to make headlines, skinny models just might present a whole new problem for editors. Everyone has a story of a celebrity cover slimmed by Photoshop, but several editors have been quietly ordering the retouching of gaunt model shots to make them look, well, a little fatter. "A model shows up and you realize she's too thin and has lost weight since the booking, but the show must go on," said Allure editor in chief Linda Wells. "When the film comes to me, I realize I don't want to see hip bones and ribs in the magazine."

Enter the retouching process, which helps make the haggard look healthier. "If a girl shows up at a shoot and she's too skinny, a good stylist can pose her so that the reader doesn't have as much of a sense of it," said Lucky editor in chief Kim France. But, she added, "There are angles at which a girl's arm can look haunting."
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:42 PM   #49
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Maybe this will make them fatten up in real life. Maybe the world can be a healthier place.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:41 PM   #50
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What about that whole Tyra Banks situation too? That is unbelievable, and I applaud her for speaking out. I liked her already, even more now. She is a good role model.

ALBANY, New York (AP) -- Fearing that young models strutting down the runways in New York City are too skinny, a state lawmaker proposes that weight standards be established for the fashion and entertainment industries.

Bronx Assemblyman Jose Rivera wants to create a state advisory board to recommend standards and guidelines for the employment of child performers and models under the age of 18 to prevent eating disorders.

"New York City is one of the world's leaders in fashion and entertainment and we don't want to do anything to harm those industries," Rivera said. "At the same time we need responsible protections in place, especially for younger workers."

The world of high fashion and modeling has long been targeted by critics who say it encourages women and girls to emulate waif-like models. The November death of a 21-year-old Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston, who weighed 88 pounds when she died, heightened criticism.

Rivera pointed to a 2000 British Medical Association study that found a link between the images of the "abnormally thin" models found in fashion magazines and an increase in disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

"Eating disorders come from a combination of environment and genetic makeup," said Dr. Sharon Alger-Mayer, an associate professor of medicine at Albany Medical Center. "Being exposed to an environment with a lot of emphasis on thinness can put someone with a predisposition to eating disorders in a very high-risk situation."

The proposed board would include health experts, industry representatives, models and entertainers. It would report to the state Labor Department on the need for employment restrictions, weight or body mass index requirements, medical screenings, protocols to refer people for treatment and educational programs on eating disorders.

While Rivera's bill does not yet have a sponsor in the Republican-controlled state Senate, the chamber's majority leader, Joseph Bruno, has supported numerous eating disorder related measures in the past.

Bruno last year divulged that his granddaughter suffers from anorexia.

Earlier this month, the Council of Fashion Designers of America released a list of recommendations as part of a new health initiative to prevent anorexia, bulimia and smoking.

The guidelines, which are not binding for the industry, include keeping models under 16 off the runway, educating those in the industry about eating disorders and prohibiting smoking and alcohol during fashion shows.

The voluntary guidelines, however, were criticized by some because they were voluntary and did not include any mention of using body mass index, a tool used to determine if people are carrying a healthy amount of weight for their height.

"This is long overdue," said Lynn Grefe, chief executive of the National Eating Disorders Association. "I consider this a workplace issue. You have this industry that has really not been looking out for the health and welfare for those that are in it."
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:32 PM   #51
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Good for Tyra for not being afraid to stay stick-skinny, but man oh man, someone needs to dress her better on Top Model. She ends up looking like a sausage, packed too tight into clothes that clearly don't fit well. It's not about "this makes you look fat," it's about "Honey, this makes you look BAD."

{/shallow comment}
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:25 PM   #52
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Seeing that Tyra show made me feel so good, especially when she told them to kiss her fat ass. I applaud her-and she is also having two "plus sized" models on the next season of ANTM.

Will skinny-model debate trickle down?

By Jocelyn Noveck, AP National Writer | February 5, 2007

NEW YORK --She was a 16-year-old honors student, keenly interested in politics and eager to work for her candidate in last fall's congressional elections. But when election day came around, the girl wasn't on the campaign trail. She was in the hospital, with anorexia.

"By then, she wasn't thinking about the political issues," says her psychologist, Ann Kearney-Cooke. "She was thinking about how many calories were on her lunch plate."

The girl is now recovering, but her story is only one of many. Which is why Kearney-Cooke, who's been treating girls and women with eating disorders for 25 years, sees the current "skinny-model" debate sweeping the fashion industry as a positive step -- one that may eventually help lead to a healthier body image for young girls.

"This is such a waste of young people's energy," the Cincinnati-based psychologist says of the ever-intensifying obsession with being thin, an affliction she's seen in girls as young as 5 or 6. "Teenagers should be figuring out who they are, how they feel about Iraq, about abortion. Instead, the question 'Who am I?' has been replaced by, 'How do I look?'"

With Fashion Week currently in full swing in New York, the debate over thin models is on the front burner. The Council of Fashion of Designers of America recently issued voluntary guidelines to curb the use of overly thin models. Officials in Madrid set a minimum body-mass index, and Milan tightened restrictions. Efforts gained urgency after 21-year-old Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died of anorexia in November, at 88 pounds.

Surely, models have always been thin -- Twiggy was a phenomenon in the '60s for her waifish looks. But recent years have seen a trend toward the emaciated, with younger models displaying protruding hip bones, sallow skin, and stick-like legs with knees wider than the thighs.

"A lot of models today, you're just worried for them," says Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive editor-at-large for Glamour Magazine. "They look so vulnerable." (She notes, however, that some models are naturally skinny.) In the '90s, she points out, the sample size used by designers was 5 feet 9 inches or taller and a size 6 to 8; now, it's the same height, but a size 0 to 2.

And it isn't just models embracing the trend. Hollywood actresses, now often canvases for hot designers, are getting thinner and thinner too -- a development that likely impacts young women far more than the goings-on in the elite fashion world.

"It amazes me," says Janice Min, editor of the celebrity magazine US Weekly. "The whole world has shrunk!" Among the many stars with no discernible body fat: Ellen Pompeo of the ABC hit "Grey's Anatomy," and Keira Knightley of "Pirates of the Caribbean." The once more substantial Angelina Jolie (remember her buff Lara Croft?) has gone for the more skeletal look. One result of all this: if you have the slightest tummy, the world now thinks the stork is around the corner. As Min puts it, "If they can't see a clavicle, they think you're pregnant!"

And if they really are expecting, there's a whole other pressure: "To be super-thin until just before your baby comes, and two minutes after," says Rita Freedman, a psychologist in Harrison, N.Y. who treats women with body-image disorders.

Freedman is skeptical that efforts to get healthier-looking models on the runway will have any impact on ordinary people. "My experience is that things aren't getting better, they're getting worse," she says. "It's distressing," she says, "but as a professional, do I think this will have a long-term ripple effect? I doubt it."

Min notes that at least it's a step. "For once, an establishment has set forth that there is something wrong with this," she says. "Things may not change completely, but women may look and say, 'maybe there's something wrong with THEM, and not me.'"

That's the message of an ad campaign from Dove, the beauty products company. Its "Campaign for Real Beauty," launched in 2004, featured a one-minute video, hugely popular on YouTube late last year, of a nice-looking woman in her early 20s with uneven skin. She gradually transforms -- through hairstyling, makeup and extensive photo-shopping -- into a billboard goddess. "No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted," the filmmakers note at the end.

Kathy O'Brien, Dove marketing director, says the campaign was created after a study commissioned by the company found that only 2 percent of thousands of women surveyed worldwide described themselves as beautiful. "Our mission is to make more people feel beautiful," says O'Brien. She adds that the company, whose parent is Unilever, has seen a steady increase in market share since the campaign began, though she doesn't give numbers. Another much-noted element of Dove's advertising: print and billboard ads last summer featuring "real women," of all shapes and sizes, posing in their underwear.

Tyra Banks, former supermodel and current TV host, didn't pose in her underwear last week, but she came close: She opened an episode of "The Tyra Banks Show" in the same bathing suit that had just brought her a heavy dose of Internet grief, with paparazzi photos showing her looking heavier than usual.

Banks used the incident to rebuke her critics. "I have one thing to say to you," she said, her defiant tone suddenly turning into a teary shriek. "Kiss my fat ass" The audience leaped to its feet.

Drama aside, there was undeniable truth to Banks' assertion that, given the names she'd been called -- "America's Next Top Waddle," for example -- she'd probably be "starving myself right now" if she had lower self-esteem, something she seems not to lack.

All that sounds familiar to Kearney-Cooke, the Cincinnati psychologist. Some of her younger patients have expressed a desire to look like the notoriously skinny Olsen twins -- one of whom, Mary-Kate, herself underwent treatment in 2004 for an eating disorder. "They tell me, 'I'll be popular if I can look like that,'" says Kearney-Cooke.

"Our country needs to take this seriously," she says, with a hopeful nod to both the current fashion debate and initiatives like the Dove campaign. "We need to widen the spectrum of beauty, so that these people can feel that they're in that spectrum, too."
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:46 PM   #53
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There've been other plus-sized models in previous seasons of ANTM, but it's always felt like they were put into the finals just for show. Let's hope this time they're given a fair shot at advancing.

Although to be fair, one of the plus-sized gals from the first season made it very far in the competition, but out of all the plus-sized models that have been on the show, she was the smallest. I know in the fashion world, what passes for "plus-sized" is laughable to the normal-sized world, but they've had other wannabe models who've definitely been larger. And usually stunningly beautiful.
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:52 PM   #54
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I think plus sized in modeling is now size 4

From what I have seen of the show Tyra always wants to advance them, but the other judges don't.

It doesn't matter how stunningly beautiful your face is, if your body isn't you won't be accepted-especially in mainstream modeling (where beautiful body= very thin, unless you're talking SI or something similar) but also for the average woman and how attractive she is considered to be.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:02 PM   #55
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I have nothing against plus size models, but I think part of the problem with a show like ANTM is that they are really geared towards high-fashion and when they go to shows and photo-shoots, the designers only have stuff for thin models. Thinner models can wear anything and the best have an almost androgynous look about them that allows for the attention to focus on the clothes, not the models curves or lack thereof. I think plus size models are gorgeous, but in order for them to become more mainstream, the industry and the designers have to be willing to change and stop making their clothes for size 00-4.

To me, high fashion modeling should be more about showcasing the clothes than the actual models, size 2 or size 22.
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Old 02-05-2007, 10:52 PM   #56
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Agreed, Liesje. The models are supposed to basically be clothes hangers for the clothes. But they don't need to be a size negative 3 to do so.

As for Tyra wanting to advance the larger models while the other judegs don't ... I think that's the image she wants to put out there, but it's her show. I would think if she really wanted a larger model to go further, it would happen.

But hey, it's reality TV, and they're supposedly competing for high fashion. Although to be honest, it seems to be more about finding the new Cover Girl model than a high fasion runway model.

Which is fine with me. I still enjoy the show, I just think Tyra et al need to drop the "she's not high fashion" schtick and just own up to the fact that they're looking for the best Cover Girl model.

Oh, uh ... sorry. Is this not the TV forum in Lemonade Stand?

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Old 02-07-2007, 04:51 AM   #57
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Dumb question:

For all the blaming of skinny models and celebs, has anyone considered that all the concern (and reporting) on the "obesity epidemic" and advertising from the diet and fitness industry might also be a potentually negative factor?

(anyone else watch those weight-loss infomercials and see the testimonials from women who used to be size 10 and are now size 4...I always wonder when size 10 became "overweight" )
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:42 AM   #58
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Why Skinny Models Could Be Making Us Fat

By Jessica Bennett, Sarah Childress and Susanna Schrobsdorff
Newsweek
Updated: 7:39 p.m. ET Feb 8, 2007

Feb. 8, 2007 - The specter of dangerously thin models has raised its beautiful, lolling head once again, this time at New York’s Fashion Week, which ends Friday. Stung by negative publicity about boney apparitions on the catwalks, the fashion industry invited eating-disorder experts to an unprecedented symposium on the subject in the tents at Bryant Park. It was quite a spectacle. The press was regaled with tales of models living on lethally small amounts of lettuce and Diet Coke. The fashionistas declared that super thin was now “out” and promised to keep a better eye on the young waifs. But no one in the U.S. clothing biz seems eager to impose minimum weight guidelines on models, as some European shows have done. Diane von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), added fuel to the fire when she recently told a reporter that model weigh-ins in New York would happen “over my dead body.”

While the travails of the thin and beautiful almost always make for good copy, we should remember that only about 1 percent of the American population is anorexic, while nearly two thirds of adults are overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So it's not as if skinny models have inspired an epidemic of slimness. In fact, the real danger may be that the contrast between the girls on the catwalks and the girls at the mall is creating an atmosphere ripe for binge dieting and the kind of unhealthy eating habits that ultimately result in weight gain, not loss. "You always [have to] look at the discrepancy between the real and the ideal," says Cynthia Bulik, a clinical psychologist who heads the eating-disorders program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "If [kids] see themselves gaining weight and then they see these ultra-thin models, the discrepancy between how they see themselves in the mirror and how they feel they have to look is bigger. And that can prompt more extreme behaviors.”

Unfortunately, that gap between the ordinary and the elite is growing rapidly. As American women have gotten heavier, models have gotten thinner and taller. Twenty-five years ago, the average female model weighed 8 percent less than the average American woman, according to researchers. Today, models weigh about 23 percent less than the average woman. Models are also leggier than before. Usually about 5 feet 10 inches tall, they are a good five inches taller than they were 10 years ago. Meanwhile, a typical woman is about 5 feet 4 inches and weighs 155 pounds, according to a 2004 SizeUSA study. The trend is enough to make any woman feel like a hobbit in comparison to what they’re seeing in magazines.

But here's the rub: thanks to technology, often not even the models themselves can compare to their portfolios. Increasingly, photos for print are enhanced and perfected to an astonishing degree. Not only are moles, acne and subtle facial hair erased from already pretty faces, but retouchers are routinely asked by editors and advertisers to enlarge eyes, trim normal-size ears, fill in hairlines, straighten teeth and lengthen the already-narrow necks, waists and legs of 18-year-old beauties. "We're always stretching the models' legs and slimming their thighs," says a photo retoucher who works for a high-end Manhattan agency. In some cases, hands, feet or even legs are replaced in photos when the subject’s parts don’t add up to a perfect whole.

“Sometimes I feel a little like Frankenstein,” says the retoucher, who would only speak anonymously because of the potential for professional backlash. The irony, she adds, is that the models and actresses pictured have usually have already been through hours of hair styling and makeup—including body makeup—to remove the slightest blemish. Yes, you heard that right, even after all of that, a 5-foot-10, 110-pound model still does not have legs that are long or skinny enough to suit some advertisers and fashion editrixes.

One might argue that photo alteration has been around for eons, but what is new is the industry shift from film to digital media about four years ago. Now it's easier, faster and more routine to clean up and “perfect” faces and figures. The doctored images are so pervasive that our eyes are perhaps becoming too accustomed to them. "The result is a culture of kids who are being socialized to unrealistic images—who need to learn to separate the real from the fabricated," says Cornell University historian Joan Jacobs Brumberg, the author of "The Body Project" (Vintage), which looks at the diaries of teenage girls from the 1820s through the 1980s. "Girls internalize this form of self- criticism and say, 'I don't look like that.' But in reality, nobody looks like that."

How do these unrealistic portrayals affect the number of people with eating disorders? It’s hard to say. The statistics are notoriously difficult to track because of the shame surrounding these diseases. Experts say that sufferers are influenced by a combination of genetics and environmental triggers. But even if no one factor is to blame, for some of the 10 million women and one million men in the United States who struggle with anorexia and bulimia (and the 25 million more who suffer from binge-eating disorder), what they see in the media can, in some cases, have a pivotal impact. "Genes load the gun, environment pulls the trigger—and right now the fashion industry has their finger on the trigger," says Bulik.

Particularly disturbing are indications that the quest for perfection is reaching into younger age groups. Kids form their body images almost as soon as they can form words, and girls are now thinking negatively about their shapes in grammar school. Today, 42 percent of first- to third-grade girls want to be thinner, while 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of getting fat, according to a 2004 global study by the Dove "Real Beauty" campaign. "What we've seen more and more is an increasingly narrow image of beauty, not just completely defined by physical appearance, but a particular body type—tall, thin, maybe blond, with very little diversity," says Nancy Etcoff, a Harvard psychology professor and author of "Survival of the Prettiest" (Random House). The effects of that are striking. The Dove study found that just 2 percent of women and girls said they would describe themselves as beautiful, while two thirds said they avoided basic activities on days they felt unattractive. Those activities ranged from going to the beach or a party to showing up for work or school—even voicing an opinion.

The fact that we’re making the body the central focus of our lives is no accident, says Brumberg. Rather, it's "a symptom of historical changes that are only now beginning to be understood," she writes. So what are those changes? To start, there has been a centurylong shift from concern for good work to concern for good looks, says Brumberg. And while in the 1920s, for example, girls started becoming conscious of celebrity culture—and, she says, for the first time using the word "image"—today's obsession with personal appearance is largely a result of the technology that allows us to focus on it. "[Technological] inventions increased our level of self-scrutiny," she says. "Mirrors, movies, scales—the modern bathroom. You have to have a certain environment for that obsessive concern."

Of course, environment affects each woman differently. Influences on body image range from our families and school to our peer groups or media consumption—even whether or not we take part in sports. For longtime model Carre Otis, that environment was fashion—and the pressure it placed on her to be thin encouraged a nearly two-decade battle with a host of unhealthy habits. Now 38 and healthy, Otis (who is 5-foot-10 and at times weighed as little as 100 pounds) says she worries about the pressures her young daughter will someday face. "We're living in a culture that's so physically oriented,” she says. “It's really dangerous for young girls to operate under the assumption that models, in general, are the majority."

But the majority image isn't what the public wants these days, according to the fashion elites. "Fat doesn't sell fashion," says Imogen Edwards-Jones, a journalist and author of "Fashion Babylon," an insider's look at the industry. "People don't fantasize about being a size 16—they fantasize about being a size 8." So even if the public can't fit into (much less afford) a size 0 designer dress, they'll probably buy a magazine with a size 0 model wearing that dress. "It's a presentation of this fantasy, and you buy into that," says Steven Kolb, the executive director of CFDA.

Of course, that can always change. Curves were cool in the '80s (remember Cindy Crawford?) and ‘90s (Anna Nicole Smith). And the industry will likely swing back around to embrace them again. Already, the faces on the catwalks in New York this week are looking somewhat less gaunt. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any easier for women to convince themselves, or their daughters, to stop looking for the model in the mirror.
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:01 PM   #59
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This is interesting, about male models and the thinness issue

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/hea...cle2258906.ece
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:53 PM   #60
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I wouldn't have any objections to the fashion industry imposing BMI minimums for models, however, I think rhetoric like "skinny models are making us fat" pushes the concept of body-image 'trickledown' to the point of absurdity--especially considering that the dramatic increases in obesity over the last few decades apply to both males and females, and to grade-school-age-children as well as teens and adults. Yeah, yo-yo dieting is likely to cause longterm weight gain, and purely voluntary diet-and-exercise regimens aren't an adequate response to the mass changes in consumption, transportation and recreation habits that characterized the last century...but that's nothing new; nutritionists have been saying that much since the 1970s.

I know I already said this earlier, but you do need to be careful in pushing this let's-broaden-the-ideals kind of thinking that you not wind up reinforcing the notion that how you look is the paramount index of self-worth to begin with, because that's what really does the damage. I can understand why people might find it distressing that "only 2% of women consider themselves beautiful," I really can, but that's not the same thing as "98% of women consider themselves 'ugly' or 'too unattractive to deserve love'." I doubt that many men would describe themselves as "gorgeous" either. Most men aren't as attractive as Brad Pitt, most women aren't as attractive as Penelope Cruz...except in the woozy, the-human-body-is-a-wondrous-thing-and-beautiful-in-all-its-forms kind of sense, which has nothing to do with the kinds of escapist fantasies peddled by magazines and movies (and eagerly lapped up by the public) anyway. But really...so what? I'm not so much concerned by the prospect of my daughter thinking she "needs" to be the same dress size as some particular model as I am by the prospect of her thinking she "needs" to look a certain way at all. Of course I want her to take reasonable pride in her appearance and know how to present herself well in various situations, but ultimately those aren't things worth dwelling on constantly; there's a whole world of ideas and projects and people and causes out there that ought to demand a much larger share of her attention. And I want the same things for my sons, of course. Yes, we are raising them to be physically active and eat a balanced diet, that's just a basic good-parenting requirement in my opinion, but it's not the focus of anything, and to the extent that we talk with them about it, the emphasis is on taking care of their bodies so they'll grow up healthy, not so they'll grow up "beautiful"; that much is not in our control anyway.
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