Mirror, Mirror, Who's the skinniest of them all?

Ralph Lauren publicity

Fashion and publicity have a great influence on us, whether we like or not. They change our ideals about many aspects of our lives, including our ideal of a perfect body. Weight is big issue, a big complex for many women in the world. Sadly, in some cases, the weight complex becomes so important that these women develop eating disorders to finally become anorexic or bulemic… This is one of the perverse effects of publicity and fashion.

Models do not represent the average population. They are thinner, not prettier, but still thinner than the average woman. In fashion, being a size 0 is a big deal; clothes are made for small people. For example, Abercrombie and Fitch openly admitted that they do not sell XL nor XXL clothes because they only want thin people to wear their clothes! This is basically discrimination. Also, there was a time when Ralph Lauren digitally modified their models’ pictures to make them look impossibly thin. Actually, the models on these pictures do not really exist; their head is larger than their waist as shown in the pictue above… Unfortunately, this does have a big impact on women, especially teenagers, because fashion and advertisements set the beauty standards. The real problem is that our society associates beauty with thinness. We are biased towards the very thin, nay the very skinny. The skinnier, the prettier. This is virtually a slogan for fashion publicity! Even if we are aware that these ads do not represent the average women, we are still under influence and still compare ourselves.

However, many companies are raising awareness about anorexia and eating disorders by using average weight women in their ads. For example, Dove launched the Campaign for Real Beauty. Nike has the “My butt is big” publicity. Fortunately, things are starting to change.