Monday, 11 April 2011

Who is to blame?

If someone asked you who you admired (whether it be stylisticly, or professionally etc) who would you choose? In magazines we are constantly being force fed celebrities who the magazines themselves admire whether it be the new plastic enhanced face of a girl on The Only Way Is Essex or a Z list celeb such as Nicola McLean who this week was been praised for losing a lot of weight and even admitting herself that she has an eating problem.

With the way young teenagers are today (male and female) and the pressure for them to coinhere with what is being represented as the "right" way to be, it made me wonder whether I am so easily influenced by the magazines that I read. It also got me thinking that even though the tabloids repeatedly blame the fashion industry for giving teenagers and young adults the perception that to be accepted you must be a certain size or weight.

I am a self confessed magazine junkie. I buy the glossy fashion mags, the cheap celeb gossip weeklys and anything else involving fashion or celebs that I can get my mits on. In my opinion, it is  the low cost fast gossip issues that are partly to blame for the negative outlook some teens have on themselves. The pages are filled with "shameful" bikini shots of female celebs with computerised rings of "terrible" body factors such as cellulite (god forbid!) or a lopsided boob (hey we've all been there) or a slightly rounded tummy (its from the ice cream,ok?!) And this is all before I get to the diet and excercise section - no I do not want to use a chair in my living room to help me do sit ups nor do I want to be skipping with a rope on the ad break of my  favourite soap! If you think that is bad, dont bother reading one particular weekly mag whose main article this week is about a celeb who clearly has an eating disorder giving her "inside tips" on how she lost her weight.

Then I flick to a higher market fashion glossy which this months edition is all about embracing who you are and making the most of the way you look without having to go on the pain inducing diet. The writer hits the nail on the head when she states its your mind and the way you think that needs changing; not how you physically look. So if a magazine based on the industry that is constantly been victimised as the blame for issues young adults have about their bodies is less forceful of advertising diets and so forth, then surely the media is blaming the wrong source?

Don't get me wrong, there are images of models who are thin - but what about if the models were large? Surely that ultimately portrays an image of bad health and surely the media won't want to be encouraging that? I agree that the variety of models should be broader, therefore offering a wider representation of all shapes and sizes, but going from one extreme to the other? I think those are  the completely wrong steps to take.

I suppose I'm writing this to help defend the fashion industry and hope that the writers who have helped to tarnish events such as fashion week will think twice before casting the blame on an industry that has thrived off their actions for many years. Time and energy should be put into teaching teenagers to accept themselves in their mind first and to understand that all shapes and sizes are acceptable? We are taught to not discriminate people for their ethnicity but surely by banning skinny models forever falls under the exact same discriminatory category?

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