Core 4 final draft - Todays fashion industry is booming,...

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Today’s fashion industry is booming, but the bigger a designer’s name and reputation become, the tinier the waists of the models in his clothes seem to become. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, “most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women”; when that is the case, it makes little sense for such models to be in the limelight more often than average or plus-sized fashion models (NEDA 2). At the same time, it is also little wonder that “80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance” (NEDA 1). Ever since I was twelve years old, I was one of those eighty percent. Though I was never overweight, I felt fat. As a result, I also felt ugly, and had little self-confidence. I still remember how, as a thirteen year-old with a height of 4’9’’, I told my mother I intended to go on a diet, an intention that remained unfulfilled when my parents hosted a barbecue at our house the next day. In high school, it became routine for my mother to ask what I had eaten for lunch when I arrived home and then watch me at dinner to make sure I ate a full serving that night instead of taking a fraction of a portion. I know now that I suffered from poor body image and instead of accepting myself and being grateful for my health like I should have done, I tried to emulate Victoria’s Secret models when I did not need to. Body image being affected by the media is not a new phenomenon; changes must be made to ensure better mental and physical health. Also, an alarming number of college students, who are already stressed while adjusting to college life, have unhealthy eating habits, and seeing the airbrushed images of thin, gorgeous women everywhere certainly does not alleviate the stress. Unfortunately, the problem does not stop with airbrushing photographs of already-thin models and celebrities, but also extends to the runway, where the clothes hang off of the models’ occasionally skeletal frames. In order to reduce the number of young women suffering from body image issues, healthy models of all body types should be used equally within the media and the fashion industry. 1
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In truth, a person’s body image being affected by an ideal formed by society is not a recent trend. In China, foot-binding was a common practice, now illegal, that resulted in tiny feet through a painful process. In the 19 th century, women wore corsets that restricted their breathing and often caused damage to internal organs just to have a slimmer waist. The trend of rail-thin fashion models, however, has been traced back to Twiggy, a model from the 1960’s, who became famous for her “thin and boyish” body at sixteen years of age (Derenne and Beresin para. 8). What is new, according to Drs. Derenne and Beresin, is that “today’s culture is unique in that the media (including television, Internet, movies, and print) is a far more powerful presence than ever before” (para. 3). This is certainly true, as today’s Americans are bombarded
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Core 4 final draft - Todays fashion industry is booming,...

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