By Hannah Sherman, JWI Intern
The fashion world is known for its trends, both good and bad. Come on, I can’t be the only one who was into those platform flip flops and full outfits consisting entirely of denim (what can I say, I’m a product of the 90s!). However, the disturbing trend of using extremely underweight models has become a staple in the fashion industry, setting unrealistic standards of beauty for many young girls.
In recent years, many countries have started to take action against the use of underweight models on the catwalk and in advertisements, feeling that using these models as the epitome of beauty encourages eating disorders and distorts perceptions of real beauty. Countries like France, Italy, Brazil, India, and Spain have taken steps to keep underweight models off of their catwalks and most recently, an Israeli bill seeks to ban the use of underweight models in Israeli advertising. These countries point to a great improvement in the fashion industry, yet more countries need to take similar actions.
In the United States, where this is the ideal we are teaching young girls, we are only further ingraining the archaic and stereotypical concept of unrealistic beauty. In celebrating the healthy look rather than the heroin-chic look, we ensure that the young women in America will have positive fashion icons to admire, promoting greater self-esteem and confidence. Now that is what I consider real beauty.