This article rightly questions what harm this is doing to young girls in the modeling industry. There are also young girls, aged 13 and 14 featured in this article who are beautiful as well. I do worry about what is going to happen to these girls who are growing up way too fast, apparently with the encouragement of their mothers and families. I can imagine that they very well may grow up addicted to drugs, sex, fame or all of the above.
|Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau. A Good Morning America and ABC News image.|
While I worry about these little girls, I worry even more about the normal women and teens reading this drivel in the fashion magazines. Of course I will never again be as skinny as I was at 10 or even 14 years old. According to the current standards given by these magazines, I was rocking a hot body! In reality I was a normal sized child, not fully grown. What these magazines are doing is sending a message that we normal sized women are not good enough if we can not retain our pre-teen figures. I stand 5'7" and at 175 lbs wear a size 14 to 16 clothing. I wear a C cup bra and sport a big badonkadonk that I have a terrible time trying to stuff into pants. Do I feel bad about it? Yes! Do I feel that I am not attractive if I am not rail thin like the models I see in the magazines? Yes! Am I aware that this is an unreachable standard for most of us? Absolutely. Do all normal sized and beautiful women (and girls) recognize the same? No, unfortunately not. And this is what worries me. Our society is so driven by consumption - we consume celebrity culture, we covet the style, the clothing and the body types. We purchase fashion magazines with the hopes of learning how to have the perfect hair, perfect clothes, the perkiest boobs and the skinniest bodies. Teen girls are the most vulnerable of all. This is already such a difficult time in our lives and these girls believe all of this crap. My daughter and her friend are so beautiful. Stunning, really. Multi-ethnic, exotic looking with gorgeous figures. I joke that they will be leaving broken hearts all over the place. I was left speechless as I recently heard these girls voice their self-hatred, picking out the parts of themselves that they don't think measure up. This tears me up and I haven't yet found anything that I can do or say to help them feel differently. They are influenced by the other kids at school, television and these fashion magazines.
There has been a lot of resistance lately to the unrealistic images continuously fed to us. Women Enough and Dove are two examples that come to mind. But it seems that the more we resist, the more that the fashion industry has to push the envelope. It worries and saddens me that so many beautiful women are cheated of their self confidence and happiness by an industry hell bent on making a fortune from gullible young women.
As I proof read and edit my post I keep seeing my header. Seeking beauty without boundaries. When I wrote this months ago I wasn't referring to my (or anyone else's) physicality. But it is so fitting. We really need to eliminate the physical boundaries of beauty set for us by people only interested in our money, not our well being.