Last week, the New York Times, Slate, Forbes, and a number of other media outlets reported on a new policy at Vogue Magazine. Vogue announced a new commitment to stop using underage models or models who appear to have an eating disorder.
This is exciting news and has been a long time coming. For decades, fashion magazines have portrayed a physical ideal that is simply unattainable for most women. These images, with which we are bombarded on a daily basis through magazines, television and movies, lead many women to go to extremes, starving themselves to try to achieve the ideal figure they see portrayed in these media outlets.
This is an issue that has troubled me for years. The societal pressures that we all, women and men, face to have a body that looks a certain way can be incredibly destructive. But the pressures felt by young women can be downright lethal.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love my food. But I recall when I was younger; I had a boyfriend who told me that he thought that I could never have an eating disorder – that I loved food too much. I had to explain that every woman could fall prey to this dangerous disease, given the right circumstances. The pressures are enormous.
I have known a number of women over the years who have struggled with this issue. The pressures are real, they are dangerous and they are internalized by the vast majority of women in the United States. I applaud Vogue magazine for taking a lead on this issue; in fact, maybe I will finally subscribe!
What do you think? Do you think that fashion magazines should be allowed to use any models or do you think that these restrictions placed by Vogue are a step in the right direction? Do you believe that the market should dictate who ends up in magazines? Have you felt the pressure to conform to society’s ideal body shape and type? Do you think that the media exacerbates this pressure?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! And thank you for reading!