Abby Lebet

If anyone were to flip through a fashion magazine, it would be a normal occurrence to find pictures of fashion models, whether it be modeling or walking in a fashion show. Lately, however, the models have been getting thinner and thinner, almost to the point where they’re only skin and bones. Some models are so skinny that they sport something called a thigh gap, which is exactly what it sounds like: a noticeable gap between the thighs. The thigh gap craze was all over Tumblr and was something teen girls aspired to have, but in most cases, a thigh gap can only be achieved by malnourishment. Teens are so pressured by this advertised “perfect” image of women models who represent that it is not incredibly uncommon for some to develop eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, to achieve this “perfect” body. Anorexia and bulimia can both cause excessive weight loss, and have been tactics used by people to lose weight quickly. Fashion models and the current “perfect” image marketed by the fashion industry and the media put a lot of pressure on teens to conform to this image, but in reality, many models considered to have this “perfect” image suffer from eating disorders or have suffered in the past from them. They pose a substantial threat to the health of the people and it certainly doesn’t help that the media is endorsing these images of thin, practically malnourished women by calling them “perfect”.

I do not personally have an eating disorder, but I know people who have and I’ve seen how it affects them. Their eating habits were ruined, and it really made their lives miserable for a period of time. The media constantly glorifying this “perfect” image of women does not contribute positively to the number of people with anorexia or bulimia, and it detriments the health of many teens.

Luckily, a number of campaigns have been launched to reverse this “perfect” image of women such as the Dove campaign. Dove has been advertising their soap and body washes using average sized women instead of using malnourished models to market their products. These women are of a healthy weight, where they are not obese or scarily skinny. Continuing support of these campaigns is what will eventually get the “perfect” image of a woman to something teenage girls can achieve in a healthy way, without any deprivation of food.