The Fashion Industry is Promoting Eating Disorders

The Fashion Industry is Promoting Eating Disorders


There’s an ideal look for a model. They have to be at least 5’8, with long legs and toned, but small, muscles. There’s the bust/hip/waist measurement requirement of 34-24-34.  They weigh 23% less than the average woman at around 115-130 pounds. All this stacks together to create an image so desirable, many girls will do anything to try and achieve it. And for models, they have to keep this look or lose their livelihood. 


These images are everywhere, basically being shoved in our faces. They are all over the media as well as in stores and fashion shows. Everywhere you look you see an unrealistically thin, perfect woman. Young, impressionable girls are seeing this and thinking that they need to look the same.  Eating disorders are on the rise in the United States, with children under 12 years of age with this disorder going up 119 percent from 1996 to 2006. 30 million people were diagnosed last year, with 10 million being male and 20 million female. 


According to former Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, it’s not just regular people who are affected. Many models are affected by the unrealistic standards as well. When she questioned a model about scars on her knees the model responded, “Oh yes. Because I’m always so hungry, I faint a lot.” It’s all too common for models to skip meals or overwork themselves to stay thin. 


In a study conducted by Sara Ziff, 54% of models have been told that if they didn’t shed weight, they would not be able to find more jobs. Also according to Ziff  “Twenty-one percent were told by their agency that they would stop representing them unless they lost weight. Over 9 percent had been recommended plastic surgery.”


Models are constantly subject to comments about their weight and appearance, being told to lose weight or “tone up”. A simple google search brings up multiple lists of famous models who suffered or are suffering from an eating disorder. Famous models like Isabelle Caro, Ana Carolina, Luisel Ramos, Sandra Dee, and many others are on these lists. Many of these young girls listed have died as a result of this disease. 


The fashion industry needs to do better to insure the safety of their models. That means changing the standard, not encouraging unhealthy eating and living habits, and representing healthy models. Encouraging these young women to lose weight in unhealthy ways is promoting eating disorders and can unimitley lead to their death.