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Modelling - Models or Not? - The Light on the Hill

About Modelling - Models or Not?

Previous Entry Modelling - Models or Not? Oct. 20th, 2005 @ 10:40 pm Next Entry
Having recently spoken to friends about this, the thought occured to me: do actually models do more harm than good, as is often argued? Modelling is often blamed for the rise of eating disorders particularly and more generally an increase in superficiality and consumerism.

Usually, fashion models are under 30 and unreasonably skinny. Exceptions to this are just that: exceptions. By promoting images of women that do not conform to a social norm, especially when obesity is on the rise, are we actually doing harm to society? Does holding up a few examples as "perfect" result in eating disorders amongst teenage girls particularly? Or, is this more a product of the decline of "family values", thus meaning that young people adopt images of a norm that is unreasonable instead of comparing themselves to their parents and close friends? Or are there even more factors at work here?
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Sur le Fil - C'etait Ici - Yann Tiersen
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 24th, 2005 01:03 pm (UTC)
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Since the beginning of time young girls have been seducing the males around them to care, protect, give food, protect them etc - and hedgeing their bets too - as gene studies have shown (how many of us are actually our fathers children??). So - whats different now? Lets focus on the real issues - such as the imbalance of power and wealth in the world.
From:del_morte
Date:October 27th, 2005 07:42 am (UTC)
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Power and wealth distribution are important points, yes. However, in my opinion social issues are just as important. If we say that unless it affects things on a global scale, it is not important, then we compromise our selves and our moral values.
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From:blue_bandanna
Date:November 7th, 2005 05:47 am (UTC)
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more to the point, it DOES affect things on a global scale. if a country's people are developing mental illnesses like eating disorders because of the unrealistic expectations they feel are being put on them by the media, then the economy suffers. so even if you DO feel that you have to look at this as an economic issue, then it's still relevant.

i have no doubt that the media plays a significant role in the high rates of anorexia and depression in western society, and it is certainly something that needs looking at. people discount the issue because it is only one factor out of many, but that's no reason to ignore it. depsite how much one tries to be indifferent towards the skinny models in these magazines, it is difficult.

furthermore, the magazines add to society's problems by creating a false idea that all people should be living in luxury and that everyone can afford to be. read Vogue, where page after page the reader is bombarded with ads for jewelry (1000's of dollars), makeup (not TOO expensive, but as they say, you need foundation, moisturiser, lip balm, lipstick, nail varnish, shampoo, conditioner, mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush, fake tan, not to mention countless hair-removal and exfoliation products -- in a year, this can contribute to a HUGE sum of money spent on useless stuff), luxury holidays, concerts, and, of course, the next issue of the $9.00 magazine, made of beautiful shiny paper, for which no guarantee plantation forests have been used.

the difficulty here is that the people have a right to produce these magazines, and if this is what society wants, who's right is it to take them away? so instead of taking away the magazines, we need to address the global issue of insecurity, which we so naively feed with material goods. we need to ask ourselves, "why do i constantly feel the need to have more, to be thinner, to envy others and the spend more, more, more?"

it is a very complex issue and certainly needs more thought from perspectives of politics, social justice, psychology etc.
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