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Limitations On Bmi Model Bodies Essay

1302 words - 6 pages

How many men do you see ogling over the ultra skinny models on a Vogue magazine? They aren’t, most men are ogling over the centerfold of a Playboy magazine. So why do young girls and women all over the world struggle psychologically and physically to look like those models? And what effect does this have on our society? Should the use of models with a low Body Mass Index (BMI) be banned from fashion, media, and print? I will answer all of these questions and more, to support my view on why there should be changes placed on the limitations of BMI’s on fashion models and how these changes will promote healthier body images in women.

First off, let’s look at why people do not support ...view middle of the document...

Who or what dictates beauty? Women tend to turn to a man’s opinion of what beauty is, but what many women don’t realize is that men prefer a woman with curves, like the Playmate’s featured in Playboy magazine. “The average Playmate is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 115 pounds. This gives her a BMI of 18.5, and most have BMI's of 18 or 19. These are similar to the BMI's men prefer when rating the attractiveness of images of women with varying BMI's.” (Lessak & Gualin) That said, the average fashion model is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds, giving her a BMI between 15 and 16.5, which is considered unhealthy and underweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a healthy BMI for a woman is between 18.5 and 24.9. So if men like curves, then what else dictates beauty? Many people believe that it is the media and society. Nowadays you can’t open up a magazine or a catalog and not notice what we are supposed to believe is beautiful. In fact, in July of 2012, Julia, age 14, delivered a petition of 25,000 signatures to Seventeen Magazine asking them to stop using Photoshop. She wanted to take a stance and show the magazine how destructive these images can be and how society desires a change. (Torrisi) Photos of ultra skinny models are everywhere, and typically their flaws are being photoshopped out, all to suggest what is beautiful and what the perfect woman should look like. It is these images and ideals that dictate our society, and encourage young girls and women to resort to unhealthy means to reach these ideals of beauty.

“Models reflect the current cultural ideals of beauty, and dictate an ideal of woman's beauty, which is impossible to achieve for most women.” (Zoletić & Duraković-Belko) This has negatively impacted the female’s body image perspective and their self-esteem, the feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities, leading to an increase in psychological problems and eating disorders among females of all ages. It has been estimated that around 80% of females are dissatisfied with their bodies. This could explain why 91% of college women report that they have used dieting to curb their weight, 45% of women report, at any given time, that they are on a diet and why 51% of nine and ten year old girls report that being on a diet makes them feel better about themselves. (UMN-Duluth) It is no surprise, that females Self-esteem is low, creating Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a pathological preoccupation with an imagined or slight physical defect of one's body to the point of causing significant stress or behavioral impairment in several areas. These psychological disorders lead to physical eating disorders such as, Anorexia Nervosa, characterized by a fear of weight gain...

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