Why Does the Fashion Industry Harm Women's Health?

Why would anyone promote a image like this?
Why would anyone promote an image like this?

Is Fashion The Main Cause Of Anorexia And Bulimia?

Why do modern day cat-walk models look so weird? They do not look like the average women, because they are extremely skinny and very tall. The excuse for this, is that clothes look better on these types of women

This makes no sense whatsoever, because these clothes still have to be worn by normal looking women. So how can the average women get any sense of what these clothes look like on them, when they see them being worn by models, so very different then the average women?

The problem could be, is that the fashion industry is dominated by homosexual men and heterosexual women, and both of these types of people do not seem to appreciate feminine beauty. The ideal masculine shape, appreciated by heterosexual women, is a person with wide shoulders going down to slim hips and a small bottom. While the ideal feminine shape appreciated by most heterosexual men, is an hourglass figure with wide hips, large bottom and large breasts.

So it seems that the homosexual male and heterosexual female fashion designers, do not see the feminine figure as looking beautiful. They much prefer the masculine figure. This is why modern day cat-walk models are trying to look like men. The problem is that if a woman tries to emulate a male figure with wide shoulders, slim hips and small bottom, although she cannot grow wide shoulders, she can, slim right down so that she has no fat on her hips and bottom.

Carol Vorderman left, Pippa Middleton right
Carol Vorderman left, Pippa Middleton right | Source
Source
This is probably the issue, if you don't love yourself, then you are going to be very critical of how you look..
This is probably the issue, if you don't love yourself, then you are going to be very critical of how you look..
Serena Williams has a bottom that many heterosexual men find very attractive.
Serena Williams has a bottom that many heterosexual men find very attractive.
Advert showing how opinions about female beauty can change.
Advert showing how opinions about female beauty can change.

Positive Images for Women.

The consequence of that is, the rest of her body is also slimmed down, so she ends up being a very skinny person

Fashion designers also tend to pick very tall models, again for the same reasons and that is men are generally taller than women, and so fashion models are as tall, or even taller, than the average man

If this was only a fashion quirk, this wouldn't be a problem, but people are actually dying because of this crazy fashion. The slimming diseases anorexia and bulimia rank as the third most common chronic illness in adolescent females. Some are actually starving themselves to death, and even those who don’t do this, the terrible effects on a person’s health through starvation, can still kill them. The fashion models themselves are not immune from this either, as many of them have also died of these slimming diseases.

Unfortunately, the fashion industry accepts no responsibility for this, and continues to promote extremely thin models on the cat-walk and in fashion magazines. Some heterosexual men also do not help either, because many men think it is funny that their normal size girlfriends or wives are paranoia about their weight or the size of their bottoms, and think that telling a woman, “you’re too fat”, is a joke. Other men also use it as a means of punishing women if they are not getting what they want from them. Or even use it as a weapon to undermine women’s confidence, and gain power over them. This is because a unconfident women is less likely to challenge the behaviour of the man she is living with

Some men are also affected by this fashion, as 1 in 7 of the people suffering from slimming diseases are men. Other men have been brainwashed into thinking very skinny women are beautiful. It is ironic that a woman like Marilyn Monroe and film-star of the 1950s who then was then seen as having the perfect figure, would be now be seen by many, as too fat

Fortunately, it is not all bad news. On British TV, the fashion expert, Gok Wan, has set out to give normal size women, confidence that they are beautiful, in his popular shows, How to look Good Naked. For this he needs to be greatly commended. So at least some people in the fashion industry are willing to try to repair the harm, of what they are doing to women

In 2011, the fifty year old, TV presenter and maths wizard, Carol Voderman was voted, “Rear of the year”, beating the younger and slimmer, odds on favourite, Pippa Middleton, (sister of the Duchess of Cambridge), for the title. For normal heterosexual men, it is obvious to me why Carol Voderman won the title, but many in the media were shocked by the large number of men who voted for her. This suggests that the fashion media has totally lost touch with what ordinary men think of as beautiful in women.

Although a competition like, Rear of the year”, is just a bit of fun, it is still very influential in how women think of themselves. As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, this known by the advertising industry. They know that images are far more influential than any other communication medium, over the minds of people.

It is unfortunate that ordinary heterosexual men no longer have a say in what they perceive as beautiful in the fashion industry. To make it worse, men’s views on female beauty has been given a bad press, because men like to see beautiful women in Men’s magazines. Unfortunately, most women seem to think these magazines are very crass, crude and demeaning to women. This is why the views of a homosexual fashion guru like Gok Wan have far more influence on women, than the views of ordinary heterosexual men.

Are women trying to look like Men?

Another problem is that the feminine is seen as being ‘weak’ in our patriarchal world. Women are taught that if they want to get ahead in our world, then they have to learn to be as aggressive and competitive as men. This is reflected in the fashion of, “power dressing” where a woman wear shoulder pads to make it look like she had wide muscular shoulders, and very high heel shoes so she looks as tall as a man.

So there is a strong feminist influence in modern women’s fashion where women want to feel empowered, but the underlining message is that they have to act and even look like men, to do this. So this also has to do with issues about feminine power. That is to say, how women can feel empowered but remain feminine. This is why Carol Vorderman is a good role model for women, as she looks feminine but also is very successful and is famous for her intelligence

Banana Girl

Ex model writes a book on what it is like to be a 'supermodel'.

© 2011 William Bond

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Comments 47 comments

Pascale1973 profile image

Pascale1973 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Beautiful hub, nicely written, i love my hour glass figure and I make sure and tell myself that every time....thank you from the bottom of my heart, I'm raising triplets, 2 girls and a boy, my girls are beautiful and I want them to always feel that way, voted up and following you now...


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

Thank you Pascale1973, Yes, I agree children need to be encoaraged to feel good about themselves.


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 4 years ago from North Carolina, USA

We need to expose kids to classical and Renaissance art. Botticelli certainly did not paint anorexic women. Healthy is beautiful.

I liked Dove soap's "real beauty" ad campaign that showed smiling women of all ages, shapes, colors and sizes. That is what we need to teach our children.


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

Yes, Kschimmel, our children are strongly influenced by adverts, as well pop stars and fashion magazines. The media is not going to change unless enough people protest about the irrisponsible attitude of the fashion industry.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

I was always very tall and very skinny so from the time I was fifteen I was asked to do some modelling but 'the body' was never my priority...fashion never interested me, 'the mind' was something I always wanted to exercise and now in my middle age I am happy that I didn't listen to 'well meant advice' and followed my calling...we tend to put too much importance on outside, without realizing that our body is just an empty shell if we do not fill it with substance....


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

I agree Beata, but not everyone sees it like this.

The fashion industry has always promoted one body shape as being beautiful, but people come is all different shapes and sizes, and what is beautiful is always a matter of opinion.


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

Thank you TransferAmerica for your comment. Yes, there does seem to be an increasing number of people protesting against this madness.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I wanted to add that women have also had the idea that they should not have long hair to look good and at one time there was the androgynous look with beautiful women looking more like men. At the same time women who do very well as actresses, singers and women in glam modelling nearly always keep their hair long and flowing. There are a few exceptions but most women who are thought of as stunningly beautiful have long hair so what is all this short-haired look about? Many older women too have their hair cut shorter. At the same time these women complain that men are not attracted to them.


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

I suppose it is the same, Bard. Short hair is seen as macho and long hair is seen as feminine. So women who want short hair want to be seen as macho. Many women claim they don't want power, but from the way they dress, suggests to me they very much want it.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Hairdressers promote this too. I got tired many years ago of answering what I thought of some woman friend's haircut when they had ruined their beauty by having it all chopped off. Also there are women who say men do not find them attractive but often they have spoiled their appearance with short hair styles and I don't find them attractive myself.


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

Which suggests for me that for many women power and respect is more important to them than wanting to look beautiful. Perhaps having short hair gives out a signal of, "don't mess with me". But long hair gives the signal of "I am feminine and a push over". While society sees that feminine is "weak" and masculine is "strong" then many women will prefer to look butch.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

There is a contradiction with this though surely, because wouldn't you agree that those women who are regarded as the world's most glamorous and beautiful women eg actresses, singers and the winners of beauty contests usually have long hair? Certainly all past role models for beauty such as Marilyn Monroe, Ursula Andress and Brigitte Bardot all wore their hair long, though Monroe's was not as long as the other two.


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

I should imagine women who do feel empowered, the issue about long hair wouldn't effect them. It is more about women who don't feel powerful, so they dress in a masculine way to make them feel more powerful.

Another point is that beautiful women can get pestered by men, so some women deliberately dress so men don't fancy them. This apparently happens to women who have been raped and see looking ugly as a protection again this.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Your explanation makes good sense, William. I think that whatever the reason it causes other problems such as the women who have had their hair cut short don't like it if their men find the women with long hair attractive and this sets up the "what about me?" or "I am your girlfriend/wife" syndrome where such women get upset because the man is clearly interested in some woman who looks more attractive because of her long hair. At the same time that man doesn't want to turn round and say "I am sorry, it's just that she looks better than you now after you had that awful haircut." I am pretty sure tests could be done using a number of men and photos of women including famous ones with long and short hair styles, and asking the men to chose the ones they found the prettiest. I am sure most men would choose the women with long hair more than those with short hair or it all cropped off such as Sinead O`Connor. I would go as far as saying I think this hair factor can be a reason for 'bitchiness' and jealousy amongst women.


Meg 4 years ago

Very interesting and well written. I'm writing an article for my school newspaper about how the fashion industry photoshops models in advertisements,can cause eating disorders in teenagers. And I was wondering if you could help me a bit with some information and your opinon? I would like your opinon on this: If there was a law, saying that you would have to put a disclaimer on any advertisement ,with a model, saying how edited the model was. Would it help bring down the deaths caused by eating disorders in the youth?


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Meg

Fashion is a powerful mult-billion dollar industry, so it would hard to get any law passed they didn't want.

My suggestion would be, as a school project, is to start your own fashion magazine using computer manipulation, like photo-shop. So you take a picture of very ordinary girls, and then manipulate the pictures to make the girl look like a super-model, but be honest about what you are doing. You can also point out that this is what fashion magazines do.

If you can produce beautiful and fashionable images, through the computer, that people want to look at, then it will undermine the power of the mainstream fashion magazines on the minds of women, of those who look at your magazine.


Meg 4 years ago

Thanks very much!


alifeofdesign profile image

alifeofdesign 4 years ago from New Hamphire

Hello Wabond. Insightful article. I find the add campaigns like Dove hopeful. Change is slow and difficult, however. The fashion world has been employing dangerously underweight girls for years and the PhotoShop tricks continue today. It's frightening to learn that so many young people still do not understand that hours of labor make up a single photograph. Our society also scoffs at the more candid pictures because they show a more 'real' body image. Interesting comments, also, left by your readers. Thank you all for sharing....

Best Regards,


Nadia 4 years ago

Thank you for this great article! Women have been and are abused, and this is one of the abusation. However, women is "tricked" under the flaf of fashion, beauty, freedom and success. In true sense, they are victims but sadly they themselves do not realise it.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I am me, overweight and waist length hair. If you don't like me, tough.


4 years ago

I can agree with you on two things, I do not think the extreme skinny women is attractive and Ms. Vordermen has a great can. Your reasoning is neither here nor there. You can blame fags or heterosexual women but the truth is it is the feminist who are most to blame, which you alluded to but did not fully develop. In an attempt to redefine a women's body as something other then a sex symbol (pure crazy if you ask me).

In addition men don't like fat chicks. We never have and we never will. Fat is not attractive, sorry big girls. if i had to choose between a fat chick and a skinny chick, skinny wins unless she has a facial deformity and no personality, then all bets are off. Believe me though Daddy likes a "thick" girl.

Thick

def: having shape appropriate to ones natural frame, with slight excess in the areas associated with sexuality.

So here is to the Thick girls out there, keep doing it. Feminists stop trying to ruin the best thing you got going for yourself and fags, well, do what makes you happy, I'm no hater.

out


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

Hi J

There are a lot of men out there who like big women. In the Arab world women try to put on weight to make themselves beautiful to men. Certainly men do like women with large breasts and this is impossible for a skinny woman to have. Many men also like women with large bottoms which again you cannot have in a skinny woman. And last of all, many men do like women with an hour glass figure. But with a skinny woman all her curves disappear.

I agree with you about feminist, so many of them do want to look, act and behave like men. So I suppose the only way they can look like men, is to either do weight training to get muscles, take steroids, or to starve themselves to get rid off their feminine curves.


Chris Hugh 4 years ago

What a fascinating Hub! And a fascinating comment above mine. I want to write a Hub now, one that shows beautiful women of all sizes and talks about beauty in general and how its viewed in various cultures.

And I'm a feminist! One of the old school same-pay-for-same-pay type that doesn't demand special rights. LOL. I guess that's just normal now and "feminist" has gone off and gotten a new definition.

I saw a new-style feminist on TV. She said if women who wanted to be firefighters couldn't handle firefighting tools, they should be given "electric axes" or something.

What some so-called feminists don't understand is a woman can pretty much do anything she puts her mind to, including building up to where she can handle a 70 pound Hirschtool ("Jaws of Life") if that's what she needs to do to get the job she wants and keep it. One of my law school classmates was a female firefighter.

Anyway, off the soapbox...


WhydThatHappen 4 years ago

Wow, craaaazy picture! Women, please never do this to yourselves!


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

This is such and important topic and women can have serious issues with this. I have not weighed myself for 8 years I have managed to stay the same size all along by not fighting with food. I have had problems in the past when I could not stop losing weight and got down to 84 lbs. This was scary.


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Such good sense, William … I am sharing this important hub on the HubPages Writer’s Community Facebook page.

I’m a chunky monkey myself now but luckily I have plenty of confidence (some would say too much!) so I can carry it off. Of course, being an old bat as well does mean that body shape isn’t so important to me anymore.


wabond profile image

wabond 4 years ago from England Author

Thank You Angie


idigwebsites profile image

idigwebsites 3 years ago from United States

In my opinion, heterosexual men really like women who are full, bosomy and curvy. I think the notion that you have to be skinny to be beautiful -- that's the idea of gay fashion men (in general -- hey I can be wrong in this).

But whatever our body type is... we shouldn't be dictated by today's fashion. Be comfortable with your own skin, and create your own style. That's all I can say.


wabond profile image

wabond 3 years ago from England Author

I agree, Idigwebsites, as a heterosexual male myself I can say I don't find these extremely skinny women appealing at all, and I don't know of any other hetro- male who likes them either.

I don't understand the world of fashion and how it comes about that a few designers can dictate to women what they wear and even what body shape they should be.


Nicole S profile image

Nicole S 3 years ago from Minnesota

Crazy how the standards change isn't it?


wabond profile image

wabond 3 years ago from England Author

Yes, I suppose every generation wants to be different from the next, which can lead to strange ideas.


basecamptrekking profile image

basecamptrekking 3 years ago from Kathmandu, Nepal

I wanted to add that women have also had the idea that they should not have long hair to look good and at one time there was the androgynous look with beautiful women looking more like men. At the same time women who do very well as actresses, singers and women in glam modelling nearly always keep their hair long and flowing.


wabond profile image

wabond 3 years ago from England Author

I personally don't have an issue with women's hair. They can have it as long as they like or shave it off depending on what they like. What concerns me is fashion like being so skinny that women can die, following this fashion. I am also concerned about things like fashionable shoes, that do a lot of damage to women's feet.


Educateurself 3 years ago

First of all great hub mentioned reality of fashion industry. I personally not against fashion industry, but I am against this point that why they used women as doll, tool, toy or the models itself doesn't know anything or they don't love their self.


wabond profile image

wabond 3 years ago from England Author

I just think that fashion models should reflect what normal women look like. We should have fashion models that are fat, thin and medium. With all sorts of figures, pair shaped, hour glass, large breast, small breasts etc, etc.


Jmillis2006 profile image

Jmillis2006 3 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub, I think the fashion industry needs to move away from these to thin models and the images they give to our youth on beauty.


wabond profile image

wabond 3 years ago from England Author

I agree Jmillis2006


baja2013 profile image

baja2013 3 years ago from Sarajevo, Bosnia

Real beauty is in health and happy look. Sadly but most of professional models don't look like that.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 3 years ago

Nice hub - am not really sure why those in the fashion industry think that being stick thin is beautiful and preferable - am not convinced at all that men or women think that's their perception of beauty! The human body wasn't meant to look like the woman in the first picture.

I don't know whether that's a real fashion model, but it's a horrifying sight. I've known of girls myself who are starving themselves to get more and more skinnier, so it does concern me (especially being the mother to a young daughter) the kind of perception of beauty the fashion folks are putting out! Hope it changes!!


wabond profile image

wabond 3 years ago from England Author

Agreed Baja2013 and Shil1978, thanks.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

There used to be a show on TV where women subjected themselves to total makeovers. At the end, they all looked like clones of each other! It was disgusting, and even more so because these women submitted themselves to surgery to get "the desired look". We need to smarten up about this issue, that's for sure. One thing...wish you had separated this article into capsules to make it easier to read!


wabond profile image

wabond 3 years ago from England Author

Thanks Timetraveler2, all right I will try do and you suggest.


Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

Oh the first picture on the hub made me shudder! Despite that, it was a great hub and got the message across. Carol Vorderman looks fab at 50 and her curves are her best asset. Glad you got Gok in there too. I just love him; how he is openly gay and yet does not shy away from touching a woman. Great hub - voted up and shared


wabond profile image

wabond 3 years ago from England Author

Yes, it is a shame that Hub pages made me censor this picture. I don't know who objected to it. Thanks.


Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

Sometimes it's Google. I had to take most of my breastfeeding pictures off or lose my ads.


wabond profile image

wabond 3 years ago from England Author

That is crazy, why would anyone object to pictures of breastfeeding?! I don't understand what goes through the mind of these people.


basecamptrekking profile image

basecamptrekking 3 years ago from Kathmandu, Nepal

I just think that fashion models should reflect what normal women look like. We should have fashion models that are fat, thin and medium. With all sorts of figures, pair shaped, hour glass, large breast, small breasts etc

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