A Fashion-Forward Approach to Body Image?

The fashion industry's unrealistic standard of beauty may be in jeopardy. Good riddance.
Taryn Degnan Interactive Marketing Manager | Mom of one Categories: Media and Body Image
Interactive Marketing Manager | Mom of one

Hundreds of thousands of people descended on snowy New York City last week for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, a semi-annual event that gathers celebrities, designers, and fashion press to gawk over upcoming designs and trends. Accompanying the event were the usual stories about how models get in shape for the catwalk. But this year, a different point of view emerged: universal outcry over the extreme diets and unrealistic standards of beauty rampant in the fashion world.

  • A story about how a designers' trade group partnered with a weight loss company to offer a 50 percent discount to models in search of a Fashion Week juice cleanse received wide condemnation
  • And 20-year-old Cassandra Bankson (pictured), whose viral YouTube video about her acne-plagued skin actually landed her a spot on last year’s Fashion Week runway, said recently of her new career, "Models shouldn't be modeling perfection because there is no such thing. We should be modeling our imperfections."

What's going on? Is the tide changing from one of promoting so-called perfection to healthy, "real" women? Is the media taking some responsibility for pushing idealistic standards of beauty on kids? These examples are certainly changing the conversation. And I think that's right in style.

If you're looking for some positive examples of role models for your kids in the media, there are plenty of books, movies, and TV shows that help them see right through the unrealistic portrayals of perfection and develop a positive body image

How do you teach your kids to think critically in their everyday lives about the messages the media is sending?

image of Cassandra Bankson via flickr

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About Taryn Degnan

As Common Sense Media's Interactive Marketing Manager, Taryn is responsible for growing and engaging our online community (that's you!) She's the voice behind our social media channels and spends her time finding... Read more

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Comments (8)

Parent written by makhussey

One of these great trends is the menswear-inspired women's wear trend, which made its way back on the runways for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week during February of 2011 in New York City. Fashion college students might appreciate the following list of tips to rock the menswear-inspired look for this spring and summer. http://www.fashion-design-course.com/
Parent written by kimkardashian

Fashion forward is taking on a complete new meaning with the emergence of smart materials. Moving beyond trends, these fabrics require labs and scientists rather than designers and workrooms and their debut is much more likely to happen at universities and not Fashion Week. Kim Kardashian
Parent of a 1 year old written by Emily Green

Wonderfully written, Taryn! I think a lot of progress has been made over the past couple years in terms of girls' image, but there is still a long way to go. A mama friend showed me a huffington post article on how we talk to little girls - we keep reinforcing the "beautiful princess" thing instead of focusing on their inner beauty qualities.
Educator and Parent of a 6 and 8 year old written by Sierra Filucci

We think a lot about what TV and movies our kids are exposed to, we limit the amount of advertising they see, and we model a healthy attitude toward our bodies -- imperfections and all!