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A Fashion-Forward Approach to Body Image?
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.
- In an interview with Fox News, model Kira Dikhtyar outed the industry's tolerance (and perhaps encouragement) of dangerous weight-loss methods.
- 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