Models Aren't to Blame for Bad Body Images

Chanel Iman's svelte frame doesn't create poor self-esteem in others, writes fashion journalist Robin Givhan in the Daily Beast. Instead, the fashion world is the shopkeeper enticing you with more, and that's the problem.

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Designer Tom Ford, model Chanel Iman (Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

As international Fashion Week concluded in Paris, critics were outraged that Vogue and some designers featured underage and gravely thin models, despite a recent pledge against just that. In May, 19 editors of Vogue agreed to promote healthy body images by not employing models younger than 16 or obviously suffering from eating disorders. But this promise was quickly broken by the Chinese and then Japanese versions of the magazine.

However, fashion journalist Robin Givhan writes in the Daily Beast that people shouldn't be up in arms over models being too skinny, but instead, accept that the fashion industry's job is to remind people of what they don't have.

The fashion industry simply loves a skinny young girl. And for the average woman, fashion continues to deliver a brutal, frustrating fantasy. But are the models to blame for women's psychic battering?

To most critics, skinny models seem to exacerbate the occurrence of eating disorders. But over time, it hasn't mattered if the models-of-the-day were waifs or Amazons. Experts say there's no evidence that the rate of eating disorders has spiked or plummeted accordingly.

So apparently size doesn't matter. Rather, fashion's sin is that it peddles dissatisfaction. What one has is never quite pretty enough, luxurious enough, glamorous enough—and, with obesity on the rise and baby boomers settling into retirement—thin, toned, and tight enough.

Read Robin Givhan's entire piece at the Daily Beast.

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