Goal Setting

Body Image Report: Is the Fashion World Getting Real?

body imageParis Fashion Week Concludes With Celebration of Women’s Curves,” Fox News announced earlier this month. But they soon revealed their skepticism: “But can a size four model really be considered ‘curvy’?”

A more diverse range of body shapes are gracing the runways this spring. But do they represent the “real woman”?

A recent headline caught our attention and made us cheer, “The fashion world is getting real at last!” Or were they?

A “Real Woman” Revolution?

Realistic female figures have been slowly replacing model-thin on the catwalk. “The thin and beautiful have had their turn,” Jennie Yabroff reported in Newsweek two years ago. “The hippest models today look more like the rest of us.”

This “reality check” could be due to the negative response that has erupted over unhealthily thin models—or, in recent months, models whose waists were airbrushed impossibly thin (remember the Ralph Lauren ad blooper?).

On the Runway at Paris Fashion Week

This year’s Paris Fashion Week got a lot of attention for featuring curvier models. But really, while this model picks may have been a little older, and a little less jaunty and hollow-eyed, they were still much younger and far more thin than the average woman. What was applauded as the rise of the “real” model turned out to be only a slight incline: from size 2 to 4.

The Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) argues that “standards of beauty have in fact become harder and harder to attain, particularly for women.”

Fashion designers and media sources are still presenting female figures that are unattainable for most women. In response to continued concern voiced by the public, we hope to see designers take more responsibility by celebrating healthy, ideal figures for men and women.

Are Fashion Magazines Playing Fairer?

Some popular fashion magazines are embracing the push toward featuring realistic body shapes. With more actresses and other celebrities becoming the faces of fashion, this has brought a diversity of figures above the fold. Many publications, like Marie Claire, include snapshots of people out in the real world, wearing fashion, telling their stories and sharing tips for cultivating positive body image and self-confidence. Still, do the models on their pages reflect the change?

Many of the professional models in fashion magazines still seem to be “model-thin.” And most readers still come away with the incorrect idea that you have to be tall, skinny and chisel-featured to be attractive.

The truth is that there’s a big difference between this and what the majority of American culture defines as beauty or handsomeness. Paris couture may not be ready to realize this, but the rest of us are.

Bloggers are Speaking Out

“Realize that fitness is not about skinny jeans or skinny-girl stereotypes,” wrote Diana Swallow, the blogger behind Scale Junkie, on Glamour.com. “That doesn’t mean we should stop trying to improve; it just means that our time is better spent focusing on building a strong, healthy body and mind rather than trying to fit into a cookie-cutter mold.”

This is important to remember as you embark on your weight loss and fitness goals. We help our clients adopt realistic, positive self-images to achieve their personal best. In our experience, this is the truest path to successful, lasting weight loss.

We admire bloggers like Swallow, who are truly working to help women understand the beauty of diverse ages, figures and ethnicity. The fashion and beauty industry is evolving, but they’re making baby steps toward celebrating women’s ideal shapes. We think it’s time for a big leap!

Be sure to read our tips for befriending the mirror and making your weight loss journey a smooth ride.



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