There was a bit of a fight on a few weeks ago when a judge on a reality TV show appeared to suggest a skinny model was actually too fat. It’s got a lot of people talking about the kind of message it sends to young girls and the unrealistic idea of what beauty is. Body image is a serious problem that affects many young people so are shows like this making things worse? Here’s Tash.
NATASHA THIELE, REPORTER: We come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and the way we look is part of what makes us unique! But there’s one place where shape and size matters more than most. The modelling industry is a multi-million dollar business, ranging from catwalk modelling to fashion magazines. It’s the model’s job to show-off the clothes they wear or promote a product.
Most models you’ll see here are naturally thin and are often pretty tall. Here’s a range of normal looking women. Here they’re measured in dress sizes. From size 6 at one end, to larger sizes like 20 or more. The average Aussie woman falls somewhere between a size 14 and 16. But to be a catwalk model, you’re looking at a size 6 to 8. And not only that, you need to be much taller than average, usually more than 175 centimetres. That’s why some people have a problem with it.
They think the industry gives an unrealistic view of what’s normal. That can lead to people being unhappy about the way they look and has been blamed for some people developing eating disorders. A reality TV modelling show recently caused controversy when a judge appeared to suggest one of the size 8 models was too fat.
The judge later said he was only criticising her modelling skills. But there is another side to this argument. The big fashion companies say thin models make their clothes look more appealing, because they say the fabric hangs better. And they say that means more people will buy them.
And there are many modelling agencies now that are keen to take on larger models called plus-size models.
ANGIE CHRISTOPHEL, RACHEL’S MODEL MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING: A couple of kilos here and there is not about making a person and it doesn’t not make them beautiful because people shine when they’re healthy. If they’re too thin and not right for their body, they actually look sick and that’s not appealing to anybody.
BOY 1: They don’t show like women as they are in the public. They show women that are too skinny that people would say and it puts a bad image out for like young girls that try and like model the models.
GIRL 1: Everyone is beautiful like in their own body shape and they shouldn’t have to worry about what they look like.
BOY 2: It kind of depends on who you’re talking about because you can get people that are naturally thinner than others, but you can get people that are they’re bigger, but they try to be skinner and go against who they are.
GIRL 2: It makes you loose a lot of self esteem and you just see all the girls that look perfect in the magazines, even though you know it’s airbrushed and stuff like that.
So no matter what shape or size you are, everyone can be beautiful in their own way!