Body Image Issues: Are The Fashion Media To Blame?
LAST week I was complaining about Miley Cyrus and how much airplay she was getting for that terrible song ‘Adore You‘. The conversation escalated into how radios play so much awful music these days when my boyfriend made a fair point. He said the radio plays what the majority want to listen to – in this case the majority are teenage girls buying Miley’s albums and requesting her songs.
The body image debate is very controversial, phrases like ‘real women have meat‘ and ‘put some meat on those bones‘ are thrown around on internet threads quite regularly. About a month ago, I read an article by a blogger who very confidently said that the fashion industry and the media combined are to blame for body image issues in women. For a while I believed this, I mean all you have to do is open an issue of Vogue and flawless, gawky women stare back at you. Then I wondered if fashion media is to blame then how are they making profits by selling an image that is found repulsive and offensive by their audience?
My argument is that the media is not some mysterious, untouchable, invisible cult. Without you and me, there would be no fashion media. Fashion media delivers what sells and if skinny, airbrushed women do, then they will sell just that. People are complaining about these magazines but Vogue is not going out of business.
I would rather if the radio played more Emeli Sande than Miley Cyrus but bashing Miley Cyrus’ music – or Justin Bieber for that matter – is not going to make Spin play Emeli Sande. If I want Emeli, I should buy her albums and request that she be played. It is as simple as that. If we do not agree with Vogue’s contents then we shouldn’t buy Vogue; we buy fitness magazines. We buy magazines for ‘real people’. If Vogue realises that their skinny campaigns are not selling then like any other business, they will strategically change their product in order to suit their customers.
We have the power but we can’t exercise it if we aren’t comfortable in our own skin. It’s no secret that body weight is a sensitive subject for most women, media or no media. Nothing takes away that sensitivity until you decide that you are fully responsible for how you perceive you body. We all have full responsibility to love our bodies – meaty or bony – cherish it, take care of it and before you know it, Elle magazine won’t be airbrushing Miranda Kerr anymore because their readers won’t care how unrealistically small her waistline is.
It is about time we stop punching shadows and take action.
Photo c/o weheartit.com