How Much Does The Fashion Industry Affect Women's Body Image

eating disorder helpThe rise and cause of eating disorders has been long-debated and with more young girls suffering from anorexia, bulimia and now orthorexia than ever before, health experts are desperate to find out the causes once and for all.

The fashion industry and media frequently get the blame for putting too much pressure on young women and nowadays, even men. Whilst many would argue that everyone is exposed to the same images and not everybody develops an eating disorder, it’s undeniable that these industries are giving women unrealistic expectations about what they should look like.

In the 1950s, shop mannequins were fashioned to mimic the average measurements of women. The average hip measurement of mannequins and women were both 34 inches. By 1990, the average woman’s hip measurement had grown to 37 inches while the average shop mannequin shrunk to 31 inches.

The average woman in the UK is 5’3” and weighs 11 stone. The average model is 5’11” and weighs just 8.3 stone. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding catwalk models in recent years and it’s not hard to see why because most of them meet the BMI physical criteria for anorexia.

Perhaps most shockingly, ten years ago plus-size models averaged between a size 16 and 22. In today’s size-obsessed world however a model who is a size 10 is classed as plus-size.

One particular study questioned girls about the images they see on a daily basis. 69% said that the models they see in magazines influence their idea of the perfect body shape and 47% said they influenced them to lose weight. Taking this into consideration, it comes as no surprise that 80% of women say that images of women on television and in the movies make them feel insecure.

If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with an eating disorder, please feel free to visit our Eating Disorder Treatment page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available.

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