I tripped upon the above picture on Buzzfeed this afternoon and just sat and starred at this ad for a moment. I was pretty amazed at the statement that was being made but also happy to see that someone was taking a risk and putting the message out there, right in our faces.This appears to be the side of a bus stop and it’s an ad that’s placed by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). The glass reads, “Shed Your Weight Problem Here” and encourages viewers to dump their fashion magazines in the perspex container. NEDIC are very clearly saying that we have a problem with eating disorders because of the way in which men and women are displayed in magazines.
This is a broad statement. While this is not the complete truth, one simply cannot argue that the appearance of human beings on the glossy page does contribute to as much sadness as it does happiness in this world. Photoshop lends to unrealistic and unachievable ideals and young men and women everywhere are continually checking themselves against these images growing up. Of course that isn’t healthy and of course that’s going to lead to eating disorders. But do we say that enough in fashion? The answer is no.
Sure, we have magazines introducing new initiatives that will see us using healthier models and less photoshop. However, we are still using models that are much skinnier than the average shopper. We are still using photoshop to spiff things up and we are all still buying the magazines and showing our support for such acts. I’m the worst offender as I subscribe to nearly all of them. But I can also say that my happiness/sadness divide in reading them is just about even these days. I can appreciate that the women I see on the page, for the most part, are not real. But I still find myself wishing I had been born with this gene or that so that I too could look just as amazing in an Hermes coat or a Marchesa dress that I’m coveting. Sadly, playing the cards you were dealt in life is no longer the case now that a human being can completely remake themselves into anything they want with the help of some clever surgeons and a few hundred grand in the bank.
I don’t know what the answer is moving forward. I’d like to think things can change and as we evolve as humans, we can begin to accept ourselves more for who we are. Unfortunately, things seem to be headed in the other direction entirely.
Any suggestions to get this ball moving? The women I have met in fashion are all such intelligent and wonderful people. Surely if we all put our heads together with the aim to make a change, we could make it happen. What about a magazine that’s trialed where all models are a size 8-12 and there is no photoshop at all used in the editing. Would people buy it? Would it flop? How are we to know? We haven’t tried it yet…