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The influence of fashion media to E ating Disorders. Heiley Chiu – Arts Award 2012. Notes before we Start. Eating Disorders are not just about being very thin and it isn’t a decision. It’s an mental Illness.

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notes before we start
Notes before we Start.
  • Eating Disorders are not just about being very thin and it isn’t a decision. It’s an mental Illness.
  • It may stem from not eating from the start, but soon after from not eating regularly. The body starts to reject the food and it becomes an serious issue. Believe it or not, 1 in 5 people actually die from Eating Disorders if it is left untreated.
  • It isn’t a modern illness
  • Eating Disorders began record from the 1680s, where media and advertisements started to expand and grow.
and even more notes
… And even more notes…
  • It’s Serious…
  • Most Eating Disorders lead to Anorexia which research found that 20% die from the illness and there has been cases where children as young as 6 years old suffering from it and old as 70s as well. -
  • Got it?
  • Then let’s move on….
  • (Information on personal request from me to Beats Charity)
dove evolution of a model
Dove: Evolution of a Model

Everyday we watch Advertisements, whether it’s on the streets, on the bus, on the television or online. The image of “Perfect body” is embedded in our minds.

We have no idea if the woman presented in the clip is an actual professional model or not. However, if she is not, Dove is playing at the situation that no matter what you look like, you can be a model with the help of makeup to hide spots and pimples, some/major computer editing and airbrushing, thus bringing a whole new ideal into the argument.

But is what Dove shows us is true?


“I think the images put too much pressure on women and make them feel inadequate. Always seeing airbrushed and skinny celebrities creates an even more us and them culture where we are second best.

They portray an unrealistic and unachievable image and add to the already dangerously low self esteem of women.”

- Hannah B, 17, Welwyn, Herts

Fashion Magazine presents over airbrushed photo-shoot spreads like these are almost taunting to young people and to people with low self esteem about their own bodies. But it’s ridiculous.

But let’s look at a personal case.

WARNING: The next slide may contain slight disturbing images.


Victim’s Experience with Eating Disorders.

Rachael Johnston was given just 48 hours to live after a four-year battle with anorexia left her weighing a mere 4½ stone.

Her shocking decline was fuelled by an obsession with photo- graphs of super-slim celebrities in glossy magazines.

Miss Johnston’s descent into anorexia began when, at 13, she started to idolisecelebrities and obsess over their figures.

- Daily Mail Online



but let s look at the other side
But let’s look at the other side.

What’s life behind the magazine.


A professional retoucher has revealed what really happens to those beauty and fashion campaigns from the first shoot to its final send off.

She reveals: 'They wear false eyelashes, of course, in the photo shoot, and we completely draw the lashes in one by one so it's just like a forest of eyelashes. That's like the biggest lie of all - you can't achieve that.’

she reveals that many magazine covers are heavily distorted, with retouchers often cutting out a head from one photo and putting it on the body from another frame.

She says: I do that kind of stuff all the time. Let's say they do a photo shoot with a model and the body comes out well, but she's got a wonky look on her face. They might want to put this head on that body. Or they want to put an arm from one photo on the body of another - that's common.’

- Daily Mail

(On right – Julia Robert’s ad for Lancôme was banned by the UK Advertising Industry)


My thought:

Airbrushed photos and the Fashion Industry prove only to be the catalyst of the problem. What the real problem is the “ideal of society”

Point one: Everyday, we are seeing at least a few dozen fashion advertising pushing the image of “perfection” into our heads.

Point two: That image of “perfection” is creating the society that we are all part of – eventually recreating the Fashion Industry as well using those ideals that are implanted into our heads.

Point three: We then recreate these ideals out as the new generation of the fashion industryleaking it into magazines and TV ads, etc.

  • So the problem isn’t the Fashion Media, which we usually accuse for the cause of Eating Disorders.
  • It’s the Society and we as consumers.
  • As we are constantly buying this image and ideal we constantly being sold to are to blame.
  • Imagine: You wouldn’t buy a magazine with the cover of a model covered in spots or pimples. Airbrushing and makeup are used to “suit” the perfect/socially acceptable image. Otherwise the magazine wouldn’t sell.

Mislead/ Low self esteem leading into Eating Disorders and Anorexia

Suggesting a “Perfect image” Ideal forming a false society

Fashion Media – Beautiful models/ Makeup/Airbrushed Ads