Female models in the fashion industry have to follow a very stringent dietary control regimen. In the intense competition to look stunning, they often skip meals for days or vomit intentionally after eating. Often the modeling agencies tell them not to eat anything for 24-48 hours before a big show and only drink water.
Ulrike Louise Lahn Høyer, a 20-year-old Danish model, who is US size 2, was sent home from the fashion show of the famous brand Louis Vuitton. In her Facebook post, she elaborated that the organizers told her that she has a bloated face and stomach. She was told to drink only water for 24 hours before the show. Mistreatment of models by even big fashion houses is not new. They treat models like robots or hangers for their clothes. And increase in just half an inch in waistline can get them rejected.
Apart from promoting artificial standards of beauty, this trend is also highly unhealthy and both psychologically as well as physiologically damaging.
The desire to be ultra thin, or to attain the perfect ” hourglass ” shape forces many aspiring models to consume drugs and inject steroids which have a long lasting harm. It also has an adverse impact on their normal bodily functions and leads to a hormonal imbalance in the long run. Mass media fed beauty standards are not at all normal. And certainly not desirable. It is the way of influencing people and indoctrinating them that how a particular shape and size is the best. The size zero trend did a lot of harm and turned many young girls anorexic.
Being ultra skinny and petite is certainly not a benchmark beauty standard, no matter what the media frenzy and the celebrities may tell us. A healthy body is most important. Starving oneself and making the body vulnerable to diseases is not beauty. And there is no strict and absolute definition of beauty. Nor standards that have to be unfailingly adhered to. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. And different cultures and societies have different views on it. We don’t need the media or the pop culture to force feed a singular, distorted version.