You’ve heard it all before, right? The debate on whether or not the fashion industry has an impact on people’s mental health. Who hasn’t?
Fashion & The Effects On Body Image
For years, people have wanted to find out whether or not the fashion industry has a negative effect on ourselves. Do the models in the latest runway shows make us want to be skinnier? Do the airbrushed photographs in magazines further point out our imperfections? Do these insecurities affect us so much that they can lead to eating disorders, depression, and severe anxiety?
As a sufferer of mental health disorders myself, I think research is incredibly important. However, right now I’ve decided not to write about the countless research done by some of the leading mental health professionals; for one very simple reason – when it comes down to it, the only thing we really want to know is:
Does it Affect Me Personally and the People Around Me?
Do body image issues or eating disorders affect you, your friends, your mother, daughter, sister, brother, dad or son? Could one of them have an eating disorder because of the way the fashion industry showcases how we should look? Is your thirteen-year-old sister battling with body dysmorphia and no longer leaves the house because she’s ashamed of how she looks? When you come across models on your Instagram feed, do they make you feel good about yourself or do they trigger negative thoughts? Do they make you want to be the model you’re looking at, rather than wear what she’s wearing?
To me, these are the reasons why I want the media to showcase more diversity. Because I care about my family and friends. Because on a personal level this subject is truly important to me. Dear fashion and media: keep the skinny models, but throw in some average-sized ones too.
It’s Personal to Us
It’s so incredibly personal to us. The people who are analyzed in all the research aren’t fictional characters out of a fantasy movie; they are actually right next to you. They are your sisters and moms, your best friends, people walking through your streets and colleagues working in your office. They are going to school with you, sitting next to you in a restaurant or dancing next to you in a club. They are the people you really care about most, the people you interact with on a daily basis and the strangers you might love one day.
They are everybody, and every body matters. There is no one-size or look that is ideal, and the sooner we stop conditioning the next generations, the sooner we can be more accepting of ourselves. The next generation will be that of my children, and so the depiction of bodies in fashion and media is important to me! It is time to take it personally and take a stand. That’s why publications like REglam are so important!
Photographer: Semra Sevin
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