Skin & bones

By on September 26, 2006

What is it about society today that leads many women to count calories, replace meals with diet pills and to exercise to the point of exhaustion? What is causing the drastic increase in eating disorders over the past five years? Why are women “dying to be thin?”

The constant flood of images of emaciated women in advertisements, television and movies is certainly not helping the situation, and the “new and improved” weight loss methods appearing in the pages of Cosmopolitan and Glamour is enough to throw anyone over the edge.

“All you see in the tabloids is stick-thin celebrities and the media portraying them as beautiful,” said Victoria Hemingway, a freshman liberal arts major. “I can understand why so many girls are starving themselves; they’re just doing it to fit in.”

That’s why some modeling agencies, including those based in Madrid, Spain, are placing a ban on women with a Body Mass Index of less than 18 from participating in modeling on catwalks in an attempt to promote healthier self-images. That means a model who clocks in at 5’9 would have to weigh at least 123 pounds.

With the number of adolescents suffering from eating disorders skyrocketing in the past few years, some agencies are beginning to question where the values of society really lie.

With Madrid in the midst of its Fashion Week, the ban is shaping up to be a very controversial topic.

Models such as Esther Canadas, one of Spain’s most prominent models, will not be able to model on the catwalk, because she has a BMI of 14.3.

It’s starting to look like Italy will also follow suit. The governor of Milan stated that she is “seeking a ban on models who look sick.” Kate Moss, who has a BMI of 15.7, is also on the list of ineligible models.

Students at Quinnipiac think the decision is a good one.

“We finally get to see models portrayed with more to them than just bones,” said Nicole Husband, a freshman pre-med major.

Britney Tolman, a freshman physician assistant major, agreed.

“It’s nice to see the fashion industry promoting a ‘healthy, my-clothes-fit-right’ kind of image, instead of the ’emaciated, Third World, I-borrowed-these-clothes-from-my-older-sister’ look,” she said.

Though Italy and Spain are taking action, with London set to follow suit, the United States has no plans to bring the ban to New York. In fact, Stan Herman, designer and President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America was quoted as saying, “it would be the same as banning somebody who’s too fat.”


About Jamie Marie Robinson