A size six is now being considered plus sized for models. As shocking as that may be to most of us, it may be more shocking when you consider that Christie Brinkley, Paulina Proizkova, and Cindy Crawford all wore a size six at the height of their super model careers in the 1990s, according to PLUS Model magazine’s January edition. It horrifies me to think that my younger cousins might look at Cindy Crawford and think she is plus sized!
The article in PLUS Model magazine also reports that half of today’s women wear a size 14 and above, but most retail stores carry only sizes 14 and smaller. In addition, while in the 1990s, “the average fashion model weighed eight percent less than the average woman. Today she weights 23 percent less” and “most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for anorexia,” according to PLUS Model magazine.
It is no surprise that Judy Scheel, Ph.D., executive director of Cedar Associates is concerned that society is encouraging young girls towards the development of eating disorders in response to this article, most commonly binge eating disorder or bulimia. As parents, we need to realize that no matter what we are modeling for our children, the media is also modeling an ideal body that is unattainable by the majority of the population and making it seem as appealing as possible.
Children take things at face value and must be taught critical thinking. Children look at a beautiful images of a beautiful women and do not recognize that all of these women are a small percentage of the population. What young girls see is women having fun, looking pretty, and being given positive attention. As adults we know that these images have been air brushed and the images are posed. You can limit your child’s exposure to these images by shutting off the television, keeping adult magazines and catalogs (I mean Vogue not Playboy) in adult-only spaces, and avoiding certain billboards. You can focus on positive characteristics other than beauty in women such as intelligence, kindness, creativity, or humor. You can start to teach critical thinking skills to your child by talking about how advertisements are like fantasies. You can identify and affirm all the beautiful characteristics about your little girl.