View Full Version : A teen perspective

11th March 2009, 14:47
I found this article online written by a 16-year-old Irish girl, and thought I'd post it. At such a young age, she's lucky to be able to see the media for what it is.


Here's some of it:

Is this beautiful?

Media coverage of underweight models, teen diet fads and size zero celebrities leaves a bad taste in the mouth of Headliners reporter, Laura Lee, 16, from Belfast.

After witnessing the image of beauty change throughout my teenage years, I have seen and heard about more cases of anorexia. Being curvy used to be seen as being beautiful, but today it is the jutting collar bones, stick thin limbs and prominent cheek bones that have young people turning to eating disorders.

This illusion that thin is beautiful is everywhere; in magazines, newspapers, television and the internet. I even feel pressure to be thin after reading a magazine, so I can understand how some young people take it to the extreme. I watched a programme about an 8 year old anorexic called Dana. It shocked me seeing such a young child being pressured into being thin...

...I think the reason more girls suffer from an eating disorder than boys is that there is more publicity around stick thin females than males. In my opinion, designers should use more full-figured models as a way of promoting a healthy body image.

Instead of promoting unhealthy, unrealistic body images the media should be making families aware of the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder so sufferers can be recognized and treated early on....

One girl I read about who was left untreated for too long is supermodel Luisel Ramos who suffered a heart attack and died instantly on the catwalk. Her family had no idea of her eating disorder. With shocking stories like these people should become more aware of the dangers of eating disorders and how to prevent or help sufferers. And hopefully in the near future the image of beauty will become bigger and better.
It's encouraging to hear of one young girl who has this kind of awareness. The sad thing is, most girl her age do not, and suffer from exactly the kind of brainwashing that she decries in her article.

12th March 2009, 21:33
I'm sure there isn't a young child alive who would find an anorexic model beautiful. The only reason teens do is because they've been conditioned into it. It's not natural. But this young lady has escaped the conditioning.

24th July 2009, 08:46
<br>It is frightening to think of the inordinate pressure that teen girls face in modern society, when it comes to body image. From the media's constant propaganda about a (fictional) weight "epidemic," to its non-stop bombardment of images of androgynous models, being a curvy girl is surely more difficult now than it has ever been before.

With that in mind, one has to marvel at the perceptiveness of the young girl who penned the aforementioned article. How intelligent she must be to realize, at such a young age, that images of emaciated models are "unhealthy" and "unrealistic," and to determine that the thinness-is-beautiful mantra is a mere "illusion" (for, as she laments, <i>"this illusion that thin is beautiful is everywhere"</i>).

Furthermore, how gratifying that she realizes that the underweight standard is merely a modern aberration, and that plus-size beauty is timeless. As she writes, <i>"being curvy used to be seen as being beautiful."</i> For a generation growing up without a sense of history--indeed, growing up in an educational environment in which tradition is denounced, and in which history is actively suppressed for political reasons--to find a young woman with such historical awareness is encouraging. Ten years ago, when this site began, the historicity of the full-figured ideal went virtually unnoted by the chattering classes. But today, the ability to reference the past as a healthier alternative to the present has become standard practice in discussions of body image.

Perhaps the most encouraging statement is the young author's resolve that <i>"designers should use more full-figured models as a way of promoting a healthy body image."</i> She is absolutely right. It is very telling that the fashion industry continues to suppress plus-size models, for nothing is more threatening to the aesthetic hegemony of the androgynous standard than images of full-figured goddesses.

As this young girl realizes, when images of well-fed models proliferate throughout the media, society will finally reject the illusion of "anorex-chic," and rediscover timeless femininity.

Let us hope that she is not alone, and that many girls of her generation will grow up with a similar independence of mind.

Curvaceous Christina Schmidt (5'7, size 14), in an episode of <i>Degrassi: The Next Generation.</I><p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/cs/cap003.jpg"></center><p>The most gorgeous teen girl who has ever appeared on broadcast television.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/cs/cap004.jpg"></center><p>- <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/" target="_blank">Timeless Beauty Today</a>

25th July 2009, 18:04
In the August Seventeen -- the same issue Kelly S. is in -- on page 110, another young lady, identified as 19-year-old Crystal from Aurora, IL, has this to say:

I've never been the 'skinny girl.' I'm short and stout, and I don't remember ever wearing a size smaller than 7. It's always made me uncomfortable, until I was watching a Bollywood movie one day. (My friends and I are obsessed!) Even though the main character's body was softer and thicker than what you usually see in American movies, all the guys couldn't stop staring at her -- being curvy is actually preferred in India. It has made me more comfortable with my weight and size, and now I don't let what others say about me get me down!

1st November 2009, 22:36
I live an an area where many young girls are fairly curvy. And they are the girls everyone wants to date.

4th November 2009, 07:34
It's always made me uncomfortable, until I was watching a Bollywood movie one day. (My friends and I are obsessed!) Even though the main character's body was softer and thicker than what you usually see in American movies, all the guys couldn't stop staring at her
Crystal is right; there are many examples of plus size celebration in Indian cinema. And, just as Crystal in Kristina's post mentioned, full-figured actresses are often portrayed in movies as supremely desirable---as the girl every guy wants.

If only Hollywood would try following Bollywood in this respect! Imagine if lovely, genuinely full-figured actresses were filmed in the same manner as the underweight starlets that are so overexposed today---if plus size actresses like Christina Schmidt were cast in major roles in feature films and were portrayed as attractive and desirable without any hint of irony or any backstory in which the heroine is teased for her weight. Just look at the positive viewer response to the appearance of Kate Winslet in Titanic, or of Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Diary, both of whom were still quite thin, but were noticeably fuller-figured in those films than the majority of Hollywood actresses. Why doesn't Hollywood take the hint?