One of the pitiful excuses that the mass media uses to deflect blame for their role in promoting eating disorders is that it is the responsibility of parents to protect children from their messages (which is akin to having a construction company say, "We just make asbestos-filled schools; it's the fault of parents for letting their children attend them"
). But kudos to this author for acting on this responsibility. Since the anti-plus media is
a threat to her daughter, and to daughters everywhere, this parent rightly recognizes that it is her responsibility not merely to keep her daughter from viewing its toxic imagery (which is impossible, in the long term), but to compel the media to stop producing such harmful imagery in the first place.
It should be obvious to everyone by now that without external pressure, (indeed, external regulation,) the media will never
change, so such pressure must be brought to bear on it.
The author makes a point about celebrity magazines that the publishers of these rags would do well to consider--i.e., that their endless stories about Gollum-like skeletal celebrities are intensely off-putting, and that the sales of these publications would increase if they featured fuller-figured actresses instead.
However, the grim truth is that these publications don't care
if they offend the general public, nor do they care if they ruin the body-image of generations of young women. News-stand sales are not their main concern. They simply publish the stories and images that will attract advertising revenue from the multi-billion-dollar starvation industry.
Indeed, it is fair to refer to most celebrity-gossip magazines, and to most magazines in general, as custom publications for weight-loss profiteers. In other words, they are diet magalogs. Ruining women's body image is not merely incidental to these publications. It is their prime objective.
Originally Posted by Kaitlynn
"EAT! EAT! EAT!" I want to scream at the tabs featuring cadavers in Versace, their undernourished bodies giving them that watermelon-head look. . . .
Get some popcorn, Lindsay Lohan. Eat a Butterfinger, Keira. . . .
Let's boycott the bones and vote in gals who know their way around a Duncan Hines
Nevertheless, it is always encouraging to see reporters calling for the popularization of fuller-figured actresses. This writer deserves particular credit for avoiding the mixed message of claiming that only "certain kinds" of foods are acceptable. Rather, she unambiguously indicates that, in order to become more beautiful, and to avoid the "bone-yard horror" look of Hollywood's current crop of "cadavers," actresses should indulge in naughty delicacies such as Butterfinger bars and Duncan Hines treats, because doing so will give them a healthier and a more beautiful appearance.
This is an admirable revaluation of media values. And frankly, it would be agreeable to see, say, Duncan Hines promotions in magazines celebrating curvier stars, to match the advertising revenue that the starvation industry bestows upon anorexia-pushing publications. These dessert ads would even operate on the same premise: just as diet ads promote the lie
that food-deprivation increases attractiveness, dessert ads could promote the truth
that indulging in sinful delicacies improves and augments feminine beauty. (After all, in a healthier time, advertising
was the norm.)
We look forward to the positive and healthy media that this author envisions.
Christina Schmidt (Wilhelmina/Brand), in one of the most gorgeous images that any plus-size model has ever created:
(Photography by Fadil Berisha.)