One of the most offensive excuses made on behalf of the thin-supremacist media and fashion industry remains the lie that they do not cause eating disorders. This, despite a vast literature in peer-reviewed medical journals that proves that they do.
But it seems as if the medical community has finally grown exasperated with this fiction. Last year, Dr. Hega Dittmar and 40 other body-image researchers sent a report
to the British government indicating that the media DO cause eating disorders, and now the Royal College of Psychiatrists is following suit.
The pertinent points:
Media is fuelling eating disorders, say psychiatrists
Always seeing thin models can undermine self esteem
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is calling on the media to stop promoting unhealthy body images and "glamorising" eating disorders.
It says the media contributes to eating disorders, particularly among young people.
It...calls for a new ethical editorial code...
The Royal College of Psychiatrists criticises the media for using underweight models and airbrushing pictures to make models appear physically "perfect."
It calls for an end to the use of underweight models.
Dr Adrienne Key from the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Eating Disorders Section said: "There is a growing body of research that shows the media plays a part in the development of eating disorder symptoms - particularly in adolescents and young people.
They also argue that articles which criticise the bodies of celebrities can make readers more dissatisfied with their own bodies.
Liberal Democrat MP, Jo Swinson...said it was now "crystal clear that media does play a critical role in the development and maintenance of negative body image and eating disorders."
This now makes it very hard for fashion-industry apologists to try to slough off criticism with the claim that the underweight aesthetic doesn't cause eating disorders. It does. And hopefully, this new "editorial code" is the first step toward firm legislation that will end the promotion of anorexia, once and for all.
The only shortcoming is that even the wording of this article still accepts the myth that malnourished models appear "perfect." Nothing could be further from the truth. This still remains the most significant challenge -- to break the public free from the brainwashing that models with protruding bones are somehow "perfect," when in fact they appear grotesquely emaciated.
Winning in the political sphere is important, but winning in the aesthetic sphere is the most crucial fight, because that's where the hearts and minds of the populace reside. When the public realizes that plus-size models represent true perfection, then and only then will the pernicious effect of the androgynous modern standard finally be negated.