Cover magazine, which specializes in fashion and lifestyle, has issued an apology for featuring a model that appeared to be extremely thin in a photograph. Social media quickly erupted after the photograph was made public, criticizing the magazine for supposedly deleting negative comments posted on its Facebook page. The comments were in regards to the image of the model.
Benny Englebrecht, Danish tax Minister, stated on Facebook and Twitter,
“I seriously thought that the fashion industry had understood that anorexia is a problem that should be taken seriously.”
Cover Magazine addressed the controversy in a note on its Facebook page. In the note, the company admitted it should never have?printed the photograph of the ?all-too-thin? model. Publisher Malene Malling wrote,
?Over the years, we have worked to show an expanded beauty ideal and to show that you can be beautiful in various ages and various sizes. We have always sought to work with healthy girls.”
Malling continued and called the incident a very sad day for her. She did remind readers, though, that two months ago the magazine featured a plus-sized model on the cover. She finished by saying,
?I have not lived up to my responsibility as a publisher, woman, and mother, and I am truly very sorry.?
The fashion world has been the focus of criticism before about the weight of models used in the industry. In modeling, thin models are preferred by the designers. Hollywood stars are also put in the spotlight for their weight, and those who are considered too thin or too large are often criticized.
Both body types can send the wrong message to impressionable people in society, and we need to create body positive messages in the media. Being extremely thin or overweight both bring their share of health concerns and dangers. Emotional and other issues related to eating disorders must be addressed in order to treat them. The statistics about eating disorders in the United States are shocking:
- In the United States, it is estimated that half a million teens battle eating disorders.
- Teenagers with eating disorders often start at 12-13 years of age.
- Since 1930, anorexia in teenagers? ages 15-19 has been on the rise.
- The rate of Bulimia in young women ages 10-39 in the years 1988-1993.
- 42 percent of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
- 81 percent of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
- 35-57 percent of adolescent girls attempt crash dieting, diet pills, forced vomiting, and laxatives.
- Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69% say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape. 47% say the pictures make them want to lose weight.
- 46 percent of 9-11 year-olds are ?sometimes? or ?very often? on diets, and 82% of their families are ?sometimes? or ?very often? on diets.
- Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who don’t diet.
The media portrayal of people in the world is not likely to change in the near future as our societal vanity is deeply engrained in television, movies, music, and fashion. We can only do our best to raise our children with body-positive thinking and self-confidence to counter the messages they receive from media and peers alike. We can only hope that one day our society will put preference on a healthy body and mind.