A short time ago, I was at an appointment and in their reception area was a stack of magazines. I saw a picture of Kelly Ripa and there was a sub-title, “15 Things You Don’t Know About Her”… I’m always intrigued by learning things ‘I don’t know about’, so I picked up the SELF magazine. I laughed that it was a 4 year old issue back from Feb. 2007, but regardless, I was still interested in checking it out and wasting some time in the reception area before by appointment.
Sometimes, when I read a magazine article I don’t start with the beginning of the story, (bad, I know) but, I skim through the pages of the article and see what catches my eye. This time, I never even made it to the Kelly Rippa article because something else caught my eye. I saw some percentages. For the heck of it, I was curious to what this “other” article was about. The stats were on the same page as a picture of a nude model standing in the woods semi-covered up with a sleeping bag. She looked like a nature loving, pretty girl with a normal body… not too heavy and not too skinny. Here were the stats from SELF’s poll:
83% feel worse about their body after swimsuit shopping.
79% believe life would be better if they were only thinner.
78% say that their weight dictates their mood for the day.
74% have said no to an invitation because they felt bad about their body.
72% say negative body thoughts interfere with their enjoyment of sex.
This is something that MANY people’s attitude can suffer from, but guess what? If you are working or studying in an “artistic” field such as the “appearance-oriented” fashion industry… it’s even more likely that you can develop a body image disorder such as “Body Dysmorphic Disorder” which is a skewed view of how they look. About 20% of the industry may have it… I’d bet more! Researchers believe that those people that have that special artistic eye can turn that talent on themselves and become more critical of their bodies.
As I read this article, I thought to myself how true this is especially about models and related industry professionals. I wish that I could encourage models to overcome it, but when their image that they are being hired to project is usually under such an objective microscope… the news isn’t so great that models can just “overcome it” easily.
So, after I read this article… I thought about adding this topic to my research. My point of this discussion is just as a reminder to the modeling industry that things can often be distorted when it comes to what you’re projecting, so try and be easy on yourself. Expect critique from others, but don’t let it RULE you. Take critique respectfully from a business perspective, but stay aware that it can take its toll on your self-esteem and body image. Fight the urge for perfection. We want a healthy image both physically and emotionally… and you don’t have to be perfect. Honestly.