Carving and Starving...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Alright, so this is from one of my favorite guilty pleasures, -hey don't judge! Oh, and this is Sheyenne not Sean writing this too....

But I'd love to hear your thoughts.... that is, if anyone reads this!

The French Parliament has created a new bill
that would make it illegal for anyone to publicly promote extreme
thinness. This includes everything from magazines, newspapers,
websites, anything media related.

How do you PROMOTE extreme thinness???

This has "issues" written all over it!

The bill has already been approved unanimously and is set to
go for approval to the Senate in the next few weeks.

This law would be the strongest of its type ever passed. The proposed
law comes after the death of a Brazilian
model in 2006
which was linked to anorexia. Her death prompted officials
throughout the fashion industry to re-evaluate and address the use of portraying
extremely thin models. This also led to Spain banning extremely thin models from
walking in their fashion shows.

Last week, fashion industry members and lawmakers all signed a
charter agreeing to promote healthier body images.


Some in the fashion industry are strongly opposing the bill, such as
Didier Grumbach, president of the influential French Federation of Couture.
Rightfully so!
Grumbach said, “Never will we accept in our profession that a
judge decides if a young girl is skinny or not skinny. That doesn’t exist in the
world, and it will certainly not exist in France.”
This is a troubling and
scary issue.

Is the government going too far?
Is the media to blame for anorexia?
Is it genetic? What about peer pressure????
So many questions!

Ok, so now on to my commentary, which I know you are all just DYING to hear.... I personally think this attention to the whole concept of supermodels being too thin is long overdue. Much like the issue of young celebrities going to rehab before they're even "legally" of age to drink needs to be addressed. (But that's a different subject, a different soapbox... Drew? Lindsay? Nicole? Anyone?....)

I try to be objective in most things and listen to all sides, especially the so-called "hot topics" of our times... abortion, homosexuality, other faiths, etc. Its surprisingly easy in most cases to put aside my personal feelings with those topics because even though I have in some way been impacted by each of those issues, It has been an indirect impact... meaning it is something that someone(s) I deeply love and care for have experienced or is living, not myself directly. So I try not to judge on those issues, or make arrogant statements that I personally know nothing about. I listen to all sides, seek out what I know to be the Biblical truth on the subject, then go about trying to find ways to respectfully have open dialogue with those who hold opposing views. Afterall, who has ever convinced a woman not to have an abortion by telling her she's going to hell if she kills her unborn child. Um, I can't think of a one. But I digress...

Back to the subject at hand... what exactly is that? Oh yes... well the article talked about the French government somehow regulating the physical appearance of fashion models. My buddy Perez raised the questions,

Is the government going too far?Is the media to blame for
anorexia? Is it
genetic? What about peer pressure????

If you don't want to read any further my answer to all of those questions is Yes. Yes, Yes, yes and YES. But I sincerely hope you'll stick around to find out why. :-) This is a topic with which I do have personal experience... eleven years of personal experience, to be exact. So forgive me if I have strong opinions, but I've more than earned my right to speak them at this moment.

Is the government going too far? Yes. It is a scary thing when we allow the government to dictate what can and cannot be said, seen or heard thru creative outlets. It is a fine line to walk between democracy and dictatorship when we begin to allow congress or other ruling groups of people to decide for a society as a whole what can be seen in fashion shows, on runways, and beyond. I know you may take this too far and ask, "Well, what if a jewelry designer decided to parade naked models up and down a runway, wearing nothing but his new Spring line of diamonds... should no one regulate that?" Honestly, in my opinion, no. As long as the expressions are kept to a private venue, where only those who want to be there can see it... so be it. My problem comes when people encroach on my right NOT to see such things. Now, THAT being said.... Fashion is everywhere. You cannot escape the images of rail-thin models showcasing the lastest lines and prints. Sooo... with that in mind then, IS it the government's place to step in? I will start talking in this is just to get you thinking. :-)

Is the media, genetics, or peer pressure to blame for anorexia? Yes, yes, yes and no, no, no. This is such a complicated issue that to assign a single answer would be negligent and errant. All I know is that in my eating disorder, all THREE played an issue, and there is nothing that could have prevented it. Genetics predisposed me to have an addictive personality (yes, I do believe in the so-called "addiction" gene), peer pressure to look good and be perfect was a driving force in the inception of my eating disorder, and images in the media helped enable and fuel my habits and addiction. However, to place blame on any of those elements is also not right. The media, genetics, peer pressure... while they all played a part, they were not the catalyst that sent me into a self-destructive spiral downward. It goes much deeper than that.

While I applaud the French government for stepping in when everyone else is simply enabling a new generation of women who hate themselves, I don't really believe they are the ones who should be doing it. I think/hope/wish it should/would/could come from within the fashion industry themselves... one would hope that they would see the starving, sunken eyes of their pre-pubescent models and realize that they are doing them a disservice. One would hope that Americans would look at the covers of magazines and recognize them as a hoax instead of starving and carving themselves to look something that is no more real than a mirage in the desert. I've been encouraged by a couple of media outlets, such as Dove, who has the Campaign for Real Beauty. I think that is awesome. And every single one of their models is gorgeous. As a real woman, I would love to see more of that. The revolt against disgusting fashions, the idea that thin is the only body type accepted, need to come from us... the people, the consumers. WE are the ones who keep fueling this obsession... not the fashion industry. If we didn't buy their clothes, they wouldn't be making them. We need to stop passing blame and start taking a stand, if we really care about it. It is up to us to instill in our daughters their worth... we should leave no room for them to question "Am I pretty enough?"... we should leave no room for wandering when it comes to finding their value... women, young and old, need to find it from within and feel it from above. I don't know about you, but I got tired of the media's old song and dance a long time ago. And that is when I realized that I am more than a number, a size, a weight... and that is when I found recovery.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you!