An article in PLUS Model Magazine claims that most models have a body-mass index (BMI) of under 18.5, meeting the standards for anorexia. Whereas in the 1990s female models weighed only 8% less than the average woman, today they weigh 23% less.
PLUS chalks this up to an increase in anorexic models and unhealthy body image, but I only half agree. Yes, many itty bitty models grace the pages of women’s beauty magazines and men’s magazines–but I don’t know many men (or women) that find that sort of thing attractive to begin with. Furthermore, PLUS declines to acknowledge that as an average, Americans are just…fatter. Think about all the things that come into play:
1. Our tough economy makes people buy cheaper foods, which are usually (if not always) worse for our bodies. Take the McDonald’s dollar menu for example. Organic foods and fruits and vegetables are always more expensive. Cutting costs means cutting nutrition.
2. The FDC is way more lax today than they have ever been (at least since Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” in 1906). If you haven’t seen “Food, Inc.” you need to watch it asap! Between food companies (Monsanto is mentioned) suing America’s farmers into debt and poverty, the lack of regulation on new drugs, food, and sanitation, and corruption in our meat markets, who the f knows what kinds of things we’re consuming and what they are doing to our bodies. Do it-watch Food Inc. I swear it’s not boring.
3. As quoted from the center of disease control and prevention:
“During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. In 2010, no state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-six states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of 30% or more.”
Hmmm…wasn’t 20 years just the same figure used in PLUS? Sounds to me like the 23% decrease in model’s weights doesn’t mean anything at all when you take the obesity factors into account.
The moral of the story: Be happy with your body, but be healthy too. Don’t just accept your unhealthy weight because a magazine tells you it’s okay–bad body influence works both ways. And, chill out ladies, there are more important issues in the world than how you look in skinny jeans compared to Gisele Bundchen.
In three words: Moderation is key.
Also: Beware of false facts. Where do these percentages even come from? Canada…no comment. 😉