Jan 13 2014

When Will Marketers Stop Screwing With Self-Conscious Teens Body Images? – Vol. 133, Jan. 5, 2011

Katie Kindlan wrote on the December 6, 2011 ABC News Blog of the “picture perfect” computer generated models that the huge clothing retailer H&M is using on their website to sell their swimming suit and lingerie online. They claim that doing this allows the garments to be the main focus of their shopper’s experience.

I find this absolutely regrettable as many who have chimed in against the company for using this technique once again leading young woman to believe that the bikini perfect body is what they need to live up to for them to feel good about their bodies.

The feedback however from many who posted comments in response to the article had an interesting take on the situation. Many spoke of the use of virtual models as a step in the right direction because models would no longer have to starve themselves to look the way they do. Another commenter mentioned that the figures didn’t have the curves of a human woman so it would be difficult to confuse them with an image of a real woman.

From my own perspective working with young women who have been facing the ordeal of eating disorders, feeling that the less of them there is, the better it is, these pictures are distressing. My clients began their road to eating disorders feeling that they were a bit over weight. The illness came into being as the idea of losing ever more weight became the mantra playing in their minds, telling them they didn’t have a right to be alive or be happy in the case of the anorexics. This as they slowly went about extinguishing themselves from life. For the bulimics they too wondered if they were good enough people to be on the planet their negative minds continuously telling them that they were no good and didn’t deserve to be happy.

For most people these computer generated pictures of bikini clad women without the normal body fat that a healthy woman would carry, wouldn’t matter. It would be wonderful if we could live in a world where honesty in the images shown were of a normal bodily form. As reported in the September 16, 2006 time.com article, “Models Get The Skinny on Weight Limit” the country of Spain made it illegal for models to fall below a body mass index of 18 to take part in that country’s most important fashion event, Pasarela Cibeles. The government of Spain made it clear that they were making it a priority to take a stand for health for the citizens of their country. Wouldn’t it be great if the rest of the world would have followed along?

Maybe the H&M folks will do as they say and become clear in their future marketing messages that their images are not even of human beings, though it still won’t take care of those young minds who are looking to emulate the “picture perfect” body.

If you are anyone you know is battling eating disorders the first thing that needs to be known is that they are not malnourished. This is done with a medical exam. Once that is cleared I would suggest they get themselves the assistance they need to turn around their thinking from that of being “unworthy” and “unlovable” to one that is solidly grounded in realizing their own special attributes through true feelings of self-love and self-worth. Hypnotism is a great way to go to do this because it involves the reframing of the unconscious mind where all the negative thoughts that are directing the destructive behaviors live. If you choose to use a hypnotist please make sure that the practitioner has a very solid knowledge of working with this issue with proven results given both the complex nature of these illnesses as well as the severity of the condition.

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Do I have an Eating Disorder? Now What?

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Do I have an Eating Disorder? Now What?
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