Revealing The Truth’s Behind Modeling and The Media Industry

  Growing up I have always wondered why my family and friends have enforced such strict diets and dress codes upon themselves and myself in order to fit into the Ideal Beauty mark. However, it wasn't until I  hit my adolescence that I began to see the pattern in body perception and the media/modeling industry. Over the years the patterns for the price of beauty varies from chemical peels, bio tic's, liposuction, corsets, extreme dieting and exercising just to look up to part with the rest of the society. Women have taken measures like these to the point of exhaustion in their bodies that they developed eating disorders or began over taking diet pills to stay fit and avoid judgement from the rest of society.

    The media has displayed this unrealistic models roles which have sent out  implicit messages for woman such as beauty equals unhealthy. A women beauty is categorized as her looking like a model who weights 64 pounds, who's 5'9, with no fat, just pure bone structure and that's beauty for you ! The mindset that is placed in the person mind by the media can never be "too rich or too thin" is all too prevalent in society, and females  must do whatever it takes to achieve any level of contentment with their physical appearance http://www.westminstercollege.edu/myriad/index.cfm?parent=2514&detail=4475&content=4795.  As I mentioned when i was growing up girls like myself  began to question our  weight and appearance because of the media and it has been proven that as girls are in stages of development they continue this cycle of their weight throughout their lifespans. Little girls as little as age 6-8 begin to desire slimmer bodies and waist lines because to them the importance of physical appearance is imbedded as they watch television and modeling shows. This is why most females around their adolescent time or college begin to feel dissatisfaction on their bodies and develop a disorder which from there it all goes down hill with no help offered/wanted.

     One case which caused major controversy because of the extreme impact beauty had with this young women was presented by a french Model named Isabelle Caro. Ms. Caro developed her eating disorder at age 13 (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/31/world/europe/31caro.html?_r=0). As seen below this image was taken when right before Isabelle's death at age 28 due to anorexia nervosa  http://youtu.be/NnrylU_p6Lc .

File:Isabelle Caro.jpg

In one of Isabelle interviews she stated she had survived on one square of chocolate a day with a cup of tea a teaspoon at a time, to make it last over the years. That was her only meal, she didn't consume nothing more or nothing less. However, learning the history of anorexia nervosa I have learn that its an " immoderate food restriction and irrational fear of gaining weight, as well as a distorted body self-perception "(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa). Once Someone develops Anorexia they no longer have menarche (menstrual period), their organs begin shutting down little by little until their immune system completely shuts down and it causes their deaths. According to the National Association of Anoerxia Nervosa and Associated Disorders " [there] [are] up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder [such] [as] (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S.3" http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/.  Also the most traumatic statistic is that "Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness"so if girls continue to see this in the media and look up to part they are only handing their death sentence to the media as they go along. So can we begin to think about this drastic measure now and ask how far is too far when your trying to be the most "beautiful model" in the world ?

    The reason why I wanted to have an opening statement with such a drastic case of Isabelle and anorexia nervosa was because she is not far behind on health measures many women take in order to look beautiful, especially those either trying to stay in the media/ modeling industry or those trying to get in. In my research in revealing the truths behind modeling and the media, a very good friend of Mine came to mind and I decided to conduct an interview . My best friend Latecia Renee as she calls herself is now 20 years old and she has been part of the modeling world since she was a teenager. Since high school Latecia had been battling with maintaining her weight in control by taking diet pills and exercising excessively  in order to get called in for modeling castings and fit in with the rest of the models. Though Ms. Renee knows that in the long run she might develop health issues of any sort as she continues to take this medication and exercises daily she does not want to stop. So, I took it upon myself to learn what it was like for her and whether she was comfortable to admit that it her measures in taken diet pills for so many years was not the way to go. In the interview with Ms. Renee I asked her a series of questions involving her perspective on the modeling/media industry, leaving her with space to say what she was OK with saying and sharing a final message to girls like her who have been battling with similar issues, before it was too late. Unfortunately I couldn't post the video directly on here since its private so please view the interview attached http://youtu.be/Qon4tfOOy2g   

Also I couldn't add some really good videos which I would like for you to which with my interview please see the following - http://youtu.be/xxaJ1mvmMxQ , http://youtu.be/wJPrhJty7TM , http://youtu.be/F_rGInscEWc

  Learning about Ms. Renee body issues I've learned that she does not fall far behind either with Isabelle and though her mind is made up that she will never develop a eating disorder the thought always scares me. As her friend I have witnessed that since has already taken an extreme measure to stay skinny with diet pills I don't know what else she would try just to stay fit. But Who is to blame Latecia with the obsessive culture we live in ? The obsessive culture of looking pretty and being skinny plays such a large roll in our everyday lives and its just too hard to run away from. Women are always facing and battling their own conscious and self perception on their body Images because they want to be more beautiful and fit like the Ideal Image they see all over the place. Beauty is at its peak everywhere we go its in advertisements, Billboards, ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE !!! no matter where we turn the question is if one would let this influence them or not.

      So, in response to all this information I have asked myself what needs to be done  and that is that  women need to learn how to be comfortable in their own skins and realize that being super thin is not necessarily beautiful as they think it is. They should learn that "they are not a sketch" as shown below in campaigning to stop Anorexia and eating disorders in women. Showing your rib cages and displaying the rest of your bones may be sexy to some with clothes but in reality once they take off their clothing they will note that seeing "walking flesh" is unappealing and unattractive.  In honor of Isabelle Caro death many European countries have taken the incentive and started a campaign against anorexia nervosa. The campaign launched also in favor of the other deaths which occurred along the line because to those compagning  it was not  possible to have deaths after deaths of younger women dying in the price of beauty like the case of 22 year old Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ana_Carolina_Reston who died in November 2006 of the same disorder as Isabelle. However, though this campaign has made a strong impact deaths continue to raise with anorexia and the modeling industry, so there's still much needed research and information needed to relay the message to the public in order for this to stop. 

      Overall, in conducting this project  I had a really good time looking for more information on the media influences in modeling. Now that I have more knowledge in what the media/modeling industry brings to mind my only concern is to stay fit and live a healthy life style by exercising how I should and consuming my 6 meals a day to keep my metabolism flowing. I don't care much about aging or keeping my natural glow, as time comes we all most age along the line.. no one can really stay young and beautiful forever without placing a physical toll on their bodies and their physical health. To me the societal pressure placed by the media is just like peer pressure in where women most learn how to separate media influences from brain washing their self perceptions and learn to adjust in their own ways without developing these disorders.  But will all women make this sacrifice and stop feeding into the media that has invested to change their minds and bodies ? I don't think so much has to with self control and I know I don't feed into pressure so easy but will you ?


  1. Really interesting post. I look forward to watching the youtube interview video you created. I saw a "reality" show the other day where one of the girls decided to try out for a modeling agency. She was a tall, slim, beautiful girl and they accepted her on the condition that she lose 15 pounds and she immediately began dieting. When she went for her first photo shoot, she had a scraped elbow, from getting hurt while riding her bike. The modeling exec. told her to think of herself as a piece of fruit. He said that nobody wants to buy a bruised, cut or damaged piece of fruit, and the same goes for models. It really shocked me, as do some of the points you bring up in your post. The world of modeling may seem glamorous, but the more we learn about it, the more hostile and offensive it seems.

  2. This post was so interesting to me because I can relate to it so much. The media influences so many things especially in the young. I battled with my body image for a while and even though I was fortunate to get out of it, it is still a persistent topic in my head. Being in a deep, dark circle at one time, I know exactly what it's like to be warped in a distorted mindset. We should focus on how we can lower the negative body influences in our society today. We should work on empowering women to be just right the way they are. This is a problem that is taken too lightly until it hits your home.

  3. Thanks Ladies.. This will be my draft, I will be adding a documentary on this which I am currently trying to put together with the Interview I conducted with Ms. Renee !! I hope you guys like it and thank you all for the feedback !

  4. I think this is a very interesting and important topic to discuss and bring up. This is an important issue that affects many genders across the world and the media does a bad job trying to steer people away from harming themselves to stay or be skinny. Great Job!!

  5. Wow!Really interesting post.The body images that the media displays are unrealistic and when it does actually become realistic, it is unhealthy. I'm glad that you brought up this topic. It's sad to hear about Isabelle Caro but she should be used as an example for the media to stop displaying these unrealistic body images to young girls.


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