Responsibility of Models Towards the Girls that Follow Them Essay

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The modeling industry is one that is much more widespread than the tabloid section of the grocery store. These cover girls and runway models have a larger impact than just mere advertisement—they become role models to their fans. Many will go to severe lengths to imitate their unrealistic bodily features through extreme dieting and even body modification, like plastic surgery, and the modeling industry can either prevent or promote young women from idolizing and imitating these social figures.
It is undeniable that Western cultures are generally known as the “thin cultures” (Samelson 44). Those in the media, such as actresses, movie stars, models, and other celebrities are often “seriously underweight and many diet and smoke to keep their
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Editorial Assistant Ashley Mateo stated that “no one wants to see a giant picture of some star’s cellulite on the cover of a monthly magazine.” Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danzinger goes on to say that:
Portraits for the cover of SELF are not supposed to be unedited or a true-to-life snapshot. When the cover girl arrives at the shoot, she could be mistaken for a member of the crew…Once we do her makeup and hair, we then capture a moment that shows her at her best. Then we mark up the photograph to correct any [flaws] that might detract from the beauty of the shot…it is meant to inspire women to want to be their best. In the sense that Kelly is the picture of confidence, I think this is the truest we have ever put out there on the newsstand. (Hartmann, “Self Editors Explain”)
With perfected, airbrushed, and technologically altered images available in the media, our culture has transformed into one that idolizes beautiful, thin women. “Plenty of that blame has been heaped at… Twiggy, Marilyn Monroe, and Kate Moss” (Bullock 141). This type of pressure to be thin not only affects adults, but young girls as well. A survey conducted by Teen People Magazine showed that “27% of the girls felt that the media pressures them to have a perfect body.” 80% of 9 years olds reported to be on diets, and plastic surgeries among female teens increased by 50% from 1996 to 1998 (“Media Influence on Youth”).

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