Media and advertising are constantly putting pressure on young girls and women to look in a style or an image it wants. But why do women succumb to this pressure? When society is bombarded by images of size 8 women with tanned skin and white, straight teeth, it naturally or sub-consciously is led to believe that this is the image one must strive for.
But did you know that is not necessarily the same all over the world? In places likeBrazilor some countries in North Central Africa, bigger is better. Skinny women are looked upon as unattractive and local advertising gives off an image that large buttocks, well-endowed breasts and at least a size 14 or 16 represents an image of wealth, beauty and power.
Not so, you might say, in the Western World. Wafer thin models stroll down the catwalks of Paris, London and New York, some of whom look like they are about to snap in half should they trip and fall. The fashion industry is central to promoting the image of what is, and what is not beautiful, fashionable and in-vogue. Furthermore, it does not care if your confidence is shattered and your femininity is put into question because it focuses on profit.
Its aim is to make money and create wealth by selling as many items of clothing/make-up/perfume as it can. As a woman begins to grow up through adolescence, she begins to feel the pressure on her femininity and her need to confirm to the magazine portrayal of “attractive”.
In those integral teenage years, the media, led by the giant and corporate-driven fashion industry, targets them with accuracy. It knows confidence in young girls is easily shattered. The industry promotes “that” look, assuring young girls that it is in their interest to conform through purchases, so they can boost their femininity and self-esteem.
The good news is that things are very slowly changing. More and more firms are hiring normal body shapes to promote their products and more and more parents are becoming aware of the pressure their children face and educating them against it.
We are a small fish in the world of fashion commerce, but we strongly believe that woman of all body shapes and sizes are equal.