Male Teens + Fashion Industry

Early this week, I ask if there was anything you’ll like me to post and one of our fans wanted to know if males are affected by the unrealistic imagines shown on media has a negative effect on teens.

From both primary and secondary research, it is a 50/50 answer.

Mentioned in my earlier blog post, I was lucky enough to conduct primary research through interviewing a few teenagers which majority of them were males (keeping in mind most of them are either 13 or 14). From my findings, male teens highlighted that they understand the media’s affected on body image either through school or their parents. Some say they are somewhat affected by it but other say it does not affect them. Individually, they have shown that clothing sizes and what they wear do not really affect them mentally, as well as, their interaction socially.

During the teen period, it is a vulnerable stage for these individuals as their bodies are developing and constantly changing.

Mission Australia highlighted that in their Youth Survey 2015, Body image was the third highest concern overall, with 4.7% of males highlighted they were extremely concerned and 21% somewhat concerned. Despite the low rates compare to other concerns, the fashion, magazine, modelling and advertising industry have at some point  influence males perception of what is seen as masculine and attractive.

The following affect of this can potentially lead to mental health issues like eating disorder and depression. Thus, we need stricter rules and policies to escape further illness that can be avoided at the very beginning. If you believe that action needs to be made sign the petition by clicking here.

A.L.

Mission Australia Youth Survey 2015. (2015). 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: https://www.missionaustralia.com.au/what-we-do/research-evaluation/youth-survey [Accessed 11 Oct. 2016].

 

Teen’s Thought

For this campaign, l really wanted to know and understand the young minds affected by body image and how it has lead to mental health issues like eating disorder. Lucky me! I was given the opportunity to talk to a group of young teenagers between the ages of 13-16.

I came up with a list of questions from simple to questions that may have affected them personally. Questions used for this interview is listed below:

  • Age:
  • Gender:
  • Do you feel the need to be perfect?
  • Do you think you are perfect?
  • How well is your understanding of a positive and healthy body image? Why or why not?
  • Do you think you have been educated enough about body image? When did they teach you about healthy body image?
  • Has the media influenced your perception of a perfect body?
  • When trying on a piece of clothing at a retail store, does the sizing of your clothing influence your thoughts about your body shape?
  • In your perspective (can be from personal experience, media influence, or clothing influence), do you think media and the fashion industry have followed The  2009  National Advisory Group?

From this focus group interview, l was able to have to the conclusion that teenagers understanding of healthy body image is extremely high, however, they have pinpointed despite their high-level understanding. Media still plays a major role in defining, pressuring and manipulating images to present perfection.

One form of information that shocked me was despite their high level of understanding, one female said that most of healthy body image perception was taught through media, whereas, they thought that schools haven’t really dig deep into the topic such as how to promote positive health image and what can be done apart from highlighting what is healthy and what isn’t. This resonated with me, this is why l believe schools need to start teaching kids as long as 8 years of age about positive mental health as part of PDHPE.

This resonated with me, this is why l believe schools need to start teaching kids as long as 8 years of age about positive mental health as part of PDHPE. On top of this, media can be seen as an educational material if it was to promote positive body image. Kids learn from them but learning the negative aspect isn’t what we want.  Let media become more positive! Teach the kids the right things!

A.L.

 

“Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!”

barbie-ad-empowers-little-girl

So what you’re telling me is that my childhood favorite toy is damaging young girl’s self-esteem?

At the tender age of 5, I remembered received my very first Olympic swimming Barbie doll in response to the Sydney Olympic Games 2000. I thought all dolls looked like that. I remember hating on one of the dolls for having long legs. The struggles to put on tight skinny jeans was a nightmare for a 5 years old me. I guess that was back in my times.

Fast-forward 14 years later, Barbie is blamed for body image issues and even worse eating disorder.

Barbie may just be a plastic unrealistic doll but young girls at the tender age of 10, keeping in mind may or maybe not be going through puberty yet are striving to achieve a dangerously thin physical appearance.

Barbie is owned by 99% of 3-10-year-old girls around the world and is the most requested on young girls Christmas wish list for over 55 years.

However, the question, Is Barbie’s body shape an unrealistic representation of a girl? Should parents continue to go ahead and purchase a Barbie doll for their daughter?

resize

Researchers have highlighted that Barbie’s body represent less than 1 in 100,000 adult women with a 20cm smaller waist than an anorexic patient. With a measurement like this, realistically, Barbie would not be able to hold her head up or menstruate.

Is this the image we want the next generation to believe is socially acceptable?

 

 

A.L.

 

The Conversation. (2014). Is Barbie bad for body image?. [online] Available at: http://theconversation.com/is-barbie-bad-for-body-image-33725 [Accessed 10 Sep. 2016].

“It’s the soul that needs the surgery”

Pretty Hurts: Queen B’s bold statement

Before we dive into this blog post, let’s take another listen and sing at the top of our lungs to Pretty Hurts by Beyoncé and if it’s your first time, listen to the lyrics and watch this video carefully.

Now, let’s put our hands together for this empowering ballad! This inspiring ballad gets me each time.

How many times have we heard “Beauty is pain” , “thinner is better”?

Pretty Hurt was released in 2014 and instantly became a hit worldwide. The purpose of this song was to deal with the results of meet society’s perception of beauty, as well as, the effect of this issue leading to mental health problems such as eating disorders and anxiety.

Beyonce highlighted that “The concept of this video is really a behind the scenes look into society’s take on beauty and how it doesn’t bring you happiness and it doesn’t move you forward in life.” The music video was inspired by a younger version of herself surrounded by trophies and awards which end up getting smashed and destroyed. The music video came one of the best music videos of 2014 by the Rolling Stone, along with winning multiple awards that year.

Beyoncé’s feminism, the power of ownership, body image takes on in Pretty Hurts hope to promote positive body image and to ignore the fabricated media representation of beauty. Love yourself for who you are no matter what shape or size.

 

 

A.L.

 

McGeorge, A. (2014). Beyonce says women are under too much pressure to look unrealistically perfect. [online] mirror. Available at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/beyonce-says-women-under-much-3473084 [Accessed 10 Sep. 2016].

Dropping a size is as easy as changing stores.

Is it time to standardize clothing sizes in the Fashion Industry?

 

The answer is YES. This confusion and manipulative methods are played out in our heads. YES, it feels good to drop a size instantly but it’s also going to play with our self-esteem and confident level.

 

It is not unusual to find a range of different sizes in your wardrobe.

 

In Australia, there is no standard adults’ clothing size. Clothing designers, brands, and manufacturers based their sizing through their sales history, marketing hunches and their believe in an ideal measurement for a size.

 

This may not influence the designers themselves but it does give an instant “Feel good” factor to consumers.

 

Fashion industry expert CHOICE stated that this billion-dollar Australian industry fails to get sizing regularity. This is one of their major issues.

 

The latest data was taken in 2007 and from then onwards was seen as no longer relevant. It is no surprise that the standard Australians is bigger than it used to be and also multiculturalism has also brought along a wider range of body range. The average size of a female in Australia is a size 12.

 

The lack of standardized sizing in Australia is due to a few reasons

  • Vanity Sizing:
    • Part of the problem is that Australians’ waistlines are getting wider and we can’t deny it.
    • Department store Myers exaggerated their measurements of a size 8, 10, 12 and 14 by a few centimetres, highlighting it is a better fit for the customers
    • Country Road is known for tailoring their clothing one size down such that a size 12 customers would fit a size 10
  • The rise of size 0
    • Industry expert CHOICE said that all designers have an ideal body type in mind and tailor their clothing to fit them
  • Quality Control
    • Due to inadequate quality control by brands such that clothing producers are usually inconsistent because of mass manufacturing offshore.

 

This is a call for action! We should be able to walk into any department and know our size!

 

A.L.

sizes, T. and stores., W. (2016). Clothing sizes in Australia – CHOICE. [online] CHOICE. Available at: https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/everyday-shopping/clothing/articles/clothing-size-irregularities [Accessed 12 Sep. 2016].

 

Pressure to be Perfect – Celebrity Edition

 

The word ‘Celebrity’ stands for PERFECTION.

 

However, from a celebrities perspective, the STRESS IS ON for young celebrities to look thinner and sexier than ever before.

AND why is that?

Does it have something to do with the media?

Celebrities are constantly analyzed, compares and highlight if their bodies do not meet the standards and requirements of the industry. If a celebrity is seen as if they have gained some weight, the media over exaggerate by highlighting their out of control lifestyle until their life is back on track.

The shocking horror on a number of magazines’  front cover titled as “The Best and Worst Beach Bodies” or “Best and Worst Dress’ standing on the shelves at all major supermarkets places an enormous  amount of pressure on keeping and maintaining the perfect body.

But we must keep in mind these celebrities are humans too. They have feelings!

At an undying amount of stress and pressure these celebrities go through day in day out has lead to major medical issues such as eating disorder and in the worse case, turning to illegal drugs to numb the pain.

A classic example would be Mary-Kate Olsen Mary-Kate Olsen was taken into care with eating disorder in 2004 due to the pressure to be prefect. Photos from recent months before admission showed “alarmingly thin girl with stick legs and sharp shoulder blades.”

Many other celebrities have highlighted the influence of media such that Jessica Simpson stated the influence of celebrity idols during her younger days and the pressure to be perfect in society and to look like the front cover magazine model.

A.L.

 

Storify. (2016). Celebrities and Teens on the Pressure to Be Perfect (with images) · finleyja. [online] Available at: https://storify.com/finleyja/quest-for-perfection [Accessed 9 Sep. 2016].

People.com. (2016). Pressure to Be Perfect : People.com. [online] Available at: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20150641,00.html [Accessed 9 Sep. 2016].

 

Pressure to be Perfect – Teens Perspective

“I wish I was taller.” “If only I was a little shorter.” “I want to have a thigh gap.” “I have a double chin.” “If only my teeth were straight.” “If only my hair was curly/straight, longer legs, I’ll look so much better those jeans”Does this sound familiar?

Does this sound familiar?

Mission Australia highlighted in the Youth Survey: Mental Health Report that over the past 3 years body image has been a top concern amongst teens.

Being a teenager may be one of the difficult periods for a youngster as their brain is maturing and body is developing. They’re not alone!  The idea of being perfect is stressful because it is straight out unreachable! placing a negative impact on their self-esteem and the importance of body image.

The idea of being perfect is stressful because it is straight out unreachable! This is causing a negative impact on their self-esteem and raising the question whether educating young adults the importances of healthy body image and how to achieve positive views is extremely needed in our schools.

The close link between body image and self-esteem can be influenced by many issues, however, our focus is on the power of media.

Young teenagers are constantly bombarded with images and posts from magazines, social media and other media outlets with nearly perfect human beings. The presentation of these individuals on different medium platforms has placed a huge impact on how youth looks and how they fit in within their social circle inside and outside of school.

The pressure teenagers received has led to mental health issues such that dissatisfaction with their body and body shaming themselves, participate in unhealthy eating habits and alienating themselves from their peers.

A.L.

Storify. (2016). Celebrities and Teens on the Pressure to Be Perfect (with images) · finleyja. [online] Available at: https://storify.com/finleyja/quest-for-perfection [Accessed 9 Sep. 2016].

Rethinkbeauty.weebly.com. (2016). Effects of Media Pressure – The ReThink Beauty Campaign. [online] Available at: http://rethinkbeauty.weebly.com/effects-of-media-pressure.html [Accessed 7 Sep. 2016].

Kidshealth.org. (2016). KidsHealth.org Search : mental_health_teenagers. [online] Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/body-image.html http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/mental_health_teenagers.html [Accessed 8 Sep. 2016].

Raisingchildren.net.au. (2016). Mental health and wellbeing in adolescence: an overview | Raising Children Network. [online] Available at: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/mental_health_teenagers.html [Accessed 9 Sep. 2016].