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].

 

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Collaboration: The Standard Male x Photoshop Ain’t Real

Following up on my last post, I’m here to talk about the infamous Abercrombie and Fitch CEO controversy which I’m sure you all have either read about it or came it across it a few years ago.

Teen retailer, Abercrombie and Fitch is one of many fashion brands that have highlighted negative body image.  In 2006, former CEO Mike Jeffries made a bold statement the highlight he only wanted the “cool kids” to wear this clothing, hence, why XL or XXL was not stocked in stores.

CEO Mike Jeffries said “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”  (Lutz, 2013)

“Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.” (Lutz, 2013)

These bold statements made headlines internationally. It’s company like Abercrombie and Fitch that make young teen males feel a sense of insecurity, anxious and pressure to meet social standards. Thus, leads to mental health issues.

This article is part of two-part series in collaboration with The Standard Male. To take a look the article on The Standard Male click here.

A.L.

Lutz, A. (2013). Abercrombie & Fitch Refuses To Make Clothes For Fat People. [online] Business Insider Australia. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/abercrombie-wants-thin-customers-2013-5 [Accessed 24 Sep. 2016].

“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].

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].

 

 

Should Australia Apply Strict BMI Regulations in the Fashion Industry?

For those who don’t know what BMI stands for here it is:

BMI stands for Body Mass Index which helps determine whether your weight range is between a healthy scale based on the average of your height and weight.

Following the last post, YES, Australia has somewhat tried to promote positive body image through a  ‘Voluntary’ Industry Code of Conduct.

My question here is: Why make it ‘voluntary’ when you can make it legally binding? Wouldn’t that be more effective than what we have now?

Before we cause get into it, let’s have a look what other countries have done to promote healthy body image.

In March 2015, the French government passed a legislation to ban underweight models at the Paris Fashion Week. It was thought that this passing of regulation could see the rest of the world to follow, especially within the modelling industries.

Under the bill, modelling agencies and managers must make sure all models meet a certain body mass index and provide a medical certificate from a professional doctor; without a certificate, modelling agencies are forbidden to accept employment. If any agencies who fails to oblige under this legislation will receive up to $100,00 AUD fine or face up to six months’ imprisonment.

France is not the first country to implement regulations and promote positive body weight through reforming the fashion industry. Countries such as Spain, Italy, Israel, Chile and Belgium have also placed strict legislation to not only protect the models but also encourage healthy body weight to its nation.

Why can’t Australia have rules and policies like French put enforce?

It’s time for a change in our policies! Models should not be working in inhumane conditions putting their personal lives at risk. Media need to stop photoshopping each and every part creating a materialistic and fabricated image to their audience.  Clothing should look good on everyone, all shapes and sizes.

A.L.

 

Studio Legal Melbourne. (2015). BMI Regulation in the Fashion Industry – Studio Legal Melbourne. [online] Available at: http://studiolegal.com.au/bmi-regulation-in-the-fashion-industry-blog/ [Accessed 5 Sep. 2016].