The fashion world and eating disorders...
Normally the fashion world is credited with and blamed for encouraging eating disorders such as anorexia (Ana) and bulimia (Mia). However, recently, Vogue Italia's editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani has spoken out against these disorders and has decided to make use of the magazine's authority, web site, and readers in order to battle it out against this illness. The main attack that Vogue Italia has undertaken is on the pro-anorexia (or pro-Ana as it is referred to) and the pro-bulimia (or pro-Mia) websites; Sozzani is hoping to collect enough signatures from her readers in order to shut down the pro-Ana and pro-Mia sites.
Both Ana and Mia are serious mental and physical illnesses that young girls today strive for because they want to look like the latest skinny it-model that has been featured walking down the catwalk. I don't think they realise the seriousness of these illnesses, they are just obsessed with looking like a 'model' and being skinny. A lot of these illnesses have also been stirred on by these pro-Ana and pro-Mia websites. The main functions of these websites is for young girls to share advice and tips on what they are doing to drastically loose weight; they also post pictures of models who they aspire to be as thin at.
Though the fashion industry is being blamed for girls wanting to look like, and embody, Ana or Mia, it is ultimately these pro websites, blogs and social networking sites that actual spur these girls on to be like this. Therefore I think what Vogue Italia is doing is the correct thing. They are trying to get rid of these sites that encourage young girls to do such drastic things to their bodies, something myself I could never do. What could be done further is for other magazines, like Vogue Italia, to get involved with what Sozzani is doing and start publishing anti-Ana and anti-Mia articles and photos in their magazines or on their websites and also encourage readers to sign petitions to destroy what they can of pro-Ana and pro-Mia.
Now it is over to us as the young generation of today to also take a stance against Ana and Mia....
Vogue.It is calling all young people to take to their blogs and write about how we are against pro-Ana and pro-Mia, their websites and the illnesses in general; this is what I am now going to do.
The life of Ana and Mia is not as attractive as people make it out to be. It is a serious condition that affects you both mentally and physically and in many real life cases it can kill you - Ana and Mia may seem like your best friend but they are in fact your worst enemy. No female, or male, should ever feel that bad about themselves to make them turn down that route, you are all perfect and have been made and created in God's image; "A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God" (1Corinthians 11:7)
I personally have not suffered an eating disorder, fortunately. I have always grown up with a positive image of health and body; me and my brothers would always play sports during the week and weekend and we would always have sit down home cooked healthy meals at dinner time, I am fortunate for that.
However, many of my friends have struggled with their own relationship with food and body image so I have personally seen the effects that they can have on people. One of my friends is naturally very slender and because of this she was subjected to bullying where people labelled her anorexic and bulimic, even though at the time she wasn't. She became very self conscious of her weight and her appearance and it actually made her eat less, constantly measuring her waist and always worrying about calories in food. In the end she would never eat out in public because of this torment and she would always wear baggy clothes to hide the shape of her body. Another one of my friends always felt that she was fat and she always compared herself to the rest of us saying how skinny and perfect we were and that she was a 'fat whale', we were all of healthy sizes 8 and 10 and she was exactly the same but in her eyes this was not the case. My friend became so obsessed with this that she went on a calorie controlled diet as well as using slimming pills; the calorie controlled diet featured little more than tomato soup, apples, and diet coke. None of what my friends went through was healthy for their body or their mind. I know that it wasn't me personally going through it but it was hard to see them suffer so much. Thankfully me and my other girlfriends were always there to support these two friends, they will remain un-named. With support from us and their families they eventually were able to overcome their issues with their body and food and currently led a very happy lifestyle that a person in their young twenties should have. Their recovery processes were both slow but in the end they managed to kick this ugly relationship they had with food and their bodies.
If you know of anyone that has or is showing signs of Ana or Mia, or if you yourself are then please don't feel that you are alone and have to continue doing this. There are many places where you can seek help, such as http://www.b-eat.co.uk/ , and talking to a friend or loved one might help as well, it eventually helped both of my friends to open up and talk about what they were feeling. Also, blogs like mine are here to help, they are here to remind you that you are special not matter what anyone says and we are here to encourage anti-Ana and anti-Mia. We need to get people to stop glorifying these illnesses and we need to get them talking about nutrition, health, provide them with realistic advice and make them see how harmful Ana and Mia are and that this can be kicked.
Please if you feel the same then take to your blog too to show your support and help continue Vogue Italia's and Sozzani's great work.
Alternatively, below is the link to Vogue.It where you can read all about fighting against pro-Ana and pro-Mia and you can sign their petition in order to get these websites banned because the law has currently failed to do so and this is the beginning step we need to conquer in order to abolish these illnesses altogether.
We are today's young generation, we need to stick together and work with the fashion industry to beat Ana and Mia. It is so great to see the fashion industry finally take a stance against Ana and Mia especially after the heavy criticism it has come under for being a culprit of these illnesses.
Vogue Italia and Sozzani I applaud you for your work effort so far and hope that more people are inspired by what you are doing.