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The word model means “a system or thing used as an example to follow or imitate.” It is no wonder then that fashion brands have, for centuries, call the men and women showing off their clothing “models”. Fashion sells more than clothing. How a fashion brand develops their loyalty is through the development of a lifestyle. Wearing a certain type of clothing is supposed to make you feel as though you are living a certain type of life. By using “models” fashion brands use living people as examples of how life should look.

Over time, models have become thinner and thinner. Numerous documentaries and investigative reports have revealed the pressures models face to be thin. Models must meet high expectations and standards of beauty that are ever changing. Recently, major fashion centered countries like France have banned excessive thinness on the runway. Fashion models have to meet a healthy BMI in order to work.

For decades, fashion models and eating disorders have been closely affiliated. Beyond the models in fashion are the people trying to “model” themselves after fashion models. Consumers see images of these lifestyle brands and believe in the ideals of perfectionism or beauty. Convinced that they are fat, ugly, or not beautiful enough without looking like the models do, people resort to extreme measures. Though many models are already incredibly thin, fashion participates in another harmful trend which is digital alteration. Photos of models on the covers of magazines or in advertisements have been digitally altered. The beauty ideal upheld by fashion is unrealistic.

London Fashion Week is coming up in the fashion circuit. England is one of the few countries left not to regulate the BMI of fashion models. A new campaign initiative is being launched to get this sort of legislation happening in the UK. Models with a BMI below 18.5 need to be seen by medical professionals. Additionally, each collection showcased by a designer must include sizes from one end of the scale to the other. One of every sample must be a UK size 12 or above, which is usually designated as “plus size”.

The history and reasoning behind small sizes displayed on the runway have to do with saving money. Designers believe they save money for investors by using less material for their designs on the runway. Skinny models require less material. For this small reason in a multi billion dollar industry, millions of men and women around the world suffer from eating disorders.

Eating Disorders are commonly co-occurring with substance abuse issues including alcoholism and addiction to drugs like cocaine or other amphetamines. Enlightened Solutions is a certified and licensed dual-diagnosis treatment center, welcoming men and women seeking recovery for co-occurring disorders. For more information on our programs of treatment call 844-234-LIVE.