Fashion is an integral part of our lives. It is so omnipresent that it is easy to overlook how it impacts our body image. Fashion has become an integral component of our daily routine, from the clothes we wear to the make-up we put on, and has a significant effect on the body image of our society. This article aims to explore the impact of fashion on body image in society.
Body image refers to how people perceive their bodies and physical appearance. The constant pressure that fashion puts on individuals to have ‘perfect’ bodies leads to unhealthy weight-loss behaviour, eating disorders, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and a negative self-image. This pressure does not only affect women but also men and children, leading to severe and long-term health issues that affect all aspects of their lives.
The fashion industry often perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards that are solely based on physical appearance. Skinny models with tall and slender frames are considered the ideal body type. Fashion models play a vital role in shaping the public perception of beauty. The fashion industry uses them to showcase their clothing and thus, create an image of glamour and beauty that often is unattainable. Fashion ads and magazine covers are all over the place, promoting unattainable standards of beauty. It is easy to see why people may feel like they don’t measure up.
Many women and girls are severely affected by the unattainable body standards depicted in fashion. This sets unrealistic expectations and creates a negative self-image. Women tend to face immense pressure to achieve the ideal body type; they often resort to extreme measures such as crash dieting, surgery, or even substance abuse. This, however, has disastrous effects on their mental and physical well-being, ultimately affecting their overall quality of life.
The fashion industry’s impact on male body image is often overlooked. Ads and media campaigns predominantly target women. However, over the years, fashion companies have shifted their focus towards men. The pressure to have a desirable, muscular physique is immense. Men are often judged on their body type, and the media often idealize male athletes and actors who have a particular body type. This creates an unrealistic body ideal, leading to men pursuing an unattainable physique by intense weightlifting regimes and even taking harmful supplements.
Children are also affected by the fashion industry. Younger generations are continually exposed to media, fashion ads, and social media platforms that dictate what they should wear, how they should look, and what physical attributes they should have. These unattainable standards of beauty often lead to bullying, mental health issues, and self-esteem problems that have far-reaching consequences.
In conclusion, the impact of fashion on body image has significant and far-reaching consequences for individuals and society as a whole. Fashion must adopt a more inclusive approach that promotes diversity and celebrates individuality. A move towards inclusivity can help to promote positive self-image, boost self-esteem, and mental health. It is essential to have a more conscious approach to fashion. Let us be kinder, embrace different shapes and sizes, educate ourselves to love, and respect our bodies regardless of what is being projected by the media.