Channel 4 announced yesterday on Twitter that the advertising standards authority has banned an advert for Yves Saint Laurent, featured in Elle magazine, in which a model which the advertising standards described as “unhealthily underweight”. The advertising standards authority upheld the complaint saying that the use of an underweight model was “irresponsible” but regrettably no action was taken in reply to this decision.
Using underweight models can promote an idealised image, which vulnerable and susceptible teenage girls and boys, have a propensity to aspire to. It is not just the advert by Yves Saint Laurent which is promoting an ideal body image, if one looks at the content of popular chat magazines, often displayed on supermarket shelves, they are full of bikini clad minor celebrities and are already to point out deficits with their body image.
Recently, Google closed down a pro-one website, unfortunately these pops up just as quickly as they are closed down. Young people are under a great deal of strain to aspire to a lot of standards, which are often reinforced by peer group pressure, social media, and Internet websites.
Unfortunately, there is a rise in the amount of teenagers with eating disorders with over 2,500 admissions to hospital A&E’s in 2014, and with the most common age being between 13 and 15.
Social media sites such as Facebook boosts a fixation with image, as girls and boys post photos of themselves so that friends can “like” them, or not she one has to admire Celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, who, herself has spoken publicly about her own battle with an eating disorder.
Unfortunately an eating disorder can follow a young person into adulthood, and becomes a learned behaviour when things become stressful for them. Many families find it difficult to deal with when a son or daughter refuses to eat, or become secretive and learns to hide food, which they are given to eat. The eating disorder information web site Beat advises parents to actively promote a healthy attitude towards body image and body size. Often, an eating disorder is an indicator that something more is happening, for the young person.