Filippa Hamilton was a model for the world famous company, Ralph Lauren. She considered Polo Ralph Lauren as her second family. But, in April of 2009, the company fired her. “They fired me because they said I was overweight and I couldn’t fit into their clothes anymore,” says the model. But, why was she fired? Filippa is 5’10 and only weighs 120 pounds. When you look at her, you think she has the perfect body for a model. If they can make models feel ashamed of their own bodies, imagine how girls feel when all they see are these models. They are giving out the wrong idea of “perfect.”
The modeling industry is very controversial, regarding the weight and bodies of models. They rarely hire bigger girls. And, this needs to change. All we see are pictures of girls that have what we think as “the perfect body,” skinny and tall. And, they are making girls think that we have to be like that. The truth is, there is no such thing as perfect, and there never will be.
As I mentioned before, Filippa Hamilton was fired from the company Ralph Lauren for being “overweight.” Before she was fired, a digitally altered image was leaked. It was Filippa’s face on an extremely skinny body. Even she thought this was disgusting. “It makes me sad. It makes me think that Ralph Lauren wants to have this kind of image – and it’s not healthy, it’s not right. And it’s not a good example. When you see this picture young women will look at this and think it’s normal, and it’s not,” says Filippa. And, she’s right. 98% of girls feel there is an immense amount of pressure from external sources to look a certain way, says the National Report on Self Esteem. This shows that girls are pressured to have perfect bodies.
This pressure can lead to serious eating disorders in girls. A survey was held by Girlguiding, and 38% of girls skip meals to help them lose weight. Dove also held a survey and 25% of teen girls with low self-esteem practice disordered eating when they feel badly about themselves. I bet a bunch of these are influenced by these kind of images. These disorders can be life-threatening if they get bad enough. It’s not okay for people to risk their health to look like models in the media.
We shouldn’t feel ashamed of our bodies because we aren’t like girls in the media, it’s wrong. We wouldn’t have to feel this way if we didn’t see perfect models all the time. What can be done? Companies can start hiring bigger models. By doing this, hopefully girls’ self esteem will rise.