Images of ultra thin, photo-shopped models have consumed the visual aspect of the media. At least 1.1 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder, with those in the age-group 14-25 being of most risk.
Women and men alike are now expected to be the most thin, toned and beautiful people sauntering the streets; such criteria of perfection is unattainable leaving many developing body dysmorphic and eating disorders. Yes, that is the far end of the spectrum, but the general public are being bombarded with headlines chanting weight loss and what not to look like. Focusing on the negative has warped some people’s ideals of beauty, causing our insecurities and body issues to fester. I, for one, understand such pressures as I have suffered and dealt with the consequences of an eating disorder.
Whilst reading the newspaper, I saw an article detailing how an online website zazzle.co.uk has advertised t-shirts for children saying “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, a quote spoken a little too flippantly by Kate Moss. I cannot stress this enough, but on the website, this controversial and rather disgusting t-shirt was being advertised for children. Thankfully, the t-shirt has now been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority, but how many other clothing websites have similar t-shirts lurking in the abyss which is the internet?
Urban Outfitters had the same heated complaints regarding t-shirts emblazoned with “eat less”. Apparently the company argued how the quotation actually stands for “eat less or more or however much you’d like in this seriously soft knit tee cut long and topped with a v-neck.” This could be entirely the truth and nothing but the truth. Although, why use those two words which when isolated, can cause such upheaval from the public? Surely the clothing distributor has the intellect to realise that putting those two words together supports the body monster the media’s created?
On the other hand, these fashion retailers could merely be trying to get into the tabloids and newspapers so the public remember their brand. No news is bad news, as the saying goes. Young children are influential: what they see, they remember and do. Imagine how many children have already been affected by the adult gossip magazines let alone these children-specific garments. The media and clothing retailers should be protecting the public, not feeding us these ‘perfect’ standards with expectations for us to comply.
It’s a common understanding that fashion tries to push the boundaries of society, continuously shocking and enthralling us. There is fine line between such limits… These t-shirts should never have been manufactured in the first place.