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Why the existence of Anorexia Nervosa is not a good justification for plus size models

  • By Catherine Clavering
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Why the existence of Anorexia Nervosa is not a good justification for plus size models

Why the existence of Anorexia Nervosa is not a good justification for plus size models

I tend to write at length about this sort of issue, because I spent quite a few years both working with people with eating disorders and about 11 years in various forms of academia, which tends to induce you to write things that are at least 1500 words long (about 3 times longer than the recommended blogging length!). I mean, it's hard to play the one-upmanship student game of "how long I had to spend cutting down my essay" otherwise. Also, I'm very much in favour of seeing more diversity in fashion and modelling, and Have Views about eating disorders.

Which means that when Cora (The Lingerie Addict) said to me "what do you think about all these articles about how we need plus size models because only showing the standard catwalk models is causing eating disorders?", we were pretty much both expecting me to produce several pages on the topic, possibly including references.

But actually all I have to say is this;

As close to 100% of us as you can get spend our lives surrounded by pictures of idealised, slender women in western developed countries.

The average rate for Anorexia Nervosa is just under 1%.

Anorexia Nervosa existed before mass media, and even before we idealised slender figures.

Anorexia Nervosa is not caused by pictures of models. That is neither a sufficient nor even a necessary causal factor.

Please continue to suggest, promote, campaign for and request models of different sizes and shapes and colours and abilities and every other factor you can imagine. But do it because shaming people about their bodies by making them invisible doesn't work - not because of a minimal link to anorexia nervosa!

Whose your favourite non-standard model? Who would you like to see in KMD if possible?

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