Ribbon on a Gift: Eating Disorders in the Modeling Industry and How It Impacts Youth

The poem “Ribbon on a Gift” tells about the harsh treatment and hardships faced by models in the modelling industry behind every perfectly photoshopped picture on the internet. It speaks up about eating disorders and how body stereotyping affects the youth to believe that there is only one way of being beautiful.

“Girls of all kinds can be beautiful- from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain -skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing, and all in between.”

– Tyra Banks

Charli Howard, a model but also a body positivity activist, has dealt with an eating disorder for 10 years. In an interview, she stated that she tried various methods to fit into one size and control her weight- from purchasing diet pills on the internet that claim to be effective in reducing hunger to being obsessed with tea and an apple a day to reduce her calorie intake. There are a number of models in the industry battling with eating disorders, and this impacts our youth’s take on body image. Model agencies and society have put up ideals of the perfect body and size- be skinny, causing many to practice unhealthy habits to fit in or become “beautiful”. Even now, some Instagram models are promoting diet products that they claim to be effective, stimulating a destructive mindset towards youth. This has to change. We should encourage body positivity, break into society’s standards and welcome acceptance of all body sizes. We should learn to appreciate and love our body just the way it is. If you’re battling with any kind of eating disorders, know that you’re not alone, and it’s never too late to seek help.




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