Sunday, 17 July 2011

What is a healthy body image?

Over the past few months I have been puzzling over the question, "What is a healthy body image?"

So in order for me to understand what a "healthy" body is I did some reading and found a lot of varying answers. This is what I expected to read. We all come in different shapes and sizes yet the vast majority of people tend to want to be tall and thin. Is this partly down to the "strict rules" that the fashion industry have set upon us? Is this the way in which society thinks? Have we become to caught up in what the media portray to be the "perfect" body? All of these questions and many more are what I would like to ask the public.

I have contacted some petite models and asked them to write down what a healthy body image is to them. And the answer's have been so interesting. I have included them below:

A healthy body image means to me not to skinny and not over weight everones bodys are diffrent. the one thing i like about myself is my flat stomach. i think promoting petite modeling is a good idea because its hard for smaller models to get work or do cat wal,k and i think women of all shapes and sizes should be aloud to do work that taller women are doing everyone has fasion in then just because your small doesnt mean you should be excluded from doing what you want to do and living you dream. (Penny Welsh,model)

Standing at a size 8-10, 5'9" you'd think I'd pretty much be sorted in the commercial/ fashion modeling world... but no... I'm not..


Because I choose to modify my body - I have 12 piercings, and quite a few (large) tattoos.... and planning to get many more... To me they are part of me, they make me more complete with every thing committed to part of me, my life story is literally etched in my skin....

With reference to body image - My confidence in my own body image grows with every new modification I get, I feel closer to completion, it's hard to explain - but every step gets me further away from what I aim to do - model.

Now , those of you who know me know I live in the alternative modeling world... which I do fit into... and I am very successful and happy with it - but recently I got an email stating that I wasn't "alternative enough"... and it got me thinking... why the hell can't I go with my modifications to a casting for London Fashion Week any more? (I walked in 2006)...

I'm realising more and more that the never ending movement of discrimination in all of the modeling world, is infecting all the different genres... and there will be rejection at every turn... but it is important that you love what your body image is, as it is weather you have what you were born with or you've added some bits and pieces - you are who you are...

If you throw yourself in with your head and your heart, your body image will be secondary to your passion...

Look at Zombie Boy walking this year at LFW - tattooed head to toe...

Body image is something that should be personal to you and if you are happy then that's all that matters.

It doesn't matter if you are 5'0" or 6'5", a size 4 or a size 20.... tattooed head to toe or a blank canvas.... you are you!
Lisa Heidinger,model).

A healthy body image, is looking in the mirror and loving what you see. You've got to recognise that your body is your own, no matter what size, or shape or colour you are. You should be able to look at those around you, and not see sizes or feel jealousy, you should see beautiful people just like yourself.
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle will keep yourself feeling better and looking more confident. This portrays a healthy body image and is what I believe in.
The one thing I love about myself is my freckles and the fact the come out more when I've been out in the sun. I know that not everyone has them, and it makes myself somewhat more unique.(Morven Robb, model).

A health body image to me is someone who looks after themselves, is the body weight that is healthy for them, who eats enough but not too much and not too little, someone who's weight is just who they are and not from unhealthy diets. People often say they don't agree with size zero models being promoted and would like more over sized models who are clearly unhealthy themselves. Both underweight and overweight bodies can be unhealthy to the person, but someone who's a certain weight who eats right, enough, not too much and not too little, that to me is a healthy body image. Someone who may have curves but be a healthy weight for them, or someone who isn't as curvy but is a healthy body weight for themselves also. One thing I like about myself? The fact I am happy about my weight, I eat enough and I hope I'll never be dragged into feeling unhappy with my body, I always find it sad to see that. (Rebecca Boiston,model).

To me a healthy body image is about looking happy and healthy, no model should be limited to work because she's not super tall and size zero this is not a healthy look at all healthy models should be comfortable with how they look and shouldn't try and change just because there under 5foot 7 if someone has healthy skin etc shouldn't be turned down by an agency I'm only 5 foot 2 myself and I want to be successful so I'm not going to let my height obstruct my modelling career I'm going to dream big and achieve (: ! Sometimes I like the fact that I'm small and wanting to model, it makes me feel different.. And I like that. And I'm willing to give anyone the confidence boost they need if there cautious about there height ! Be true..Be you :) love rebecca x (Rebecca Wales,model).

As soon as I heard about petite modelling, I was extremely happy and excited: there's finally someone out there who is going to put short and curvy people like myself out there for the model industry to finally take notice of! The promotion of petite modelling is very significant not only to me, but also in todays society. There are far too many tall, skeleton-skin models on the front of my favourite magazines and when I look at pictures like this I feel sick and that it is totally unfair that agencies are requesting these types of girls and wont even glance at anyone under 5"8. I am half Asian and so, naturally I am really short: I come in at just over 5"4. I don't at all have problems with my height, in fact I think that everyone should love who they are, but it is so so annoying and difficult when model scouts and agencies wont even look at you if you're not tall enough. Not only is height an issue, but I am strongly against the advertising that skinny is the way to be - heck, it's not even skinny it's deathly looking. I do not believe that young girls should fall pray to horrible illnesses like anorexia and lets be honest - it's because of these models. Where else do you see it? What I love seeing in magazines are healthy looking girls who are happy with who they are. In saying "healthy" I meant that their faces don't look like life has been sucked out of them and their bodies don't have bones sticking out all over the place.....(also, has anybody noticed that most of these girls lack bums and boobs? Just saying.) Referring back to the point I made about feeling that everybody should love who they are, one thing that I love about myself are my legs because I especially hate skinny stick legs with no shape! Love who you are, stay healthy and don't be pressurised into nasty things like feeling you have to be skinny. This is the way to be a happy model and it will show in your work :) (Jessica Poxon,model)

I will be adding to this as soon as more people come forward to be a part of this project. If you would like to get involved please do so. I am looking for anyone who has a view on this.

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