Above, you can see Mariah Carey’s new album cover shot.
She looks great doesn’t she?
One of the biggest selling female artists ever, over 200 million albums sold worldwide, she is an icon of pop music from the 90’s and admired and emulated by many all over the world.
But I’m not here to extol the positive attributes and talents of Mariah, although two I can see spring to mind 🙂
This picture was in the paper yesterday and I have a problem with it for various reasons.
Anybody notice anything?
Well let’s just say that in this picture Mariah appears to be at least 20-30lbs less that she usually is.
Trim, tight and toned (I hate that word)
Now I’m all for promotion, advertising and maximising profits but it has to be done in the right way and when it comes to body image and something as sensitive as this…
…with repercussions that go far deeper than record producers pockets, this is irresponsible at best and actually dangerous to thousands of girls and young women.
This is what Mariah actually looks like currently, in a dress not too dissimilar to the album cover above…
I’m not criticising Mariah in the slightest.
She is 46 years old, been through a few traumatic break ups and is human like the rest of us.
She would be the first to admit that her weight has fluctuated over the years and I’m sure she would agree with all of us here that she COULD lose a few pounds if she wanted to.
Note I say could and not should.
I’m not telling her or anyone what she or they should do.
My problem lies in the clear evidence of “touching up” of photography used by Hollywood stars and the rich and famous.
Poetic licence is one thing but Mariah looks like she has been airbrushed to within an inch of her life 🙂
There is evidence to suggest that eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia begin in some children as young as 5 and 6 years old, and this has been directly attributed to parents being obsessed with body image and the constant exposure to pop stars like Mariah, Christina, Britney et al.
As the father to an 11 year old girl, I understand the pressures she will face in the next few years and seeing stars like Mariah and many others promotes such an unobtainable ideal that young girls have to grow up with.
Girls are extremely susceptible to this barrage of photo-shopped images from the media so it’s no surprise that so many develop some type of body dysmorphia and the eating disorders previously mentioned.
What’s really shocking is the fact that suicide is the biggest killer of girls aged 15-19, worldwide. I don’t know for sure but I’m guessing “body image” plays some significance in this awful statistic. In real life, MANY of the stars look no different to the average person on the street so not only are young girls looking up to images and ideals that are unrealistic, they are also fake and a lie. Is this the message we should be sending the young?
I’m not sure it is.
Having trained hundreds of women over the last fifteen years on a 1-2-1 basis as a personal trainer, I’ve seen very few women without some type of unhealthy relationship with food. This is not necessarily an eating disorder but a set of unhealthy patterns, habits and expectations and this will only get worse with the current female role models that are lauded across the planet.
The world we live in already suggests to girls that “when they are slim size 8 and good looking they will get a good man for a husband”
Sex, unfortunately sells and I’m not too sure what the answer to that is.
We all know someone that was born with amazing good looks and a body to die for don’t we?
Supermodels are a rare breed and were born to look like that. If you want to look like Gisselle Bundchen, Naomi Campbell or Christy Turlington and you currently don’t, my advice to you would be choose better parents next time round 🙂
From a male perspective, I would give me right arm to look like male supermodel David Gandy just for one day but alas… 🙂
The difference is, I am an adult and actually very happy with who I am, how I look and where I am in my life.
Genetics play the ONLY role here.
The French government passed a law last year banning any excessively thin models stating that the model must show a certificate stating her body mass index is “appropriate for the job”
How vague. I’m sure the campaign manager for Yves St Laurent using a stick thin model would say she was perfectly appropriate 🙂
A fine of up to $80,000 and a six month stint behind bars will be enforced on any offending agencies although whether this will happen remains to be seen.
I believe that we need to show the young and vulnerable, positive, realistic role models that they can look up to and aspire to be like and unfortunately an image like Mariah above does exactly the opposite.
That’s the bottom line and unfortunately in this world when profits are the ultimate goal for huge corporations and record companies, the message is unlikely to change anytime soon.
How cool would it be if we could promote the message to young girls that the sexiest attribute they could possess is to be as smart as hell?
I don’t have the answers here and I would really love to hear from YOU with your opinion.
Speak Friday. Gav 🙂
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