There is little doubt that the ‘standard’ models used on behalf of the media affects a teenagers view of him/herself. Over the last number of years, since the 60′s when the beautiful but super skinny Twiggy first graced our catwalks, the industry set a standard – an unrealistic standard that a majority of people find impossible to compare with.
in an article on the Models of Diversity site, these statistics were outlined: “Almost one in four (25%) British ladies or some 4.9 million women taking a size 18 and over. 10.1 million women in the UK (equivalent to nearly 40% of the female population) wear size 16 and over. There are over 11 million disabled people of working age which represents 19% of the working population. Of those, 5 million are over state pension age. Over the period 1984-2009 the number of people aged 65 and over in the UK increased by 20 per cent to 10.1 million; in 2009, 16 per cent of the population were aged 65 and over. Population ageing will continue for the next few decades. By 2034 the number of people aged 85 and over is projected to be 2.5 times larger than in 2009, reaching 3.5 million and accounting for 5 per cent of the total population. The population aged 65 and over will account for 23 per cent of the total population in 2034, while the proportion of the population aged between 16 and 64 is due to fall from 65 per cent to 59 per cent. By 2031, it is projected that the UK population will be 71.1 million, with 22 per cent of the population – more than 15m people – aged 65 and over, with nearly 2.9 million people aged 85 or more. According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, 8.4% of all UK residents are non-white. While the majority ethnic group is classified as ‘White British’, the proportion of individuals classified as ‘White’ decreased from 93 per cent in 2001 to 90 percent in 2007. The proportion of black, Asian and other ethnic minorities will rise from 8% of the population, as recorded in the 2001 census, to 20% by 2051. Ethnic minorities will shift out of deprived inner city areas to more affluent areas, which echoes the way white groups have migrated in the past.”
This proves that we live in a world where there is variety as well as originality. However in my opinion as teen ambassador, I feel that the ‘standard’ models do NOT represent this variety nor originality, as they are all twins mothered by the world of the media. This affects teenagers in a dramatic way, as I speak on behalf of all teens (being a fifteen year old teenager myself and teen ambassador for MOD) I feel it is necessary to say that the casing directors who choose the models used today DISRESPECT the population of ‘real’ people as they completely disregard any women or man who represents the world that we live in; a world were there IS variation. Casting directors, designers, or who ever is to blame for this, need to see that this view of a unrealistic figure poisons a teenage mind as we feel that that is how we need to look; that we need to look and be unhealthy.
Models of Diversity aim to change this, and in my heart I truly believe that we will reach this goal! However we do need your help. So please join Models of Diversity – see our links to our facebook and twitter page as well as email address below. We need your help so we can help you!
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=129403085499 Megan Emme is the New Media Coordinator at Mobilize.org and runs their blogging program, The Millennial Report. Megan is a Junior at San Francisco State University and also works as the SF Regional Coordinator for the Revolution Hunger Campaign. She hopes to pursue a career empowering young people to advocate for themselves as well as make a difference in their communities.
Megan Emme is the New Media Coordinator at Mobilize.org and runs their blogging program, The Millennial Report. Megan is a Junior at San Francisco State University and also works as the SF Regional Coordinator for the Revolution Hunger Campaign. She hopes to pursue a career empowering young people to advocate for themselves as well as make a difference in their communities.