The Victoria Secret Fashion show is detrimental to young girls’ self-image

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The Victoria Secret Fashion show is detrimental to young girls’ self-image

Carin Numa - Staff Writer

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For some girls, the loss of five pounds is a victory; for those who watch the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, it is a tragic underachievement. While long, beautiful women strut around in lingerie, the majority of the female population sits in bed watching the Victoria Secret Angels with ice cream in one hand and McDonalds in the other, wishing they could be Angels as well. The VSFS promotes the unrealistic beauty standard of women, which are already absurdly high in modern society. Girls that see the VS Angels on stage do not realize that their specific appearance is not attainable for those who have jobs, go to school or have a family. This idea affects an impractical notion of what is attainable, and it cultivates feelings of inadequacy, which can cause serious eating disorders in many young girls. As well as creating a nearly impossible image for women, the VSFS presents women as sex objects. This further promotes the male belief that all women should look like these models and supports the belief that women are objects rather than people.

On the day of the fashion show, social media sites fill with posts such as “Nothing can make me feel so inferior as a woman than looking at pictures of VS Angels,” “I don’t even feel upset that I don’t look like a VS Model, I feel suicidal” and “RIP self-esteem.” These posts are a few of the many that illustrate the terrible effect this show has on how most women view themselves compared to these “Angels.” The women in the show are extremely thin, which in today’s society is commonly viewed as perfection.  According to the National Institutes of Health, media outlets like the VSFS greatly contribute to the 78 percent of girls who are unhappy with their bodies by age seventeen and the five million American girls who suffer from eating disorders annually.  Adolescent feelings of insufficiency promoted by the VSFS are prevalent in these statistics.

“The VSFS is misleading and only causes women to feel more in superior. In today society women have it hard and shows like the VSFS is not helping,“ said sophomore Claire Freiberg.

Most people are fooled by the illusion that these models naturally posses their thin bodies and outer appearance. People fail to realize that these models spend hours working out and watching their diet to prepare for the show. In an interview with VS model Adriana Lima, she mentions that for nine days before the show she does not eat any solid food, works out twice a day and drinks a gallon of water a day. Many young women are so convinced that because they do not resemble the “Angels” they are not good enough, but they fail to realize that attaining a so-called “perfect” body like a VS Angel is nearly impossible for women with normal eating habits.

There is a lot of talk surrounding women’s empowerment in our society, yet the media continues to enforce the treatment of women as sex symbols. Shows like the VSFS generate the idea that women are only good for being physically attractive, rather than being independent women with much more to offer. Many people still believe in a male-dominant society, and the VSFS is one of the many shows that support the stereotype that women are simply attractive sex symbols.

The VSFS endorses an unrealistic body image that causes young girls to fee insecure about themselves. Along with lowering young girls’ self-confidence, it also advocates extreme diets, which are especially unhealthy in adolescents. The girls watching the VSFS should be looking up to strong feminist figures such as Rachel Maddow or Tina Fey, rather than looking up to women simply because of their looks. Creating these images in the minds of young girls will only lead to insecurities, eating disorders and depression. Everyone is different with his or her own unique bodies, talents, features and personalities. Extreme thinness is not healthy and being healthy and happy is what is truly attractive.

 

 

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