Really Elle Magazine? Really?! I get directed to your website to watch a video staring Elle Fanning that brings awareness to Eating Disorders and after watching said video, I see two headlines in a banner to the right of the video under “Must Reads”. The name of these two headlines? #5: “Long and Lean” and #6: “Styling Tips to Make You Look Thinner”.
Are you kidding me?
Clicking on the headline “Long and Lean” lead me to the article titled “The Four Week Workout to Tank Top Worthy Arms”. The author of the article feels bad about her arms. This is normal. We’re supposed to feel bad about our arms, too (and our stomachs, legs and butts as expressed in the first sentence of the article). Looking at the picture of the three models wearing tank tops that accompanies the article, I think to myself, THAT’s what my arms are supposed to look like. I really was just getting into thinking my body was OK, you know, after watching the Rodrigo Prieto video about women severely critiquing ourselves. But I guess it’s not good enough.
The other article is called “7 Editor Styling Tricks Guaranteed to Make You Look Thinner”. Because you’re not thin enough. You’re just not. You’re fat, and therefore ugly, and therefore need to alter yourself.
Any message that the video was supposed to send regarding body image is completely negated by these two articles which are in PERFECT visual alignment with the video. It’s so much contradiction in one space, it’s almost comical.
But what’s not comical is the real disorder society has in making women feel shameful about their bodies. I have to be honest, I actually didn’t like the video too much. I condone Rodrigo Prieto for trying to explore the way women compare themselves to other, “prettier” bodies, and I was moved when I saw Elle Fanning’s face turn grotesque in the video but ultimately I think the movie gives more fodder to the pro ana/mia movement as thinspo than it does showing the evils of eating disorders.
For those of you who aren’t aware, there is an online movement, mostly of women, who call themselves pro ana(anorexia) and mia (buliMIA). There are forums, blogs, tumblers, pinterests, intragrams, etc… dedicated to posting thinspo (thinspirational media that generally showcases skinny women) giving each other support and tips on how to lose weight. Because the video feature dozens of emaciated models for the first few minutes of the video, I can see how a person suffering from an eating disorder could use this to push her/himself to starve.
In the Elle article, the video was called “disturbing” by the author. But you know what I find disturbing? A fashion magazine writing one article that showcases a video bringing attention to the way women are constantly reminded to fix their bodies while simultaneously posting articles, ON THE SAME PAGE, showing women how to change themselves.
Any woman watching that video is going to see those links on the side of the page. And even if she doesn’t click them, the idea is already implanted in her head that’s she’s not good enough.