90-60-90: The alleged perfect and flawless body. Indeed, when you enter Bournemouth Source Models, the walls are covered with pictures of beautiful, well shaped women and men. Women and men with great smiles and features, but women and men in all shapes and sizes. Luckily, the agency’s philosophy is to disprove the ideal of beauty set by the fashion industry.
“We feel it’s the right thing to do in terms of offering a choice of different sizes to our clients. I’d like to think that there’s a transition from skinny to curvy. I think its all based on trends. The trend at the moment is fitness. Girls are now more fitness driven as opposed to being skinny driven. That in term probably has a slight effect on more curvier girls”, says David Gibbs, managing director of Source Models.
The local model agent blames the huge impact of social media on a certain body image: “There’s a reason why people follow certain Instagram pages. I reckon most people would like to be thinner, so I think there is a place in this world for people to attain a certain look. And I cannot see, just because of human nature, that that look will ever be a plus size look. However, I don’t agree with size zero. I’d like to see curves.”
Statistics on eating disorder contradict the local agency’s philosophy and follow the skinny trend set by the fashion industry. Indeed, the latest statistics provided by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSIC) show that there was another 2.4% increase for people with a diagnosis of an eating disorder in 2016. Actually, official numbers by Beat claim that more than 725,000 people are affected by an eating disorder in the UK.
Poole psychotherapist Julie Ovett sees a clear correlation between skinny models and the rise of unhealthy eating behaviours: “I’ve seen an increase in general with young people and eating disorders. And I see a lot of people from the fashion industry suffering from it.”
She continues, “if you see very thin bodies presenting lots of lovely clothes then that’s the image that you think you should maintain. Plus size models are very important, notably for young girls. It gives a better idea of what a woman’s shape should be. To have different shapes and sizes displaying clothes is a much more accurate model of what women should look like.”
According to Beat, anorexia has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness.