The Disease of The Fashion Industry

By Dorka N.

Have you ever heard that if something is repeated often enough people start to believe it? This phenomena is all around us and is so widely spread and crucially ACCEPTED. However, it is the media playing mind games on human beings.

Media today is present in all sectors of our lives, often causing more damage than actual good. It is only natural that we fall victim to its intrusive nature, but in the fashion industry its impact is especially negative. Their adverts can be considered quite persuasive as they constantly tell us that we will feel a certain way after having bought their product, or by looking like the models. This constant pressure to conform to mass-manufactured beauty ideals can cause a great deal of stress and unhappiness in many women.

First of all, I believe eating disorders and false body image are always rooted in one or more great problems causing depression, either mild, moderate or severe. They have an obvious similarity: they last long and are not ’one time disorders ’; they do not last for one bad day or for a few hours while crying. So what exactly is the reason people develop eating disorders, especially a specific group of society?

Lack of self-love and self-respect.

Let me put it this way: teenage girls are considered to be the majority suffering from eating disorders, but they are not weak. They just never learned to love themselves enough, and that is the great problem of our society. They allow the pressure the media applies on them and are happy to go with the flow beyond themselves as they believe they may be accepted by the society if they lose weight. As the idealized skinny bodies are the centres of this industry and the world as well, they believe it is the only right way to live – be thin, eat small portions or starve, and when these don’t work they turn to more serious methods such as vomiting after binge eating.

Stop for a minute. Sounds surreal or sounds familiar? It is real. These issues are real but we are too scared or prudish to talk about them, although I have never met a girl or a woman who actually loved her body. We are taught by the media that we are not allowed to take up space in this world. Only those who are considered to be good enough, who are thin, are the owners of thigh gaps and a flat stomach. It’s the worst joke I have ever heard!  Do not ever dare to shrink yourself for someone else’s comfort, they are teaching you to be as small as possible. You are good for your mind and thoughts, you are enough for how your heart reaches out to others and you are amazing for your words, for how you treat people.

Calories were never the problem. Emphasis should be on the meaning of calories, they are the fountains of your energy. You cannot function and live properly and healthily without consuming the thought-to-be little devils, although they are not. They are numbers. Numbers do not define people, you define yourself when you start believing you are not good enough for this world, only after getting rid of parts of yourself.

I know the feeling of guilt after meals, which can tear you down even after an apple. I know how bad you wish to punish yourself by starving for days after you have consumed a proper meal. But it is never worth it and skinny makes you happy for a while, but those diseases and illnesses people warn you about in case you continue your starvation – they are also real. I am there. But you, you must not go there. I dare you to realize you are so worth it, without having to experience an illness as a consequence of the combination of your anorexia, bulimia and depression.

Why do you put your self-esteem in the hands of complete strangers? You are an individual, a one-time human being, who should not let media define her/ him. I am definitely not saying that recovering or healing are easy tasks to do. It takes time: months, years. And the process needs to be carried out by the smallest steps and the smallest portions. Start by not weighing yourself 5 times a day, by not photographing your thighs or your stomach and hoping for your bones to show. Food is not standing in your way, you are standing in your own way.

Find yourself, find something to make you happy and be engaged in activities to draw your attention - much of your pain is self-chosen, stop destroying yourself and your peace of mind. You are in a tiny box surrounded by walls and your problems are valid. But you need to know the world, to acknowledge the wonders of nature, the beauty of humankind. There are so many things to learn, so many places waiting to be explored; stop dying slowly. Take part in global, local programs to feel that you belong to the world, that there are so many opportunities and eternal resources of knowledge and love you can put your energy into instead of focusing on not eating that piece of chocolate or that small portion of rice. 

It is possible and recovery is beautiful and trust me, you will be so proud of yourself. And the strength you will develop during that period of time? No one will be able to take that away from you and here we are – another strong woman is born.

About the author: "My name is Dorka, I am a Hungarian feminist who is concerned about politics and equal rights. Studying at Corvinus University of Budapest, playing music, spreading strength."


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