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Body Image
By: Yota L., Oakwood High, Toronto, Ontario

Body Image

Body image is something that affects everyone at any stage of their lives whether they are male or female.

I was in a mall the other day and I noticed that the mannequins in the store windows have gotten skinnier since the last time I saw them. Mannequins are a size one and average in height from 5'8 to 5'10.

When you think of yourself and the majority of people that you know, do any of them fit the description of the typical mannequin? I don't think so! The average height of an adult female is 5'6 to 5'8 with a dress size of 12. Why shouldn't the mannequins look like the people that buy the clothes? If I have to spend my money on something that I like, I want to be able to see a mannequin in the widow that looks like I do. I want to look at the clothes in the window and be able to see myself in them. I'm not only talking about waist size and height, there are a couple of other things that could be changed.

The first thing is maybe there could be a shorter, more un-proportioned mannequin or one that is a little lanky or chubby - anything that looks like a normal female. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that nobody looks like the mannequins in the store widows but generally the majority of people that are buying the clothes don't. Mannequins aren't the only things that need to be changed. Stores that only carry clothes up to a size 5 need to start catering to the average woman.

Images of skinny models and T.V. stars bombard us at every chance they get. What kind of message are we sending to young women everywhere: that she is only beautiful if she weighs a sickly 90 pounds at 5'9? Or that if you are any thing less than a Claudia Shiffer look-a-like there is something wrong with you. In order to make the stores and advertising agencies change the way that they sell their clothes, try letting them know that you disapprove of the sizes that they are carry. Remember, the customer is always right.

Young women are affected everywhere because of the added pressures that our society has put on them to be "perfect". Something has to be done about the image that is being accepted as normal.

I guess my advice is --- don't feel bad when you see those anorexic mannequins in the malls or sickly models on television because all that matters is that you are comfortable with who you are and not what others think you should look like. As the Kellogg’s commercial states: “You don’t expect him to be perfect, why should you be?”

This article was originally published in Oakwood High's student newspaper:VOICES

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