Do Thin Models Warp Girls’ Body Image?

Category: Body Image
Last Updated: 25 May 2023
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“Do Thin Models Warp Girls’ Body Image? ” Nanci Hellmich’s “Do Thin Models Warp Girls’ Body Image? ” published in Elements of Argument summarizes the effects models’ images have on young girls. Hellmich brings to our attention the influence models have on the female mindset. Psychologist, Sharon Lamb, points out that it is perfectly normal that girls want to look good, but it should not be their main focus (706). Many of the models developing a serious eating disorder, is portraying to young girls that having an eating disorder or being extremely thin is the standard way to look (706).

The issue of body image is one, which grows greater as the years go on. An ex-Victoria Secret model was “shocked” by how thinner their figures are becoming (705). From a very young age, girls are hit from every direction to have a thin body. Whether it is television, movies, or magazines. Having a tremendously thin body in today’s society is what is expected. Hellmich’s purpose is to show the negative vibe models’ give off to the younger generations of girls. In the world today, girls feel as though if they do not look exactly like the models’ they see all over media, than they are over weight.

She also points out that being thin is not the only issue people face. They also face the issue of being overweight, which also affects a person’s health (707). Hellmich does an outstanding job at showing us professional input using ethos. She points out that psychologist and eating-disorder experts think fashion industries have push models into dangerously unhealthy body types (705). Professor of psychiatrics in Chicago states, “super-thin models can play a role in causing anorexia” (706).

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The models that young girls of this time are looking up to are pushing themselves to develop a life stopping eating disorder. Pathos is found when we think about how young the impression of what are bodies are suppose to look like begins. Researchers have found that young girls start getting this message as young as first grade (707). Even at an age as early as that they feel that the culture is telling them that they have to look like a model. Writers for magazines say that girls should not wish to look like the models they envy because they are “freaks of nature” (707).

Sarah Murnen, a professor of psychology, conducted a study with girls ages ten and older on what level they had with their body esteem. More then 6,000 girls had poor body image from the exposure they had to fashion magazines, where as a trivial 18 percent rejected the image of models and felt comfortable with their bodies (707). Hellmich brings out numerous facts on the issue of body image in young girls. Glamour’s points out that they believe that every woman no matter what shape or size deserves respect. They do not run photographs of women who are at an unhealthy weight.

Every woman can look wonderful without wearing a smaller size (708). This shows the majority of magazine producers are making it a priority to select women for their magazines who are of all shapes and sizes. The tone of this article is one of concerned and worried. Concern for the younger generations of girls and what they see as beautiful. As the seasons pass, ex-models are noticing the differences in the models weight. Psychologist and experts are beginning to worry about the influence models are having on very impressionable females.

Over all, the article’s claims are effective. Showing girls who think looking like an extremely thin model is not the best choice. The terrible measures girls have to take to look like the world is telling them to look, can be dangerous and life taking. Works Cited Hellmich, Nanci, “Do Thin Models Warp Girls’ Body Image? ” Pediatrics, Vol. 114, No. 3, September 2004. Rpt. in Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader. 10th ed. Annette T, Rottenberg and Donna Haisty Winchell. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. 705-709. Print.

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Do Thin Models Warp Girls’ Body Image?. (2016, Dec 29). Retrieved from

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