Body Image Issues & Victoria’s Secret Angels
Rhiannon Kay (interviewed documentary film maker Nicole Clark)
Many girls dream to become a Victoria’s Secret Angel. These angels are known for their beauty and skinny figures that most women envy. They strut down the runway with confidence and ooze sex appeal, wearing only lingerie and wings.
Nicole Clark, a former Elite International fashion model and a filmmaker created a documentary called Cover Girl Culture that takes a look at the impact media has on girls and women in our society.
“I wanted to help girls learn to see through the media’s often negative influence and take back their power, said Clark. “I used to be part of the problem when I modeled with Elite and now I’m part of the solution.”
After watching shows like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, many girls feel they are not good enough and that they have to diet and start losing weight.
“They see that these are the ‘women’ men dream of dating or meeting and most girls dream of having a boy like them in the same way,” said Clark. “They hear their brothers, fathers or other boys making lusty comments about VS models. Girls are smart, they put together A + B = C.”
Facebook and Twitter blew up with girls commenting about how they wish they looked like the Angels and how they want to begin dieting and exercising.
@rachelbogle said, “Not even lying right now..going to watch the #VSFashion show while lifting weights and doing crunches…#motivation.”
One feature in Clark’s film focuses on solutions for parents and educators; to help young women love themselves.
“One of the solutions is to help teach media literacy or critical thinking to our girls when they are young,” said Clark. “Advertisers’ motto is “Get them While they’re Young” so we as educators and parents need to “Prepare Them When they’re Young” through positive self-esteem messages and teaching them how to decode the media’s messages.”
Many shocking problems are caused by the unhealthy sexualization of girls in the media. Problems like depression, low self-esteem and body image dissatisfaction.
“Girls, who have accepted the message from media that they are merely meant to be sexy for guys, become depressed and feel badly about themselves because who they are is not being valued.”
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion show is not the only culprit. Magazines, celebrities and advertising have such a powerful negative influence on girls and young women.
“Young people, in every culture, look to society to see who is upheld and admired or acknowledged and our society, sadly, upholds celebrities for shocking behaviours and qualities that have little value,” said Clark. “Girls want to be respected, admired and acknowledged and we’re giving them far too many examples of what not to emulate.”