My husband often jokes that I “Play Barbie for a living” and 90% of the time I nod and grin. What I do is a lot of fun, I get to spend lots of money on fabulous clothing for affluent women and up and coming models. I shop for real women and girls with bodies most women envy.
Now go back a sentence and realize that I said girls—bodies. The majority of the models I work with are not only well under the age of 18, most often they are 13-15, 5’10 and naturally waif thin. They are beautiful, vivacious and healthy. Let’s face it, it is rough being a teen in general, now let’s make you a girl that not only towers over her girlfriends, but also every boy and possibly teacher at her school. The taunting and teasing are bound to get rough. Modeling is a way for this girl to only feel pretty, but be appreciated for her height.
As long as there are parents to guide there daughters, I see nothing wrong with girls entering the world of modeling at such a young age. While yes there is peer pressure out there, but in reality the same amount of pressure is probably felt in any cafeteria around the country as there is on the runway.
In the 90s there were a lot of journal articles regarding the influence of thin models on the rise of eating disorders. While some studies suggested that there was a positive correlation between the two in my opinion the only relationship the number on the scale has in contrast to the amount of thin models one looks as it would be the disgust a particular person may have towards the actual obesity epidemic.
DeGroat, Bernie. "Media Influence Eating Disorders." February 13, 2011 | The University Record Online. 22 Oct. 1997. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <http://www.ur.umich.edu/9798/Oct22_97/media.htm>.