Over the last few months I have been fascinated by celebrity diets and more so those directly influencing us in the fashion industry;  media and models. It seems each season the human mannequins shrink down the runway while, showing fabulous garments which clearly misrepresent a “normal” female size. I am not suggesting naturally skinny girls as unhealthy, but rather those who make a concerted effort to maintain a size zero for the sake of fashion.

Recently I watched an eye-opening BBC documentary , following a journalist as she embarks on an 8 week experiment to shrink from her UK size twelve to the American size zero. I gawked at how her life consisted of 500 calorie meals a day and strenuous exercise regimes which often left her weak.  Her journey took her from Europe to the shores of Los Angeles where she approached girls on the street, model agencies, organisters of fashion week and even banging on the gates of Victoria Beckham’s Madrid Mansion.

The representation of true fashion and beauty has been distorted over the last 20 years and it is this documentary which made me realise to what extent the industry is to blame for influencing the perception of beauty among young girls and boys. Is it the designers, who often chose to produce samples for their models which are far too small? Or the agencies and fashion magazines who constantly book the girl with the 23.5 inch waist. Around the world, the battle to end size zero continues to grow and win. With this year, Israel becoming the first country to pass a law, banning size zero for both print and fashion week. Unfortunately, even after much review, London refused the proposed ban and continues to showcase without comment to the media.

In order to maintain an international standard, Africa has also been seen using underweight models in both their shows and esteemed fashion magazines. I still ask myself, why? Do the clothes visually seem better on a skinny woman or, is this what we have gotten to believe over the years. It is likely, as growing up I never remember owning a “full-figured” Barbie Doll.  For a continent filled with diversity of colour, shapes and culture, it should be us at the forefront of the industry; fighting size zero, staying healthy and showing, that looking fabulous and true style is possible with all body shapes.

Post by Zahrah Perry @ theperrybook.com