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Title - Rhiannon Kay
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Rhiannon Kay is the Health & Wellness correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rhiannon is a journalism student at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. If you have questions or wish to contact Rhiannon, you can email her at rkay@ourhometown.ca
Body Image Issues and Victoria’s Secret Angels
Rhiannon Kay
OurHometown.ca

Body Image Issues and Victoria’s Secret Angels
Many girls dream of becoming 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.
PHOTO CREDIT - NicoleClark.com

Mississauga - December 5, 2011 - Many girls dream of becoming 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.”

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, said Clark.

“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,” said Clark.

Victoria's Secrets
PHOTO CREDIT - StyleAmor.com
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.”

Victoria’s Secret does get a lot of flack for their models. But the models want girls to remember that every body is beautiful.

Miranda Kerr, who’s been modeling for Victoria’s Secret since 2007, said she likes Victoria's Secret because “they're about promoting a healthy body image and a curvaceous image so it’s good for us.”

“But I do think it’s important for anyone to have an exercise regime because then they feel better about themselves,” said Kerr in an interview with New York magazine. “It’s just as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing."

Another well-known model for VS, Adrianna Lima, wants people to know that the liquid diet and twice-daily workouts are only done two weeks prior to the show.

Lima told E Online, "I know it's very intense but...I just have an athlete's mind and I appreciate doing this thing," said Lima. "It's not that I do crazy diets throughout the year. I just do it for this particular thing. After this show, I become normal again!"


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