Monday, 3 June 2013

A Response to "This Is Skinny Club" - Company Magazine Article

A certain article was recently bought to my attention by youtuber Rosianna. 
And the link to the article she scanned (trigger warning): http://hermionejg.tumblr.com/post/51955625898/company-article-tw-eating-disorders-body-image

In her video she addressed an incredibly problematic, and quite frankly disgraceful article in Company magazine, called "The Skinny Club". I had a read of it myself and immediately saw the issues.
Throughout the article there were clear indications that the writer (whoever they may be, lets hope they think against putting pen to paper next time) herself had issues. The way in which she says she has "an addiction to being skinny" is clearly problematic. Another choice quote being "I suddenly realised how far I would go to stay thin"  and "If I don't lie, I get the nagging" is clearly indicative of a worrying state of mind. If not of an individual with an eating disorder
The words she uses to describe her feelings associated with food are problematic "aghast", showing her fear of food, another worrying idea. The article also promotes disturbing habits, such as lying to friends about having not eaten, extensive exercise "endless crunches" "I run for miles" - all in the pursuit of being "thin". At points within the article there was the implication that the writer was giving advice to the reader, as to how to follow their habits. It even included the infamous quote from Kate Moss "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" - which in itself is a damaging mantra. When coupled with this article could be worryingly influential to vulnerable readers.    

This article was especially alarming, as it could be highly triggering to those suffering with or recovering from an eating disorder. What I found even more bizarre, was that they featured this article in an issue that had Demi Lovato on the front cover, who has been known for her struggles battling with an eating disorder. Which at the very least seems disrespectful and insensitive. This just sums up the huge contradictions that are far too often found in women's magazines. Even the fact that the article was placed in the "my secret life" section of the magazine, sends off alarm bells in my head, as one of the main features of an eating disorder is the secrecy. 
I truly find it shocking that something this blatantly manipulative and triggering could be published in mainstream media. Especially when it has been made so easily accessible for young, impressionable teenagers. Why should magazines be publishing things such as this? Why should they make girls feel inadequate for not conforming to their unrealistic ideas of a "good body"? 

I really have no idea why Company thought it would be a good idea to publish such an article. It really makes me wonder if these publications even care about their readers at all
Surely if they cared about their readers, they would teach them self confidence, self worth, integrity and intelligence. Yet instead, they insist on bombarding us day after day, with unrealistic images, and cajole us in to "losing a pound here or there" in order to obtain our perfect "bikini body". 
I have recently been seriously doubting whether this is the kind of journalism that I want to be a part of, and this article may have cemented some doubts I have been having. I do not want any part in making people feel inadequate, or worthless. 
I want to write for a publication that cares about its readers, that listens to their input and makes them feel worthy and important. That reminds them their sole worth does not lie within the numbers on a scale, or the reflection in a mirror. Because you know what? It doesn't, a person is worth so, so much more than their looks, or their weight. 
You are a human being, and at the end of the day, you deserve to feel self worth, and you deserve to feel important. It isn't the right of some thoughtless careless magazine, or anyone else, to decide whether you get to feel good about yourself. It is your right, to be able to look in a mirror and be happy with what you see, and realise that it does not define you, as the magazines would have you believe.

What did you think of the article? Please let me know in the comments.

India x

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