Give our daughters healthy women to look up to

March 19, 2014 – Last Wednesday, I wrote about the petition to ban the word ‘bossy’ and how I didn’t believe banning a word could make a difference.

This week, my sister sent me a petition that I signed with gusto because I do believe it will make a positive change for young  girls. It also impacts the ‘War on Women’, another topic I’ve written about recently.

Shannon Bradley-Colleary, a mother of two (daughters), and a blogger at thewomanformerlyknownasbeautiful.com, is on a mission to stop advertisers from using anorexic models in their ads. She spotted the photo below in the March issue of a magazine from a Yves Saint Laurent campaign, and decided she didn’t want one more woman or girl to be damaged by believing starvation is the beauty standard. Shannon wrote a letter directly to Francesca Bellettini at Yves Saint Laurent, and started a petition on change.org to invite others to join her cause.

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To date, the petition has more than 32,000 signatures, and many have said they have signed to make the world a better place for their daughters.

“I signed because I’m a doctor and a father of an impressionable young lady,” said one visitor.

“Why promote a standard of beauty that isn’t healthy or beautiful? I would be broke hearted to see my daughter looking this sickly,” said another.

Other countries have already made steps to make a difference. In Israel, for example, a law effective in 2013 requires models to produce a medical report showing they have maintained a healthy BMI for three months before a shoot. Earlier, countries including Italy, Spain, and India banned underweight models from working. The U.K. and the U.S. have guidelines, but the industry is self-regulated.

This is a great example of when a ban can make a difference. If enough women stopped buying the publications that feature unrealistic models, or better yet, the products that they advertise, change will come. If you agree, sign the petition and let your voice be heard. 

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