London’s Fashion Week

With all the anticipation, London’s Fashion Week finally started this week. Apart from the usual highlight of Stella McCartney, Burberry Prorsum, Nicole Farhi, Paul Smith, and Vivienne Westwood, there are many other up and coming new British talents on the catwalk. There is also the London Fashion Weekend taking place from 24th to the 27th September at the Somerset House and 180 The Strand. The Fashion Weekend showcases over 120 London Fashion Week designers’s latest creations, which you can purchase at a fraction of the retail price. Visitors will need to purchase tickets in advance to gain entry. Prices vary from the basic ‘black class’ to ‘gold class’, which grants you the whole package of entry+catwalk+show bag.

However, a negative report had shown that the fashion shows may have promoted eating disorders especially amongst young females. These fashion catwalks showcase young models, mostly underweight women in their teens, may be sending the wrong message across to their young female audience. The perception of size zero models being beautiful is largely advertised and promoted, which may lead to self conflict and self doubt in body image for female (and male) young adults.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that leads to excessive amount of weight loss. It is a psychiatric illness that causes distortion in one’s perception of body image that leads to obsessive fear of gaining weight. Common symptoms are voluntary starvation and excessive exercise. Medical cases are mostly found in young females, with 10% being males. Some experts believe that the exposure and encouragement of ‘super skinny’ being beautiful may put pressure on female teenagers and affect their self esteem, which may eventually lead to mental illnesses and eating disorders.

Another common eating disorder is Bulimia nervosa. In contrast to Anorexia, Bulimia is characterised by binge eating, but then followed by self induced vomiting. Bulimia is also caused by a distorted self evaluation of body image, and patients often lose control over eating and the amount they eat. Excessive amount of exercise is also a common symptom, together with the eating disorder, patients are often seen very weak and drained.

Some organisations have pointed out the need for more media attention on sending the right message to the young female audience in the UK to prevent further eating disorder cases. There is extra pressure of being thin and beautiful on people who work under the judgement of public eyes such as celebrities, singers, actress, London escorts, dancers, models and stage performers.