The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

The image of perfection?

Emma Richards on the Size Zero issue


What is the obsession with size zero and the apparent ‘perfect body’? Of course everyone wants to be perceived in the best light possible, but why does that often have to come at such a price?

It saddens me to think of just how many women fall prey to the harsh, and in the most extreme cases, life-controlling desire to conform to this fake image of perfection. What is it that even makes a skinny model so attractive? Ok, yes she might be walking down a catwalk, seemingly leading a life of moneyed glamour and partying, grabbing the attention of the guys we all dream about, but the reality of the situation is hardly ever as exciting as many choose to believe. In fact, the majority of men would not opt to date a skeleton…where’s the attraction in that?

The relentless criticism that numerous celebrities have found themselves confronted with regarding weight and image is heartbreaking. Curvier figures are more representative of the modern day woman, yet they face continual attacks for having a healthier weight. What’s worse is the fact that even after fabricated stories of weight gain, these iconic figures still stand nowhere near ‘fat’ or at an unhealthy weight whichever way you choose to look at it.

Although there have been many attempts to ban the use of size zero models in the fashion industry, it is still argued by many that their presence on the catwalk, in the magazines and on the billboards is a good incentive for weight control. However, at what point do we lose our sense of reality and enter, either consciously or subconsciously, into the dark and dangerous obsession to be ‘flawless’? How can the real woman feel beautiful while comparing herself to heavily airbrushed, and therefore ultimately false, representations of ‘beauty’?


Surely someone is at their most attractive when healthy, strong and in possession of enough self-confidence to be themselves. There are plenty of ‘plus-size’ models out there, who enjoy just as much success as size zero models, with the likes of Robyn Lawley featured on the cover of Vogue. Furthermore these figures are much healthier, and quite frankly stunning, icons to highlight as role models in an age of eating disorders.

So, in the words of Marilyn Monroe, herself a ‘curvy’ icon: “To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero: you’re the beautiful one, it’s society who’s ugly.”