News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Monday July 22nd 2019

Black models pressured to be skinny

Black models suffer greater pressure to be skinny than their white counterparts according to a recent research paper. The paper, African and Caucasian body ideals in South Africa and the United States by the Perception Lab at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, appeared in the journal Eating Behaviours last month.The paper states that research in South Africa shows that female African (black) university students report significantly more eating disorder pathology than their white counterparts.

It found that African models were heavier than white models in the US, but the situation was reversed in South Africa where African models were skinnier than their white counterparts.

The findings were based on data collected from a total of 572 African and Caucasian fashion models, examining their weight, height and age.

Lead researcher Vinet Coetzee, who is head of genetics at the University of Pretoria, was reported saying that African women were often thought to be protected from developing eating disorders because it was believed they experienced less cultural pressure to be thin.

“However, African fashion models in South Africa are significantly skinnier than local white fashion models – indicating that some groups of African women in South Africa might be experiencing more cultural pressure to be thin,” she was quoted by Independent online as saying.

But Jade Sham, a booker for Ice Models in Cape Town said it depended on where the models worked.

Sham said their black models in Gauteng were heavier because they catered for the local market while the few they had in Cape Town were skinnier as they were working for European clients.

However it is more difficult for black models to keep the kilos off because of their build as they tend to be more curvy compared to their white counterparts, she said.

Grace model agency director Nasco Mihaylov said he also disagreed with the research.

He said both black and white models struggled to maintain their weight, especially if they wanted to be on the fashion ramp.

“Fashion modelling does put pressure on models as they know they have to be skinny in order to make the ramp.

However, she said there was a general consensus that black South African models were healthier than their counterparts in other parts of the continent, he said. – Yugendree Naidoo, West Cape News

Tags: african fashion, black models, eating disorder, fashion, South Africa, university of pretoria, university of st andrews

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One Response to “Black models pressured to be skinny”

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