"It is pretty obvious that the media does perpetuate unrealistic body standards. The most common example is that, if Barbie were real, she'd have no liver and walk on all fours, but the question is: does it matter? The implication is that unrealistic body standards lead to eating disorders, which is an argument I believe reduces a severe mental illness to a vain aspiration to be a runway model—something I have never personally aspired to.
'A lot of people don't see eating disorders as actual illnesses," Carrie Arnold, a 34-year-old freelance science writer, author, and recovered anorexic tells me. 'They see them as choices. And thinking that eating disorders are caused by images of thin models really serves to drive home the point that they're all about vanity.'"