Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism (MA)

Degree Level





Colleen Thurston

Committee Member

Hayot Tuychiev

Second Committee Member

Niketa Reed

Third Committee Member

Raymond McCaffrey


documentary, body image, beauty, clothing, Northwest Arkansas, fashion designers, media


Negative body image among women has become an extremely relevant topic in the last decade. The “ideal” female body image and what a person should look like according to marketing and advertising has become a highly controversial issue. This project seeks to show how the fashion industry has, over centuries, shaped how people think they need to look and in today’s time and show how it has been a root cause of issues like body image complexes leading to negative self-perception, eating disorders, mental illnesses like anxiety, depression and addiction, and even suicide. Over the last three to four decades, the problem has grown exponentially worse. However, there are organizations popping up that are celebrating people as they are. One of these organizations is the Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week. The people involved are separating fashion from what the ideal body is supposed to look like and bringing people of all shapes, sizes, colors and mentalities to the front of the line and showing the rest of the world that its ok to just be you.