Of all the resources we publish on The Learning Network, perhaps it’s our vast collection of writing prompts that is our most widely used resource for teaching and learning with The Times.
This list of 401 prompts (available here in PDF) is now our third iteration of what originally started as 200 prompts for argumentative writing, and it’s intended as a companion resource to help teachers and students participate in our annual Student Editorial Contest. (In 2017, the dates for entering are March 2 to April 4.)
So scroll through the hundreds of prompts below that touch on every aspect of contemporary life — from social media to sports, politics, gender issues and school — and see which ones most inspire you to take a stand. Each question comes from our daily Student Opinion feature, and each provides links to free Times resources for finding more information. And for even more in-depth student discussions on pressing issues like immigration, guns, climate change and race, please visit our fall 2016 Civil Conversation Challenge.
What’s your favorite question on this list? What questions should we ask, but haven’t yet? Tell us in the comments.
And visit our related list as well: 650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.
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No, absolutely not!
Skinny women are more attractive. This is the simple truth. Advertisers are entitled to use whatever type of models they like to represent their brand. When more than half of people in America are overweight we need to stop celebrating obesity. It is unhealthy. It is not the advertisers or the models responsibility to be role models for young women. If women are unhappy with their bodies they can exercise and diet and DO something about it. If they are so lacking in self esteem that they would starve themselves to look more like the models then they have deeper issues they need to work on. Some women are naturally very thin and shouldn't be punished for that. Thin is in, get over it!
You can't discriminate people
According to the law you can’t discriminate people, that is one of the reasons why I think that skinny models should be allowed on the catwalk. You can’t just say to a model that she can’t work just because she is skinny because maybe it’s just her stature, maybe she is born that thin and maybe she is very healthy. I think if you ban a model from walking a fashion show you shouldn’t do that because of her body, but because of the eating disorder you think she has. When you assume that a model has an eating disorder you should test that and when you know for sure that she is starving herself or uses other unnatural ways to be thin you can interdict her from walking on the runway. When people know that the models are skinny in a healthy way and not because they’re starving themselves with as result they probably won’t starve themselves because they know they can’t reach the result the models get in a healthy way. Clothes look better on skinny models, when people think the clothes look pretty on the models they will probably buy them themselves and that’s very good for the economy. Anorexia is genetically determined, you need a couple of properties like perseverance, perfectionism, impulsiveness and insecurity. These properties are in your DNA, you can’t change them, you are born with them, it’s who you are. Rita Slof-Op 't Landt, a Dutch investigator, has found a gene which is called TPH2. It increases the risk on having an eating disorder really bad, she discovered.
Journal of Consumer Research says that it doesn’t matter what the size of a model is, fat women will be insecure, no matter what. Woman with a normal BMI will be less insecure when they look at a skinny model. Fat models are also unhealthy. My own BMI is 17 that’s also to light for the fashion industry but I’m not too thin I eat a lot and not really healthy.
No, they should not.
The free market should be the grand arbiter of all things, unless some grave injustice can be shown that would justify a superseding law. Models do not in any way, shape, or form force young teenagers to develop anorexia or to obsess over fashion and looks in any way. It would be like banning paper manufacturers because paper is used in cigarettes.
While the practice of using extremely skinny models should be very discouraged, it's discriminatory to ban them outright. Adults are capable (theoretically) of taking care of themselves and should not be punished for their choices. However, models do have an inordinate amount of seeming control over the way young women see themselves, and the unhealthy lifestyles the perpetrate should be kept out of the spotlight as much as possible.
No they shouldn't
Why should the fashion industry do such a thing? It doesn't make any sense. Body image issues? Maybe we should teach people not to be such consummerist and not think that banning this or that certain commercial product or ad is really going to change anything. People have to start thinking for themselves.
This is disgusting
How dare anyone suggest that 'skinny models' should be banned from the catwalk. What an unbelievably hypocritical statement! What would these be replaced with? 'Bigger' girls I would presume? People seem to forget that more people die of obesity annually than anorexia/bulimia. Of course, promoting eating disorders should be prevented at all costs but to assume that just because a model is skinny that she has an eating disorder is plain wrong. If skinny models promote ED's, when they may not have one, I cannot understand how bigger models do not do the same thing. Obesity/over-eating is an eating disorder as well, and if we were to try and make it so that everyone is under the impression that 'curves > bones' then we may just complete reverse the whole situation and have skinnier girls believe that to be 'beautiful' or 'normal' they must be a bigger weight. There should be a variety of sizes in the industry, from size 0 to size 18.
They should not.
I am extremely skinny and I am a model. It was always a dream of mine to be one. The fashion industry shouldn't just ban skinny people from being too skinny, because that is injustice to the rest of the world who are extremely skinny, so they have some people to look up to. Do you know how it feels like to be an ectomorph, and look at fashion magazines with mesomorphs looking healthy and regular modeling clothes that you know that you will never be able to wear? It's the same with endomorphs, they will feel much more self-conscious of their body weight. Ectomorphs will try to fill their "empty" bodies with a constant response from people: "Just eat more." This is very not healthy because out of devastation of failure at everything else, skinny girls will take on this offer, consuming unhealthy calories each day, and feeling worse as the result. I have been there, as a personal experience, and let me tell you, that was not fun at all. And I didn't look any better than I was before.
Many ectomorphs have the curse of being constantly accused of starving themselves, anorexia, or just eating very little. For me, no matter how much I ate, nothing seemed to happen. Growing up in Texas, where the girls there are known as "healthy" and "corn-fed," I can't tell you how many people scolded me with one of these options. I lost count.
I don't think the fashion industry should ban models that are too skinny because skinny people need clothes too, and clothes that will FIT.
I say no
I a sort of pretty really very human being kind of actually specifically specifically believe that skinny models should not specifically essentially really specifically be banned because that literally specifically essentially essentially is what i believ in a definitely pretty particularly fairly big way, which mostly for the most part for the most part is quite significant, or so they for the most part thought, which generally is quite significant.
Form of body shaming
How is it okay to ban 0 size women but if we also banned plus size we would be 'fat-shaming' them. It is not fair for 0 size people to be called unhealthy and for those models who do want to be models it is not fair for them to be treated unfairly like they are an outcast.
I eat healthy and this is just how I'm built
I have been "model thin" and tall since I can remember. I did not have anything to do with it as it just happened. Some of us are just naturally built this way, I do not think it is a good idea to ban these models because you are then telling that model that she is not pretty enough, which is what I feel like is what were trying to avoid in the first place