Kate Middleton Is “Thinspiration” On Pro-Anorexia Websites

Palace PR disaster: Kate Middleton is the new “thinspiration” icon held up by pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia bloggers. Kate has always been slender and athletic, but she dropped a noticeable amount of weight before her wedding. That makes me sad, because I’ve been a royal watcher for years and I’ve always thought she looked pretty just the way she was. Whether Kate’s weight-loss was from exercise, or from nerves over being watched on TV by a billion people, or some combination of the two, we don’t know. But “The Today Show” has found that women suffering from eating disorders are fawning over the Duchess’s new figure.I’ve long since learned my lesson that being concerned about a celebrity’s pronounced weight-loss is whacking a hornet’s nest.I do want to make it clear, though, that I realize that one cannot tell how “healthy” a celebrity is just by looking at her. I can’t say for sure that Kate Middleton or Rachel Zoe are unhealthily skinny just like I can’t say for sure that Gabourey Sidibe or Beth Ditto are unhealthily obese. I personally think Kate is disconcertingly-thin now, but I honestly don’t think it’s worth it to go into all the reasons why.

My opinion doesn’t really matter, though: it’s the women who see skinny-minnies like Kate Middleton as “thinspiration” that we should be concerned with. It’s not Kate’s fault that women suffering from mental illness are latching onto her. It’s a fact of life that any woman in the public eye will have her all aspects of her appearance dissected to itty-bitty pieces. (Hello, Hillary and Sarah.) To a certain extent, we can’t take the mentally ill blog posts written by anorexics and bulimics too, too seriously. But even though they run in the extremes, their very existence is indicative of how important lookism is in our culture

However, Kate Middleton is obviously aware that she’s in the public eye and, as “Today” rightly pointed out, that some women see her as a role model. (What she’s a role model for, exactly, is unclear — maybe if you’re good and pretty and patient and keep topless pics out of the tabloids you too can marry a prince?!) Her priority as Prince William’s arm candy (which I don’t mean as an insult: we literally see 800 times more pictures of the two of them than we hear either of them speak) is to look classy, demure, regal and pretty. Apparently, it’s also to look really thin — much thinner than she looked years ago even though she has always been a sporty and active girl. While anyone’s size is her own decision (insofar as she can control it), I hope/wish Kate had liked the way she looked before. Because right now, the public would be liking that, too.

[MSNBC via Styleite]

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