This piece was originally published on xoJane.com.
A new study into the hoary underworld of pro-anorexia bloggers has discovered the unexpected: pro-ana communities may not exclusively be the dark pits of self-destruction they are typically assumed to be. The survey, conducted by researchers from Indiana University, suggests rather candidly that pro-ana communities may provide better support than traditional eating disorder treatments, and that said communities even continue to provide assistance to those who have decided to begin recovery. Keep reading »
Franca Sozzani excels at many things. She is the long-standing editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and, in 1994, she was even made the editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Italia in its entirety. She is acknowledged as a contemporary and collaborator to, among others, Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, Peter Lindbergh, and Paolo Roversi, unarguably the most influential fashion photographers of the past two decades. She is credited as the driving force, alongside Meisel, behind the groundbreaking “supermodel” movement in the ’90s. Last year, she launched Vogue Curvy, a branch of the magazine’s Italian edition geared towards plus-sized women. Sozzani has accomplished a great variety of things, but despite her apparent devotion to targeting her publication towards a medley of body shapes and sizes, she herself champions thinness. It’s a true study in contradiction: she encourages others to appropriate acceptance of all body types, but at the bottom line, the girls that land the coveted cover of her magazine — not to mention Sozzani herself — are built like greyhounds.
Which brings me to my point: Vogue Italia has a history, more so than any other Vogue publication, of promoting the emaciated look, so why, in the name of all that is good and holy (which is nothing, these days), did Franca Sozzani, notorious for her use of strikingly thin models, give a speech about anorexia, obesity, and body image at Harvard?
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Angelina Jolie, despite the fact that she was not a nominee, was the talk of the Academy Awards. There was the whole Leg Thrusting Debacle — the actress was quite dramatic about using the high slit on her dress to display her right leg — but the blogosphere was also exploding with comments and questions about her weight. Namely, that she looked “gaunt,” “too skinny,” and “shrinking,” with many crowing that she should “eat a cheeseburger” and “put a lil’ more meat on those bones.”
I will admit to being one of those people who commented on her being too thin. I’ve been thinking about that reaction though, and am disappointed in myself for snarking on her weight. Keep reading »
“I have been every single size in women’s fashion. I really don’t think anyone can say that. I’ve been a double-zero, children’s clothes, at 95 pounds, and I’ve been all the way up to a size 16 and everything in between. So to come to this place of being a 6, 8, sometimes a 10 depending on what designer I’m wearing. And that’s an interesting place to be in fashion, where extremes are the norm.”
– Crystal Renn talks to “Entertainment Tonight” about her weight. It seems like nobody can believe that a woman who works in fashion — and struggled with anorexia in the past — could be completely comfortable in her body and be okay with being somewhere in the middle. Pretty crazy, right? It’s like the media wants her to be as fixated on how much she weighs as they are. Gross. [ET Online]
Naked models usually gets mouths flapping. But the real reason people are gabbing about a photo spread in Plus Model Magazine is because each picture of plus-size model Katya Zharkova posing nude is accompanied by a fact about body size and eating disorders. In the image from the spread shown above left, Katya even holds a “straight size model,” cupping her hand over her butt like a newborn baby. Of course, commenters on the Plus Model blog — and every other blog that has posted about this spread — are shrieking about obesity. I’ve never quite understood why the fact that human beings are made in different sizes — and beauty comes in all of those sizes — is so controversial. While I don’t doubt that obesity exists (in fact, there was a great piece in the New York Times this weekend about obesity in children), such a knee-jerk response obscures the larger point that many of us are bored with the assumed beauty ideal of stick-thin 14-year-olds. Give me an adult model with voluptuous, womanly curves any day.
You can check out all the images from the Plus Model Magazine spread after the jump. [Fashionista] Keep reading »
After battling anorexia, singer/actress Demi Lovato is furious her former boss, the Disney Channel, joked about the eating disorder on a TV show. A character on the program Shake It Up said recently: “I could just eat you up. Well, if I ate.” Lovato responded in an incensed, all-capitals tweet. “I find it really funny how a company can lose one of their actresses from the pressures of an eating disorder, and yet still make jokes about that very disease,” she wrote, referring to her own exit from a Disney series. “Eating disorders are not something to joke about,” she added. Read more…
Last week, a series of photos of model Karlie Kloss went up on Vogue Italia’s website. The shots, by photographer Stephen Meisel, prominently featured the mostly-nude body of Kloss. But just as quickly as the photos went up, one shot — this shot — was taken down. And fashionistas began surmising that perhaps Kloss’s taut, toned figure seemed just a little too slim and skinny. But it’s curious that one particular photo was singled out as being too extreme, as the entire shoot has already been popping up on pro-anorexia websites as “thinspiration” fodder. Keep reading »
It was my worst fear. I recovered from anorexia/bulimia and became morbidly obese. I lost and regained weight in a furious and uncontrollable cycle. I didn’t think I had it in me to try again.
But I couldn’t ignore how my health was deteriorating. My right knee constantly hurt and buckled, making walking difficult. I had osteoarthritis. While my knee couldn’t be fixed, I could slow down the deterioration and stave off knee surgery.
Enter my thoughts of weight loss surgery. Even if I could lose the weight on my own, it would take well over a year. I read that gastric bypass surgery (“GBS”) patients lost most of their excess weight within 6 months. That’s a no brainer, I decided. Keep reading »
Writing about eating disorders feels like an exercise in vulnerability, not because I am ashamed to share my story, but due to the extremely emotional nature of the topic for countless women. In an era of Kate Moss, skinny jeans, and “she’s too skinny!” tabloid fodder, eating disorders run rampant like a cultural epidemic, continuing to fester alongside a never-ending preoccupation with body image. Although the majority of the media narrows the scope of the issue to models and celebrities, eating disorders are actually most prevalent amongst us everyday girls. Simultaneously, the reality of EDs extends beyond the teenage anecdotes of starving ourselves to be popular; these serious diseases have lifetime physical and psychological ramifications and are far more multifarious than extreme dieting. Weight is a sensitive subject to say the least, one I am going to handle diplomatically. The objective of sharing my story is not to be controversial, blame Hollywood, or spark debate on how to confront eating disorders, but to reflect on the complexities of a ghost that has haunted me and so many others for over a decade.
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