Once upon a time — before URLs, handles, likes and shares — I put some good old-fashioned postage stamps inside an envelope and sent away for a zine (made of actual paper!) that was filled with some very big ideas. I was 16 and the zine was called i’m so fucking beautiful, a title that hooked me instantly because at the time I was quite literally starving myself of that sentiment. I was all punk rock by day, but I had a couple of dirty secrets that did not exactly jibe with the Manic Panic and combat boots:
- I thought calories were evil. Unfortunately this didn’t stop me from willingly and regularly consuming wretched diet foods that were almost certainly concocted in the bowels of hell. Listen, when a chocolate product in a plastic tub includes instructions on how it can be enjoyed frozen as “ice cream” or microwaved into a “shake,” it no longer qualifies as food, okay? But I ate (and drank!) that sugar-free, chemical-laden kryptonite sludge like it was my duty, each scoop and sip meticulously tallied in my Calories and Fat Grams Journal, which was really more of a disturbing collection of numbers and equations scribbled on Post-Its and scrap paper than an actual journal. Think “A Beautiful Mind” for the eating disordered set.
- I kept a stash of “thinspiration” featuring pictures of models I tore from magazines (‘90s-style! Old school!). I wanted to be that kind of beautiful. And the more I stared at those images, the more fervently I started to believe in that waifish brand of perfection. So I made myself sick chasing sizes that were smaller than the small sizes I already wore. I developed a mortal fear of weight gain. And while my weight fluctuated up and down and back up again as I abused it with brutal cycles of starvation, bingeing, and purging, I was never anywhere remotely close to being plus-sized, full-figured, curvy or any other palatable euphemism for that oh-so-terrifying F-word.
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Believe it or not, the push to be hyper-thin hasn’t always been present. In the ’50s and ’60s, women were sold the idea that a curvy, bodacious bod was best, and companies like Wate-On advertised that they could turn a skinny girl into a voluptuous vixen through their weight-gaining products. Whether Wate-On worked, it’s refreshing to see a different kind of body type being coveted — one that doesn’t promote a protruding hip or clavicle. Check out these great vintage “anti-skinny” ads. [Daily Mail UK]
Ann Taylor knows what sells clothes: thin. Yesterday afternoon, Jezebel noticed that an item on AnnTaylor.com was originally depicted by a skinny model in a tank top, but three seconds later, the page re-boots and the skinny model has magically dropped 20 lbs. around her midsection. Some might say the image was airbrushed beyond looking like a proportional human being. But what a bunch of whiners! Seriously, how could that fat cow sell a Chiffon Trim Tank looking that huge? Next you’re going to tell me something crazy like we should have models who are actually the size of the average American woman. [Jezebel.com and AnnTaylor.com] Keep reading »
Valerie Bertinelli is on the cover of People showing off her new bikini body just a couple of weeks shy of her 49th birthday. She has the body of a 20-year-old, but her face looks much older. In fact, she looks older than she did when she started losing weight two years ago. It turns out that being too thin ages women over 40 more than smoking, heavy drinking, or sun exposure, according to a new study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal. The reverse is true for women who haven’t reached the big 4-0. Keep reading »
Listen, I don’t know where they get this “research” or who they’re asking, but according to a new study, women who are a size four have sex more often than size eight women. Now, I think if they continued to do the math they’d find size 16’s like me do it even more than both of them combined, because we’ve got more cushion for the pushin’! But you know, I’m really getting carried away because I’m sick of fat chicks getting accused of being unsexy or disinterested in doin’ it. Skinny or chubby, whatever, we’ve all got needs! In general, size-based statistics, like this one, seem like something a fitness “guru” would invent to get clients…oh wait, the study was conducted by a “weight loss specialist.” Ugh, girl-on-girl crime strikes again! Well, no matter how much you’re getting frisky, we all could always use some extra sexercise. That’s the only kind of personal trainer I’m going to work out for! [That’s Fit] Keep reading »
France’s lower house of parliament adopted a bill today that would make it illegal for anyone, including fashion mags, advertisers, and websites, to incite extreme thinness. The bill still needs to be approved by the National Assembly and then go through the Senate, so who knows whether it will actually go into effect, especially because people in the couture industry aren’t into this idea. They believe there shouldn’t be legal boundaries on beauty standards. “Never will we accept in our profession that a judge decides if a young girl is skinny or not skinny,” said Didier Grumbach, president of the French Federation of Couture. “That doesn’t exist in the world, and it will certainly not exist in France.” [CNN] Keep reading »