Plus size model Robyn Lawley penned a wonderful post on The Daily Beast about the dangers of thigh gaps and “thinspiration.” What I especially liked about her post was that she avoided body shaming of any kind while making valid points about how the media, “thinspo,” and thigh gaps can erode the self-esteem and body image of women.
Robyn writes about how disturbing the so-called inspiration has become, “Everywhere online, users are posting aspirational pictures of thigh gaps, used as inspiration for weight loss and dieting. ‘I want the thigh gap. Right now, I could start a fire b/t my thighs,’ one user laments on Pinterest. ’No goal was ever achieved without thigh gap.’”
Remember Robyn is a successful plus size model who was featured in H&M‘s swimwear campaign. Robyn is celebrated for the body she has, she’s paid to have the body that she has, which is bigger and curvier than standard models, yet that doesn’t mean the world is kind to her. Read more on College Candy…
“I think it’s about time people stopped judging women on their appearance and more on their intellect. Like you can appreciate my style without having to appreciate my weight. It’s not actually mutually inclusive. I just get frustrated because, just because I exist in this shape, doesn’t mean that I’m like advocating it and being like, ‘I look great.’ How do you know I’m not looking in the mirror and going ‘I wish I could gain ten pounds?’ Which is actually quite often the case. But if you say that you sound like you’re bragging that you’re naturally thin, and you’re not allowed to do that because even though it’s not the ideal weight, it kind of is as well. So it’s really fucked up. And how people that are bigger can be on the front covers of magazines being like ‘I’m really happy with my shape.’ But if I was to do that, I’d be compeltely criticized and ridiculed. But why can’t I be happy with how I look? … I’m just a bit sick of it. I just think that whole culture of hatred, and also feeling like it’s your right to judge people when you don’t know them is really fucked up.”
– This is Alexa Chung talking to Fashionista about the controversy that erupted awhile back when she posted a picture of herself looking quite thin on Instagram. Chung was derided by commenters on the site for being “thinspiration” for women with eating disorders. The whole interview is quite good and I recommend you read the entire thing. She says some very smart things about how naturally thin and skinny women are not immune to body scrutiny and, while it doesn’t compare equally to larger-sized women, it’s still body-policing. As a naturally skinny person, Chung is on the receiving end of insinuations and comments that she must have an eating disorder. Larger women can’t win and skinnier women can’t win, either. Alexa is right: it’s time we stopped judging all women on their appearance. [Fashionista]
“I’m not going to starve just to be thin. I want to enjoy life and I can’t if I’m not eating and miserable.”
– Here’s Kate Upton in the UK’s Sun saying she doesn’t give an eff that some “thinspiration” bloggers think she’s fat. An anonymous blogger who calls herself Skinny Gurl at a pro-anorexia site called Skinny Gossip had written of Upton: “Huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition — she looks like a squishy brick. Is this what American women are “striving” for now? The lazy, lardy look? Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for? Sorry, but: eww!”
Last week, in response to the ensuing controversy, Skinny Gurl promised she would remove the Starving Tips Of The Day from her blog and include links to resources on eating disorders and mental illness. [Huffington Post]
Dear Thinspiration Blogs,
At first I didn’t really understand you. I mean, I’d heard of the “pro-ana” blogs that lurked in dark corners of the internet, encouraging starvation and promoting anorexia. But thinspiration blogs are more mainstream. You show up on the Pinterest homepage in the form of “diet plans” that allow nothing but lemon water for a week. You show up on my Tumblr dashboard in the form of photos of concave stomachs and protruding rib cages, or food diaries with 500-calorie totals. The phrase “thigh gap” is actually a popular blog tag now, shorthand for pictures of skinny legs that don’t touch. The gist of it? You are getting harder and harder to avoid.
Keep reading »
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 »
You’ve got to wonder, sometimes, what marketing people are thinking when they make decisions like the one Brit company Zazzle made to allow a children’s T-shirt to be sold with the words “Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels.” When the T first came to light, Zazzle claimed that it was simply “a custom products platform, it enables all users to create their own products that feature their own content. In this way, Zazzle is an outlet for users to express their personal opinions and viewpoints.” In effect, it was simply a platform for users, but not responsible for what users created with its platform. Well, Zazzle’s card has been pulled by Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority, who have deemed the shirts “harmful to children.”
You think, guys? Keep reading »
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. Keep reading »
The other night, I was wading through all the junk scattered around my apartment, starting to panic because I couldn’t find a book I needed to review. I threw out bag after bag of garbage and finally decided to get some dinner, my version of which was a prepackaged frozen entree of organic tofu, vegetables and brown rice, plus a bottle of soy sauce. Keep reading »