Starving for attention, part 2

My first post on this subject continues to receive comments months after it was written.

Recently, several high fashion models have dropped dead. The deaths have been attributed to the effects of their low weight. As a result, the fashion industry in Spain have implemented a ban on skinny models – those with a BMI under 18. Fashion houses in other countries are voluntarily instituting standards – both in terms of weight and age.

My original post was commentary on the pressure that the entertainment and fashion industries put on women within their industries to be ultra-thin, somehow believing that only that image is attractive. Shamefully, they force that idea down the throats of women and, especially, young girls & teens, planting the seeds of an unhealthy lifestyle. Equally dangerous is implying to men and boys that only these body shapes are attractive and desirable.

For most women, this body type is 1) unrealistic 2) unattainable 3) unsustainable 4) unhealthy and 5) potentially deadly. It’s also demeaning to suggest that women (and girls) who do not conform to this unrealistic ideal have no value. Do we want a generation of physically unhealthy women who have so sense of self-worth unless it’s tied to physical “beauty”?

The idea of physical beauty changes over time.

During the Baroque period well-endowed/well-fed women were consider beautiful. Why? It indicated high social status. If you were heavy, you were rich.

Rembrandt Rembrandt


In the 1920s, Clara Bow was the “It Girl”. She was what young women aspired to be and what young men wanted. She was a healthy looking girl:

Clara Bow Clara Bow

Clara Bow

Clara Bow

Hollywood made Gina Lollobrigida, Betty Gable, Bridget Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor and countless other beautiful women stars. None of them looked like boys with silicon implants. None of them looked like they existed on 1 lettuce leaf and half a lemon.

Gina Grable

Bardot Taylor

Then, in the sixties, along came Twiggy. She lasted a little while. Clothing styles were modified to fit the stick-thin, boyish figure she had and too few women could attain. Fairly soon, Twiggy was out. Normal sized women were back in.

Twiggy Twiggy

The 70s and 80s were epitomized by Christy Brinkley and Cindy Crawford.

Brinkley Crawford

Unfortunately, Kate Moss and the androgynous “heroin chic” look arrived in the 1990s and we have been on a downward spiral.


Looking over the comments this post has generated, I’m struck by the fact that no one is in the middle on this. It’s either “I agree” or “You’re wrong”.

I don’t know who is ill, who is on drugs, who is dieting to the point they look bad. And really, I don’t particularly care. These women are powerful enough in their respective fields to do something about it. They can say no and send a message to young women and to men and teens. They can send a message to designers and buyers, advertisers, movie producers and television executives. Perhaps they can send a message to society at large that the most valuable thing we possess is not our looks, it is our soul. Our value as human beings is in our ability to think, our creativity, our individuality.

Another point I ‘d like to make here concerns the comments that have been left in regard to this post:

Pat posted this comment:

“you stupid idiot! its not about being healthy its all about looking good, get over it you fat whore! if you think they look like shit, then why are you the one sitting behind the computer screen and not infront of the camera?

by Pat April 24th, 2007 at 5:05 am”

“M” wrote this:

be glad it aint u and dont judge.i was searching for inspiration
i read all ur comments and i still feel the same. she looks amazing.
i know its all in the mind but i still cant stop.

by m April 6th, 2007 at 1:35 pm

John Doe said:

has it ever occurred to you that this is an illness, a mental illness that wreaks havoc on the body. so stop giving them such a hard time and instead of insulting and attacking these girls, get on with your own life.

by John Doe November 3rd, 2006 at 4:36 pm

First, let me explain this one more time.  This is a blog.  This is my blog.  I get to write about things that are of interest to me.  You can read it or not.  I have provided the ability for readers to comment.  You can comment or not.

The rules for commenting are these:

  1. The comment must pertain to the post.
  2. The comment must be articulate (as decided by me)
  3. The comment may not be vulgar – no name calling, no swear words, no attacks.
  4. Inappropriate comments will be deleted.

Lastly, I’m frightened by the level of inarticulateness of some of the comments.  Spelling and grammar have not be abolished as far as I know.  The ability to write properly and express yourself is important, nay, essential.  Please do a quick Google search to learn how to construct a sentence.  Please learn about punctuation.  Please type a couple extra keystrokes — make it you not u.  The correct spelling is can’t not cant.  The pronoun representing yourself is always capitalized – I – not i.

It’s hard to take seriously comments made in such a poorly written and poorly expressed manner.

Gotta go get a donut!




Filed under In the news

5 responses to “Starving for attention, part 2

  1. You can probably guess from my online name which side I’m on. I’ve never physically slugged anyone who argues that Kate Moss is a great beauty, a fashion icon etc., etc., but it’s very tempting.

  2. Jo

    I too am finding this “skinny craze” interesting. There is something extremely curious about it, about how someone is willing to starve themselves, to slowly kill themselves, to look good.
    I was reading an online blog on a pro-ana site and how this one girl was angry with herself for putting jam on her toast and how many extra calories must have been there. It’s so sad, it’s quite heartbreaking.
    I’m a size 10 and know I’m an okay size, yet I think all of this media attention (tiny models, tiny clothes) about it is affecting me against my better judgement. I’m quite strict as to what I eat, or how much I eat, not wanting to gain weight, and to be quite honest I would like to be thinner, but I couldn’t starve myself. Do you think that’s due to media pressure? That I’ll constantly want to be smaller? What we need is some famous celebrities getting curvier and really positive remarks about it, and clothes that suit the non-boyish figure…One can hope : )

  3. Amy

    I apologise, I’m not a very good speller and I tend to forget to do little things when I’m not paying attention. but hey it’s the internet, if you want proper grammar go read a book.

    okay, sorry.

    any way, I don’t know why but i was reminded of a 20/20 special about taboo’s: what you can’t get away with in America. and one of the taboos apparently is a big girl with a skinny guy. that kind of pissed me off a little. the girl on there talked about skinny girls giving her mean looks and even makeing rude comments because she was “to big” for him. i can kind of relate a little in that my cousin ( she was the one who commented before me on the last breaking point smartwentcrazy.) she is a big girl as well. both her and I where the only big girls in our “group of cousins”, but all our aunts where big, so we kind of buddied up. anyway she was engaged to a really skinny guy and she got the looks and rude comments from the skinny girls.

    but the thing with me is that I don’t like to judge people by the way they look. I like being nice to people, and if your willing to be nice to me back than i’m always willing to make you a friend. 🙂 and if i think there may be something wrong i’m not afraid to tell you (i’m a pretty blunt person) but i have had alot of people actually not want to be friends because ( and i’m willing to admit it) I’m fat. one time when i was at the mall and went into a shoe store there where some little teen girls walking out, they couldn’t have been more than 13 or 14, and as one walked by she looked me up and down and then the kind of sniker laugh and the sound of air being let out of a tire. i don’t go to old Navy anymore ( if i can help it) have you seen that tyra where she got into the fat suit? i had the exact same thing that happened to her in the clothing store. this was at a time when i was a jeans size 18 ( oh how i wish i could go back to those days 😛 ) any way i couldn’t find a pair in that size so i asked someone back in the dressing roo if they had any, the girl turned to a guy and asked if there where any there, then for no good reason she just blurts out ” i didn’t even know they went up that big!” i just walked away.

    i think maybe because i am at the other end of the spectrum than the “naturally skinny” girls i feel like that if they are made fun of for being so skinny that it’s not as damageing to them, than us being made fun of because we are seen as “disgusting” and “lazy.” when most of the time that is not true. you would never look at a skinny girl and automatically think ” yup, she’s lazy!”

    okay i’ll tell you another emotional story. ( yeah i’m full of em’ but oddly enough i never let it get me down.)

    when i was 10 i was friends with a girl who had intestinal problems, so she never ate that much and had to drink like ensure and pediasure and stuff. so needless to say she was really skinny, and at that time was when i really started to gain weight. we where in the lunch line one day and the lunch lady gave me my plate, she was about to hand my friend hers when she took it back and put more on, she said ” you poor girl, they must not be feeding you.” i said to her ” hey,thats not fair.” she gave me the nastiest look i think i’ve ever seen in a person then and since. she then yelled ” go on your holding up the line with your little fat butt!” then she turned to my friend and said ” don’t let her eat any of your food either darlin’, thats probably why you’re so skinny!” needless to say i cried the rest of the day. and she let me eat her food. 🙂

  4. Two new studies show why some people are more attractive for members of the opposite sex than others.

    The University of Florida, Florida State University found that physically attractive people almost instantly attract the attention of the interlocutor, sobesednitsy with them, literally, it is difficult to make eye. This conclusion was reached by a series of psychological experiments, which were determined by the people who believe in sending the first seconds after the acquaintance. Here, a curious feature: single, unmarried experimental preferred to look at the guys, beauty opposite sex, and family, people most often by representatives of their sex.

    The authors believe that this feature developed a behavior as a result of the evolution: a man trying to find a decent pair to acquire offspring. If this is resolved, he wondered potential rivals. Detailed information about this magazine will be published Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

    In turn, a joint study of the Rockefeller University, Rockefeller University and Duke University, Duke University in North Carolina revealed that women are perceived differently by men smell. During experiments studied the perception of women one of the ingredients of male pheromone-androstenona smell, which is contained in urine or sweat.

    The results were startling: women are part of this repugnant odor, and the other part is very attractive, resembling the smell of vanilla, and the third group have not felt any smell. The authors argue that the reason is that the differences in the receptor responsible for the olfactory system, from different people are different.

    It has long been proven that mammals (including human) odor is one way of attracting the attention of representatives of the opposite sex. A detailed article about the journal Nature will publish.

  5. Good Stuff, do you have a myspace profile?

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