You can never be too thin, until you’re dead. Sigh, I’m getting increasingly tired of this shit. The constant harassment really, from the fashion industry, the diet industry, hollywood, and every day people.
My post with the Club Monaco mannequins was picked up on Jezebel and Huffpo. Reading the comments (more on Huffpo) were really shocking. People were defending these mannequins. Someone said that “Americans have a reverse body dysmorphic disorder,” and now believe that obese is normal.
Are North Americans fat? As a whole, yes. I read somewhere the average American woman, now weights 164 lbs. When I did a research project on the media and images of beauty in 11th grade, the average American woman weighed 145 lbs. That’s a 19 lbs gain in nine years.
Clearly, obesity is a problem. But that’s not to say we should hold up this other extreme of visible bones as an ideal.We need to work towards healthy, not fat and not skinny. There needs to be more representation of just somewhere in the middle (healthy) because really that’s what most of us are.
Living in New York means I’m surrounded by some of the most beautiful, well dressed and impossibly thin women (and some men) in the world. New York is different than the rest of the country - people walk here, they are more active and image is definitely a high priority. Think Devil Wears Prada when Anne Hathaway’s character is told that a size 6 is considered huge. In New York, it’s true. It’s evident when you go shopping. Unlike most cities, all the smaller sizes are instantly nabbed, and sales racks are full of the sizes at the larger end of the spectrum. I’ve learned, that if you want to get that dress, you better shop early.
And the obsession with “thin” in New York is an image/social construct that we as a culture keep endorsing. I recently met a very thin and beautiful woman who once told the world via reality TV that, “That’s actually the New York City diet, you’re not allowed to eat here. No eating allowed, I’m actually serious.”
After meeting this woman, I learned that her starvation advice was simply an act for the cameras and she said she eats all the time and just can’t gain weight. (What a problem to have). But why are we content to let people play this role? To keep instilling these values in our lives? It doesn’t make sense when even they don’t believe them.
Really, Pretzel Crisps?! What a terrible ad.