Sunday, 8 June 2014

Stop Telling Girls To Be Skinny

I am so sick. Sick of the constant flow of media telling us how to look 'thinner'. Thinner? How can that necessarily correlate with healthy? In a world where eating disorders are getting worse and worse by the day, whether it is obesity, anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating, we need to be more and more cautious of telling society to be 'skinny'. In the UK, it is estimated by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence that 1.6 million people are affected by an eating disorder and 11% of these are male. Although, a more recent NHS survey showed that up to 6.4% of adults showed signs of an eating disorder, with a quarter of those adults being male.  

ELLE US recently tweeted an article that was uploaded on January 27th saying '7 Editor's tricks to style yourself skinny'. Disappointing. ELLE is usually a magazine so, so liberal and brilliant when it comes to feminism, anti-racism, transgender equality, intriguing and original articles... Why do they let their followers down by endorsing the skinny hype? The article tells us to click through for "the inside scoop on silhouettes that flatter, cuts that camouflage, and fabrics that hide the physical dirty laundry"  and tells us later on to buy a "Pricey Blouse" because "An overwhelming number of insiders credit the slinky, curve-skimming silk material of an Equipment button down as the Holy Grail of skinny dressing."

Naturally, we all want to be thin. How could we not when we're told all the time that we should be? Tabloid newspapers and trashy weekly magazines constantly shaming celebrities for putting on a few pounds or for having a post-baby stomach. As well as this, eating disorders are very much a form of control when everything seems chaotic around you. Being in control of your own body and allowing yourself to shape it as you please is liberating in many ways as explained in an article by Glosswitch (VJD Smith) on Feminist Times debating how her anorexia was not an anti-feminist battle with her body at all in her eyes, as she saw it as a way to reclaim her own body. However, I cannot and will not speak for everyone who has an eating disorder because, naturally, everyone has different triggers and problems at the route of their own eating disorder.

So then, can we perhaps ask the big question as to whether all of these moral problems in the fashion industry, such as racism, sexism, an influx of models with eating disorders and the idolisation of 'skinny', are linked? Is it perhaps the warped judgement of the people at the top or is it the warped judgement of our whole society? And why aren't we campaigning for this to stop?

Love yourself people and love everyone else too.



  1. Great post - I totally agree! These are the questions that need to be asked, it's just a shame that it's become a preconceived idea that's how women 'should' look.

  2. Good for you to raise the issue as a fashion journalist. The fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits in creating pressure on people, women in particular, to have slim bodies but it is something we all need to be aware of and thoughtful about. The key is - be healthy and accept your natural body shape.

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