Is It Fashionable To Be Thin?

Perfect And Healthy Body Shapes And Curves:

Is it fashionable to be thin? Or is the trend shifting towards being full-figured?

Body Curves

Maximum Size 0:There was a time not so long ago when weight was evil. All that was cool and successful was also skinny. Think Kate Moss, Paris Hilton and Calista Flockhart. Designers worked exclusively with models that looked like starving juvenile giraffes. Movie and TV stars resembled string beans with frocks on. Bombarded by this imagery, women and more so, glowing teenaged girls, the world over, went into a diet frenzy to attain a US size zero and yet stay alive – in that order. Lunch meant a little more that a leaf of lettuce, a Marlboro and a mini bottle of Evian (“Are you sure minerals don’t have calories?”). This not only caused hormonal, and growth retardation in growing teenagers, but also serious illnesses among the older ones.

Anorexia

A healthy interest in your body is good but when people become obsessed with losing weight and staying thin, often it’s a psychological one. The problem finally came into the spotlight when models literally began dropping dead. It startled modelling agencies into selecting girls based not on age but BMI. Body Mass Index, a measure of weight in relation to height, not only to discover that a majority of models flunked the calculation. The ideal BMI range for a women is between 19 and 25. Being within this range indicates a healthy amount of body fat, which is associated with longevity, and the lowest incidence of serious illness.

BMI Table

Love Of Curves:While body shapes have always been modified for aesthetic reasons, most cultures celebrated curves. Be it the Stone AgeVenus of Willendorf“, Botticelli‘s “Birth of Aphrodite”, the calendar art and sculptures of famous artists and sculptors, women are projected as being curvy. Genes, diet, fitness regime, they all influence your body shape. Marilyn Monroe oscillated between a size 14 and 16. Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Drew Barrymore and Kate Winslet are all curvaceous girls.  Science deemed that a low waist-to-hip ratio implied higher fertility and women with some meat on them were likely to attract a mate.

Curves

Why Weight?Curiously, in real life, most women got berated for their pursuit of minimal weight. Victoria Beckham was advised to eat up ‘if she wanted to keep her husband’ and at first sight of her knobbly knees, alarms were raised about Nicole Ritchie‘s eating disorder. These schizophrenic reactions spawned a series of weight loss problems. Besides anorexia and bulimia, there is orthorexia – an eating disorder characterized by an obsession with eating what the sufferer considers to be healthy food and which can ultimately lead to early death. Excess bulimia is another kind of disorder wherein people exercise compulsively to purge the body of calories.

Weight Loss

Less Or More?While overweight may mean being unhealthy, the converse isn’t true. And are pre-pubescent girls or women who look like them the best clotheshorses? Not true. In the ’80s, the era of supermodels – Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista – the women were tall, fit, statuesque and famous. And now once again ‘big’ is back. The success stories of the day are not the skinny ones but the likes of J Lo and Beyonce, and the curvaceous Scarlett Johansson. So if women are reveling in fullness, it’s a healthy trend. At least they will eat and not aspire towards unrealistic standards.

Family Meals

I have especially written this article so that today’s youngsters, especially tweens and teenage girls do not blindly follow size zero models/celebs and start rigorous dieting. Please wake up. Exercise, eat, stay active, and enjoy a normal life. Don’t starve yourself. Acceptance is the key. There are all kinds of shapes and sizes. One ought to be fit and healthy and most importantly, happy.

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9 responses to “Is It Fashionable To Be Thin?

  1. Excellent article! Thank you for pointing out the contradiction between images of runway models and the real life berating of women who pursue minimal weight. No wonder our young people are confused!

  2. I love your post; still, I am of the opinion that much hasn’t changed. More Hollywood celebs are skinnier than ever and unfortunately, many women idolize these ladies. I am in fact, concerned for our daughters. I would love to see high fashion magazines celebrate curves. You cannot imagine my joy when I read Marie Claire’s “big girl in a skinny world” page.

  3. I think there are healthy and unhealthy types at both ends, and I think there should be more coverage of ALL shapes for campaigns, but just because you aren’t skinny doesn’t mean you have Beyonce curves. Or even Scarlett J’s; these women are naturally gifted, but they definitely WORK hard for their bodies! Another example: people think I’m curvy because I have a large chest, so it really stands out, but I have non-existent hips that I jokingly call per-pubescent. If it weren’t for the girls there is little chance I’d be considered “curvy.” IMO, I think we should appreciate all healthy bodies (i.e, not overly starved or not overly obsessed with the perfect thigh-gap, big hipped look of “fitspo”), but not put too much stake in it. Don’t put just the body on a pedestal.

    Finally, after taking a movie class (yes I Know, one, so I’m an “expert” but bear with me :-p) women in earlier Hollywood Eras were also skinny. Marilyn Monroe, widely touted as being a size 14, was more like a size 6, due to today’s vanity sizing. Of course there was no photoshopping of every minute “imperfection” back then, though I do agree with the above post that women in Hollywood are probably skinnier, by a greater %.

    Thank you for such a good post though that didn’t demonize either side, but instead talked about each 🙂

    The longest comment I’ve ever left,
    Jocellyn

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