Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thin is still, apparently, in.

When will the body image self-loathing end? I mean, will it? As much as I say that I am comfortable with my body, I still find myself feeling guilty for eating something fattening, or when I miss a day at the gym. As a feminist, I think I surprise myself when I find myself worrying about these stereotypical ideals that women think about. Is it my fault though? For every one person that says it’s cool to look and feel the way one wants, there are 10 magazines and newscasts dedicated to thin-is-in; or how fat Brittany Spears has gotten – which by the way is ridiculous, I mean the woman has a child, and should not HAVE to have a 14-year-old’s body anymore.

In fact, in New York, where the city is going through fashion week, article after article have been published about the clothes, the designers, and of course, what to eat. AM New York, is a free daily that gets distributed all over the city, which is good – because it is free, but bad because more people may read it, and begin to carve out NECESSARY calories, in exchange for a smaller waistline. The “Fashion Week Diet,” article – on Sept. 10, 2007 – listed this as the author’s meal:

Breakfast: Unsweetened coffee, one slice whole-wheat bread with low-fat butter, two low-fat, plain yogurts
Snack: : Unsweetened green tea
Lunch: : Two protein packets, eight ounces mixed vegetables, two cups raspberries
Dinner: : Baked rabbit spread with fromage frais, steamed fennel with lemon

Since when is tea a snack?

She got the recipe from the book, the “Karl Lagerfeld Diet,” in which he notes, “If you attach no importance to weight problems, if not being able to wear new, trendy small-sized clothes does not cause you any regret, this book is not for you.”

Ugh. What a gross thing to say; why is there a “weight problem” just because one can’t fit into “small-sized clothing?” There is something really wrong with this.

And younger girls – who should not be worried about whether or not they can squeeze in to a size zero pant, are picking up on this trend. ABC reported that (brace yourself) EIGHT YEAR OLD GIRLS are “being admitted to the hospital suffering anorexia nervosa. One in 100 adolescent girls develop the disorder.”

Not surprisingly, “Women's attitudes toward their own bodies are worse after looking at thin media images;” while “In young teenage girls, looking at pictures of thin, idealised models is likely to cause lowered satisfaction with their body and a high state of depression. Reading fashion and beauty magazines is associated with wanting to lose weight and initiating diets. A five-year study found that reading dieting advice in magazines was associated with skipping meals, smoking, vomiting and using laxatives in teenage girls.”

Young (and old, alike) say that there is no need for feminism, that all is equal, that we can show our bodies off to the world and be empowered. Really? Vomiting is empowering? Who knew.