Underweight mammals

starving horse

starving dog

skinny model

In the first two instances, people look and say “starving” and “cruelty” and “neglect” and someone gets prosecuted.

In the third instance, people look and say “skinny” and “beauty” and “glamour” and someone makes money.

[Addendum and links below the fold]
Anyone who turned up to an pedigree animal show with their contestant in the condition of that model above would be denied a chance to compete and reported to the RSPCA for animal cruelty.

Someone pointed out that before the ubiquity of breast implants, women who got thin enough to flatten their bosom were considered “unfeminine”. Now you can be skinny enough to drop dead after your turn along the catwalk, but you can still have a bosom and be “feminine”.

Meanwhile British supermodel Erin O’Connor today described the pressures on models. “I could handle some responsibility for this, but what about looking deeper and asking designers and others, not just the models?” asked the 28-year-old.

She said a stylist once noted her clothes were too tight, to which she replied: “Well, why don’t you make them bigger?”

ADDENDUM: There is some complaint from those in the industry that it is the model’s “choice” to be so underweight in order to get more work by having the superslender starving look desired by designers. I say, tell it to elite sports, arseholes, and see how much sympathy you get.

Every sport in the world would be dominated by athletes “choosing” to risk their health and life with performance enhancing drugs, and coaches would be clamouring for the athletes willing to risk their health most, if sports bodies around the world hadn’t come to a decision to ban such drugs both for the benefit of the athletes themselves, for the benefit of younger competitors looking up to them as role models, and to assuage the sensibilities of the fans, who want to believe that the competition is a “level playing field”.

There is absolutely no difference between the ban on dangerous performance enhancing athletic drugs and the proposed ban on dangerously underweight models. It’s all about industry responsibility, and fashion “gurus” have gotten away with being sadistically irresponsible shits for far too long. I look forward to them dealing with young women with the energy to think about what they’re asking them to do for a change, the bullies.

The difference in the attitude between the industry that generates revenue from elite athletes and the industry that generates revenue from elite models couldn’t possibly, when we look at the mostly male athletes and the mostly female models, just maybe, have a whiff of sexism at its base, could it?

Reading:
The Independent: includes a list of BMIs of famous models from the past – even Elle MacPherson’s BMI is under 18.
Liz Jones, Daily Mail:

But what I found most infuriating of all, and which made me want to run onto the catwalk last night at Biba with a “Thin scum!’ banner, was how the fashion industry has closed ranks.



Categories: gender & feminism, health

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9 replies

  1. Good grief. And the camera adds 10 lb?
    I’m now off to scrub my brane with virkon to get that image out of it. Thanks.

  2. At least her breasts, such as they are, look real. I saw a pic of Posh Spice the other day with her so-called breasts popping up over the low cut of her top and looking like a couple of large oranges shoved under makeup-coloured Spandex.
    From the look of that little skeleton’s legs (the model in the red bikini, not Posh), she spends an awful lot of time in the gym — but where do semi-starved models get the energy for that?

  3. I was looking for a more extreme image of an even thinner model with obvious implants but ran out of time.
    As for gym-time, cocaine is apparently the wonder drug there – appetite suppressant and stimulant for getting through gym classes.
    Or else the girl above is young and relatively new to modelling, used to have good muscle mass and has only just lost a lot of weight, so her muscles haven’t all been resorbed yet.

  4. Cripes. FWIW I was once a slender young thang and I lost my period when my weight dipped below 50kg — and I had a BMI of 18. I do appreciate that some people are naturally thin, and I don’t hate on thin women, but I do think setting up starvation as the model for beauty is extremely distressing.

  5. I know a few women who naturally hovered around 50kg in weight well into their thirties (after that they had to work a bit harder to combat middle-aged spread) – they all had good muscle tone though.
    One girl I went to school with dropped from her natural around 60kg weight to about 45kg at about age 16. At 50kg, she looked thin and wiry and teenage shiny healthy. At 45kg, she had no arse, was starting to lose muscle mass from her arms/legs, and her eyes and hair were dull. Someone coaxed her back up to about 53kg, and she was fine.
    The problem with these models is they’re nearly all under 45kg and way taller than my schoolfriend. The girl above is probably several points higher on the BMI than most of the others in the parade because she’s the one chosen to wear the bikini.
    I went to a fashion parade a few months ago with my mum. The couple of older models with slim athletic figures modelling the bikinis really stood out amongst the bony teenagers modelling the one-pieces with wrap combinations to cover the worst gauntness.

  6. If models dont like being so thin, they can but their own food or express their desire to eat more. Horses and Sheep can’t.

  7. Quite right. Sportsmen who don’t like losing can take drugs too, why not?
    Glad we’ve got that sorted.

  8. What’s your point?

  9. I think I misread yours, actually. You’re quite right that human autonomy makes the situation different from that of the starved animals who are totally at the mercy of people to provide them with food.
    Still, why are so many people who are horrified by the cruelty of starved animals cheering designers who insist on starved models?
    Society acted to insist the sports industry prevent athletes ruining their bodies with performance enhancing drugs. I agree with Madrid that it’s time for the fashion industry to be similiarly reined in.

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