When Thin is Meant to be In

I don’t normally get engaged in the question of whether thin is in.

I’m not into scape-goating the media and I’ve always believed that anorexia is about what’s going on in someone’s head – and not what’s going on in the pages of Vogue.

I’m a little less sure now.

It’s not the anorexic appearances on the catwalks that have got me thinking or even the fact that modelling now seems to be a high risk career –

It’s because the trend seems to be spreading.

Thin is no longer just haute couture ‘in’; it seems to have got muddled up with notions of success in a whole host of other, completely unrelated, things.

When the dress size of singers starts being more important than their singing or the latest diet of an actress is higher up in the headlines than their acting, then we’re really getting the message worryingly wrong –

I’m just not sure which way the communication is going…

Is it that the general public, with a whole host of their own body hang ups, are doing a little transference onto those we’re paying to see or hear or watch? That our fixation with size and shape and who weighs what is encouraging a few body dramatics – because they clearly sell?

Or, maybe it’s that, in a culture obsessed with fame and commercialising talent, celebrities are identifying thinness as a competitive edge and, through acting into the whole ‘thin is in’ myth, are not being very responsible with their limelight?

Has the line between talent and appearance has become so blurred that it’s no longer just about what you do, it’s also about how you look when you’re doing it –

- but are we really that superficial?

Do we really prize skinniness over some killer vocals or the ability to bring a character to life? –

Or is this just what some pretty ruthless editors or a little media stirring is encouraging us to think?

They’re questions that I can’t quite answer and its a blame game that I don’t want to get pulled into; but I’d appreciate a little reality checking – because, when thin is synonymous with an eating disorder, it is, most definitely, not in; and when we’re more interested in table habits than talent, then the distortion’s got more out of hand than I imagined.

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