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The Skinnies are Out

Posted on September 21, 2006 in Consuming Sugar and Fat

square075Seems that at least one fashion show has taken a stand against anorexia. (There’s been a de facto stand against obesity for many years.) Organizers of the Pasarela Cibeles have decreed an end to “a waif-like, heroin chic look” (words belong to Deborah Serani) and jettisoned five models who failed to meet the health specifications of a panel of medical experts.

I have mixed feelings about this. I am not convinced, on the one hand that legions of young girls are starving themselves to attain a supermodel look (though I don’t deny that it happens). What epidemic does exist is far smaller than that of men and women who are eating the outline of their graves.

On a second point, is this shaming the victim? We get into dangerous territory, I think, when we set use “looks” as a criteria for what effectively amounts to ostracization.

Deborah also points to a Flab is Fab movement. As a diabetes sufferer, I have been working hard to get rid of my flab to promote lower blood sugar and greater personal fitness. By rejecting ultra-thin, are we ignoring the far larger population of people who are unhealthily overweight?

I support the Spanish fashion show move, therefore, with reservations. Body Mass Index seems as neutral standard as we can get and will remain so until someone from the Fat Rights movement decides to cloud the waters with talk about “different standards of beauty”.

When we talk about weight health, we need to present the idea that what is medically ideal is a mean, not either extreme.

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