The skinny on being ultra thin
Eat, already.That’s usually my first reaction when I see photos of super-skinny superstar actresses or the endless slew of skin-and-bones fashion models on the runway. Of course, that advice is never an end-all. Just because someone eats doesn’t mean it’s going to stay down or stick around for long.I know, some girls and women have Hemi-powered metabolism to keep them thin, no matter how many Big Mac Value Meals they eat. Up until my early 20s, I was able to eat about everything in sight and never see adverse effects on my weight. That includes braunschweiger with mustard on white or bologna sandwiches with pickles and mayonnaise.My heart just skipped a beat.Even today, my best friend a little tiny girl who could fit in my pocket is a perfect example of how lots of metabolism can do a body good. At 34, she probably still gets carded for Rated R movies.Lucky for her those thin traits are found in her size 2 genes, not in her eating habits.But there’s a big difference between someone with high metabolism and a girl who never eats, or throws up after bingeing. You can see it in their freakishly bony shoulders, the little hairs on their face trying to keep them warm, or the lack of sparkle in their eyes.The problem is many girls and women with anorexia or bulimia think no one knows they have a problem, and, worse yet, it’s OK to look that way. After all, that’s what Hollywood spills all over its red carpets and the fashion world spews on its runways. Pick up a celebrity magazine and see endless pages of before-and-after photos (meaning so-and-so at 130 pounds versus 115). Or there’s those horribly embarrassing “bump” watches on women who aren’t even pregnant.I’m just glad I don’t have paparazzi following me everywhere I go. One shot of me in my silver bikini in Vegas and they’d probably start counting down the weeks until the delivery.In the past week, it seemed as if there was a size 8 dress at the end of society’s weight-obsessed tunnel. Madrid banned ultra-thin models on its runways, prompting outrage amongst modeling agencies. London could have followed suit at Monday’s fall fashion premieres, but word is the catwalk was crawling with waif-like women.This like fighting for equal wages, finding the perfect-fitting jean, or watching “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” without crying will be a hard-fought battle.But, it will be so worth it.Girls and women are pretty much bombarded with images that scream out the skinnier you are, the better you look. And I’ll be the first to admit I’m more comfortable in my skin when I don’t have to suck in my stomach to zip up my favorite jeans. But, contrary to what magazines print and TV shows project, being thin is not always achieved naturally.That line in “The Devil Wears Prada” “I’m on this new diet for Paris. I don’t eat anything … and then when I feel like I’m about to faint, I eat a cube of cheese” is probably no joke at all.Scary but true, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “Girl Power!” campaign reports that approximately 40 percent of fourth graders have been on a diet. In the fourth grade, I was still playing with Barbies, learning multiplication tables and carrying a Holly Hobbie lunch box.Yes, the ’80s were totally awesome.I’m not suggesting we all go out and eat at the Golden Corral until we have to be rolled out the door. But the association of stick-thin women with high-fashion, popularity, and superstar celebrity status seems to be growing like a pregnant woman’s belly with no delivery date in sight.I just hope Madrid’s decision blazes the trail toward healthier body images in the media. We need more women walking the runway in a size 8 or 10, as opposed to a 0 or 2. Bring back Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth.Curves are better in my book than any cheese-cube diet.April E. Clark never keeps a weight scale in her bathroom as a rule. She thinks they’re evil. She can be reached at 945-8515, ext. 518, or email@example.com.
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