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John Kenneth Galbraith once wrote, “There is certainly no absolute standard of beauty. That precisely is what makes its pursuit so interesting.” Beauty is indeed an ephemeral ideal impossible to qualify. Nevertheless, people try pretty darn hard to sell a certain look as the model of attractiveness. In the 80s it was the glamazons blessed with athletic, warrior princess bodies plastered all over glossy magazine covers. Then the emaciated heroin chic fad followed, epitomized by the haunting image of a starved Kate Moss in a pair of size 0 Calvin Klein jeans. Popular culture continues to exalt the waif; however, today, she flaunts an ostentatiously glitzy image as opposed to the grungy, ragged fashions of the 90s.

After featuring Nichole Richie in our wildly popular “Hollywood Glamour” piece, we at Fashionlines were bombarded with emails demanding to know the secrets of the starlet’s impressive weight loss. However, since the release of the aforementioned article, Ms. Richie has gone from an attractively slender young lady to a gaunt, exhausted media monkey. Accompanied by her equally withered and ghastly friend, Lindsay Lohan, she ‘graces’ the pages of every single gossip magazine in circulation. You can run, but you can’t hide from this skeletal pair.


The reasons behind the public’s sickening enthusiasm to witness these girls’ disintegration into nothingness are lost to me. Are people completely unable to detect the sad tragedy surrounding glamorous yet hungry teens? Isn’t it obvious that the media spotlight on withered celebrities is grooming young and impressionable women to idolize sunken eyes, hollow cheeks, and protruding bones? Just recently a family friend’s model-gorgeous daughter told me that she had to loose 15 pounds immediately to save her social life. Needless to say, I was completely shell shocked.

Striving to be stick-skinny, when one is not genetically predisposed for such a figure is unrealistic. The unrelenting quest to achieve a linear silhouette can have serious consequences or even prove to be deadly. The dangerous fight for smaller skirt sizes can compromise a person’s good looks, health, and psychology. There is an ideal height to weight ratio for each individual and purposely dipping well below that line can result in heart failure, bone loss and fertility problems.

It is well documented fact that many teens develop serious eating disorders because they can not cope with the pressure to become or stay thin. Others turn to drugs or alcohol to keep the appeal of food at bay. In a majority of the cases, the substance abuse and malnourishment cause irreparable damage to tender bodies. Is this suffering really worth it to get into a tiny designer dress or a miniature pair of slacks that may as well have been cut for a toddler?

The ultimate symbol of skinny glamour, Kate Moss, has openly confessed to the world that she never walked down a runway sober, “not even at ten in the morning.” Today, the super-model extraordinaire is a member of both Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous—support groups that provide life-long support for individuals battling addictive daemons. Despite her recent claims of sobriety, Ms. Moss continues to smoke upwards of 80 cigarettes per day, and is currently dating a man who has served hard time on drug-related charges.

For most people, it is a long way down to size 0 and there simply is no easy way of getting there. That’s why it’s important to recognize and appreciate the bevy of stunning, healthy, voluptuous, stylish, and elegant women out there. Actresses like Scarlet Johansson, Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz, Beyoncé Knowles, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Charlize Theron, and Angelina Jolie are living proof that beauty need not conform to twig-like physical dimensions.

Aspiring waifs would do well to remember this pearl of wisdom from the Goo Goo Dolls, “What you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful.” Instead of dropping dress sizes, why don’t you work on having the courage to feel good about yourself the way you are? That, after all, is the best way to look gorgeous.


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