A few weeks ago, gURL posted a story called Scary Skinny that attempted to raise awareness of the severe skinny problem that was, in our eyes, rampant at fashion shows. We included polls on each slide so we could judge what you think is the kind of skinny that makes you scared silly for the gURLs’ health or just the kind of skinny that comes so naturally to many in the industry. In this photo, 84% of you responded that yes, she looks scary skinny.
Our goal was to discourage any gURLs from thinking that this kind of look is attainable or desirable if your body isn’t already naturally this way; our goal was definitely not to make naturally thin gURLs feel bad. Too many gURLs and boys look at images of skinny people (whom, after we witnessed at shows often starve themselves) and think “That’s what I want to look like!” when their bodies may not be built like those who grace the runways. Body dysmorphia, anorexia, bulimia, and cutting ensue — and these diseases and behaviors are often traced to media influence. We wanted to do what we could to ensure that “scary skinny” is not worth losing your health (or anything, really) over. The way you are, right now, is just fine.
Models are naturally slender, and many become models when they’re young, before their bodies have totally hit puberty, so that clothes will fit without curves getting in the way. In an industry where image is so important, we continually question why the image they portray is one that continually denies and excludes women who don’t look like one singular body type.
On the Shout Out Boards, many of you were upset by a staff member’s colloquial reduction of her fear and sadness that came along with some upsetting things she saw at Fashion Week and, for what it’s worth, we’re glad that you reacted. Many of you were angry. Many of you could commiserate. The last thing any gURL staff member was trying to do was make anyone feel bad — owe only wanted to help! Said staffer asked what too skinny is and you had many intelligent, insightful things to say — most importantly, that there isn’t really such a thing. The degree of skinniness, or fatness, or whatever, is entirely a non-issue. Our bodies house our organs, thoughts, desires and dreams. What matters is that we’re good to them.
So let’s continue the conversation below and talk about how media, the fashion industry and models may affect your body image, food choices, or thoughts…