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Mental Health

Thin is In. So is Fat. So is Everything Else.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Content warning: this article contains discussion of eating disorders. If you or a loved one are dealing with such an issue, refer to https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline.

The New York Post recently published an article about how it would appear that, after several years of larger bodies being championed and celebrated in media, the “heroin chic” body type of the 90s is in vogue again. While calling New York Post a credible news source is questionable, the article struck a chord with many, and public outrage was swift. Rather than emphasizing how problematic it is for the public to consider any one shape to be the standard, the writer spent much of the word count describing the thinness of models Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber, the former of which is the survivor of an eating disorder.

The term “heroin chic,” the disgusting misnomer of an extremely thin body, was coined within the fashion industry in the 1990s. In addition to glamorizing usage of a deadly substance by depicting beautiful, skeletal women wearing elegant clothing, the 90s saw a rise in cases of bulimia among young women. Eating disorders remain the most deadly permutation of mental illness and take the lives of millions every year. By regarding an emaciated, malnourished body as the epitome of beauty, the fashion industry set an unhealthy precedent for a decade, and now the news media is excited for it to come back.

It is no secret that the catwalk and magazines are unfairly predisposed to very tall and skinny women, and it is fine to be those things. However, the lack of representation of larger women in highly publicized photos is harmful to billions of girls and women. Women of any shape deserve to see themselves in the women who get photographed, from size 0 to 4X. Articles like the one that was published in the New York Post are a reminder of how much more needs to be done to create a world where women can feel comfortable and enough in their bodies. It is my sincere hope that every woman and girl who glimpsed that headline or read that article ate as much as she wanted for dinner that night and went to bed with a full stomach.

Classics nerd, hardcore feminist, music lover.