Blogging, Malnourished Monday, Mummy stuff

Why the end of size zero is just a big fat lie

size zero is just a big fat lie

Over the summer, a wave of articles that celebrated the end of size zero and therefore the reintroduction of womanly curves appeared in about every British women’s magazine. But despite various attempts to put an end to glorifying the image of malnourished women, recent fashion week reports and magazines alike are still plastered with pictures of clearly underweight models.

In 2006, the furore of media and public controversy around size zero peaked when two (2!) South-American catwalk models died of the consequences of severe malnutrition. Earlier this year, the discussion around the lethal trend was once again fuelled when Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman fired off an angry letter at designers, asking them why they only supplied doll-like sizes for photo shoots, forcing the magazine to use increasingly skinnier models. She stated that some of the pictures needed retouching to fatten up the sickly thin women.

But was it all ‘talk no action’?

Being used to the ‘look of hollow’, I have almost become indifferent to the blunt expression on hungry faces. Only recently, and with the thought of having a little girl myself, I started questioning: Is this the image of women I want my daughter to look up to or identify with? And when is this ever going to change?

Beth Ditto

On the other side of extremes, Beth Ditto was celebrated as the new style icon. Apparently, people admire her for embracing her ‘curves’. But reportedly, she is not happy with her weight herself. To me this all smells of Anorexia complimenting her friend Obese into having another doughnut.

When Germany’s best selling women’s magazine Brigitte announced to stop working with professional models but feature only ‘normal’ sized women, Karl Lagerfeld replied: ‘These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly.’ Well, Karl, I am not. I am just saying that thin doesn’t equal beautiful. Have a look in the mirror to see for yourself.

I am so fed up with extremes being promoted by the fashion industry/the media/whoever. Cindy Crawford recently said she’d be too healthy looking for today’s catwalks. How sick is this?

One could get the feeling that incorporating healthy looking models is just another cruel publicity stunt. Take the Mark Fast show at the recent London Fashion Week, for example. He ‘bravely’ included three curvier models into his show. Result: three beautiful girls that looked like rolled pork roasts in dreadful thread numbers.

Mark Fast SS 2010

The poor girl looks completely hideous. Not because she is too big, au contraire. But because the item she is wearing has been designed for a teenage boy’s body. Or for a woman’s body that has been starved to look like one.

To be continued.

Photo credits: 1. & 2. Wikimedia Commons, 3.


  1. With you on this. Great images you’ve posted too. I feel very sorry for the girl in that string dress, hardly good for larger size PR! Like you I keep hoping size 0 will become unfashionable but sadly I don’t think it will. Especially as celebrities starve themselves too. I couldn’t sleep last night and for some reason I started thinking about how great Marilyn Monroe looked and how out of place she’d be in the public eye these days. I worry most about the impact of these images on impressionable teens.

  2. I was totally disgusted when I picked up a glossy mag at a doctor’s surgery. Every single page talked about dieting. Every single page had underweight women on them. Every single page analysed weight, looks and perpetuated the aspiration to be pathologically thin. I too wondered how on earth I can prevent my daughter to be influenced by this.

  3. I’m with you on all this.

    My 5 year old asks me occasionally if she’s fat. She isn’t. She isn’t skinny, but she’s fine for 5 year old. But worrying about size starts young.

  4. Excellent post! I am SO with you on this. I think there’s a healthy medium – a “normal” weight. Not underweight, not overweight. Kind of like the weight I was before I had my first son (I still have that 10 lbs to loose!).

    I do think a lot of the talk of encouraging healthy body shapes is lip service. And the problem is that the media that girls are exposed to – the magazines, etc., are the ones that show off these overly thin models, therefore making girls think this is normal.

  5. Great post, sadly I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon. Not unless some really high profile women suddenly start to gain weight and look ‘normal’ again.

  6. Spot on. Self confidence is the greatest gift you cna give a child — but how is that possible when you are fighting the media? Well done for the German magazine. And I’d like to go on record that I don’t have any crisps in the hosue.

  7. I soooo agree with you MM! Why can’t they find thin models who look healthy! Is there no middle ground? That miserable girl does indeed look like a sausage…and if Cindy Crawford is considered too “healthy” for the fashion world, god, what does that say about us??? xxx LZ

  8. Great post. The eating disorders association B-eat have done a great deal to try and tackle the size zero issue but it seems to have had little effect. Whilst it has raised awareness, little on the catwalk has changed. It seems that a few (male) designers dictate the trends and the size of models to be used. Will this change? I very much doubt it. All we can do is educate our daughters and support them so they don’t see thin as a sign of perfection, they are perfect as they are.

  9. Gah. Just wrote a long post and failed the clickcha test and lost the lot.

    Oh well. Just to say great post, good point and well raised. And that the girl would look great of the clothes actually FITTED her. Noone looks good crammed into clothes that are too small. Not even your size zero people.

  10. Fab post, here, here. I totally agree with you. The last image shows a lovley girl, but terrible clothes. Why do we let designers who are mostly men dictate to us how we shoulf look.

  11. What a fantastic post Met Mum. I’m with you on every sentence. Bravo! Great message, beautifully written.

    In this increasingly cosmetic world, I think we all need to have the courage to be the shape we were born to be. And that doesn’t mean pigging out and letting oneself ‘go’ but it does mean that it’s ok to eat three meals a day and have enough flesh on your bones to move without snapping!

  12. Its worth having a shufty at the photoshop disasters blog- because they often highlight the ludicrous touching up that goes on in photos (the recent ralph lauren fiasco being most notable). Most of these superskinny waifs don’t exist outside of a computer programme as it is.

    I was chatting to my doctor about losing weight recently and she told me to ignore all the charts etc, look in the mirror, and see what wobbled excessively. Wise words methinks.

  13. It breaks my heart when my daughter sees images of these women. She is two. By the time I was five I hated myself and wanted to be thin and beautiful.

  14. This was a very good blog post. I agree with everything you say whole heartedly.

    When Karl came out with that statement, I was shocked. There was also the recent model that got fired because she was too fat. She looked like she was 5’10” and 110 pounds. But she had a baby and perhaps her hips grew an inch. And she was fired for it.


    The fashion world is full of hypocrites, delusional designers and starving girls.

  15. The whole thing makes my blood boil, boil, boil.

    Karl you lost lots of weight- well done- now you are like one of those ex smoker bores (I don’t smoke but you know the ones who go on about how much they hate smoke while looking longingly outside).

    Also you are a genius but you look very silly in those trousers with that hair.

    Men of different shapes and sizes are allowed to be beautiful- rugby players, indie boys, boxers, all different shapes all allowed to be attractive. That doesn’t happen with women- why?

  16. The last picture look bad and it is because the women’s body is not attractive & a bit chubby. Skinny models are so sexy and men’s ideal shape for a women. Skinny supermodels are feminine perfection. Girls should look up to skinny models since 9 out of 10 women are at least 20-50 pound overweight.

  17. Hi Mick. Thanks for your comment. It’s always good to get a bit of diversity here, i.e. the male perspective. It’s even better that your views are far from the norm. Plus, the numbers you state are completely made up and just plain wrong. Go check the National Statistics website.

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