Yesterday I blogged about extreme menu items and diets and now another extreme trend has caught my attention: emaciated mannequins with bony spines and ribs showing. Check out the photos in these links:
I'm not shocked to see this, but it makes me really, really sad. While I don't believe it's possible to look at someone and tell how healthy they are based on their size, I do believe that glorifying images of underfed bodies is harmful.
I've worked in inpatient eating disorder treatment centers and with clients who struggle with anorexia and bulimia in my private practice for years, and many of the women I've counseled have gone to drastic measures in the hopes of achieving spines and ribs that "show." In most cases, the level of undereating and overexercising it takes to look that way leads to devastating side effects, including damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and other organs, the loss of bone and muscle, infections, and other serious health problems.
I don't think that seeing a bony mannequin in a store can cause an eating disorder, but I think it sends a message. The average mannequin is already six inches taller and six sizes smaller than the average American woman, and I don't think that inspires healthy eating and the "balance" I blogged about yesterday. In fact, in my experience it seems to inspire just the opposite - either unhealthy, starvation diets or emotionally driven binge eating.
The trend also extends to men. One company recently made headlines when it released a new line of rail thin male mannequins with 27 inch waists, about three inches smaller than what was standard.
So what's going on? Women's clothes now comes in double zero sizes, uber thin celebs are considered 'normal' and normal weight ones are called 'curvy.' Does it seem like the idea of what's ideal is shrinking? And how do these mannequins make you feel? Please share your thoughts!
P.S. Check out my previous post: Weight Control or Disordered Eating? 10 Questions to Ask