Skeletal is not a pretty sight

I was just watching a news segment on TV about the rise of social media ‘Thinspiration’ and feel compelled by the images shown to say something:

Skeletal is not a pretty sight.

I know I’m relatively thin, and I complain about the impending threat of middle age spread. But actually the part of my body that I dislike the most is my chest – because the ribs show. Even when I gain weight, the pounds always seem to go to my midriff and never to my chest. I think it may be the reason I don’t wear my Fortuney Wannabe Dress (because it shows my bony chest) but wear my Favourite Oops Tent Dress to death (because it covers my bony chest).

Protruding ribs and bones just reminds me of those horrible Nazi concentration camp photos. Those images were of victims of unspeakable cruelty. Why would anyone want to intentionally look like that?

Many models seems borderline skeletal. Too many designers are still choosing emaciated models for their runways, which I find very counter productive. I end up squirming about the models’ protruding bones instead of admiring the design flair & craftsmanship that went into the garments. But even some fashion editors find those protruding bones unattractive and have them Photoshopped out. Like Numero magazine recently did to a photo of Karlie Kloss.

Now it may be that Karlie’s ribs are like my chest and naturally stays bony even when there’s extra padding elsewhere. People come in all different shapes & sizes naturally. It may not all be down to diet & lifestyle. I’m not a judgmental person in general. But I don’t like to be reminded constantly of the cruelty that our species sometimes inflict on each other. So please, to all the girls & women out there fishing for thinspirations, if you have a choice, I beg you not to starve yourself to look like Holocaust victims.

I know eating disorder isn’t always about a warped sense of fashion & beauty, that frequently it’s about wanting a sense of control over one’s life. But just in case anyone is starving for fashion, here’s one more person who think the emaciated look isn’t a good look.

Whatever your size and shape, I hope you’ll choose healthy above all else.

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0 comments on “Skeletal is not a pretty sight

  1. My mother was very thin, and the only reference I have to tell my kids HOW thin she was at the end with cancer is Auschwitz (you know exactly what I’m describing). That’s the closest photographic reference I can point to. Was my mother a concentration camp survivor? No. Did I know any survivors growing up? Yes, luckily I knew two of them. Was my mother a walking skeleton? Almost. Have you ever seen a photo of one? Gee, wonder where?

    Having grown up with that bony/bonier/boniest person, who never chose to be that thin and fought it until the end, I understand your situation. I have probably gotten and stayed chubby because of my mother. It is such a minefield, this body image discussion.

    Oh no, wait, not a real minefield…..

    • So sorry about what your mother suffered through. And what you must have suffered as well while helplessly witnessing what your mother had to endure.

      Looking at your photo I wouldn’t describe you as chubby. It’s all relative isn’t it. There are almost always people with more or less padding. And regardless of size and shape, anyone could be unhealthy. And regardless of lifestyle anyone could suffer ill health or feel unwell.

      Being on this side of 40s, I have started to feel less well. And I too have unhealthy habits. Nowadays I value feeling well above looking a particular way. Yes, I tweak the fit of my me-mades to try to look a certain way, and prefer to cover up my bony chest. But I try not to do it to extreme or get neurotic about it in my day-to-day life.

      I hope everyone could FEEL WELL, look their best, and not feel pressured to suffer ill health just to conform to other people’s idea of beauty.

      If I had met your mother at her thinnest, I think I would unavoidably wonder why she is so thin, whether she is suffering some sort of illness. And eating disorder is a type of illness too. Would she be beautiful? Yes, she would still be a beautiful person, but a person who looks like she’s suffering (whether some sort of illness or abuse) and I would wish that she isn’t suffering.

      It’s hard to avoid making any judgement at all. I do at least try to avoid butting in where I haven’t been invited. But sometimes even when I don’t make a comment, even just being myself, writing about my own experience rather than opening clearly labeled cans of worms, I still wonder whether some people will nonetheless take offense.

      When an issue takes over one’s mind, sometimes one just want the whole world to agree, no difference of opinion is allowed, everything becomes personal, even when it’s not specifically about oneself, even if it’s only one stranger’s opinion out of billions of people on earth. It’s hard to reach someone in this state and reassure them no offense was intended. Some people are just in very sensitive states.

  2. anothersewingscientist says:

    I’m at work, so I don’t have time to type much, but I just had to say that your Oops Tent Dress looks like a million bucks!

  3. Peter says:

    Really stupid blog about body shapes. And please don’t compare skinny people to concentration kamp prisoners. Most offending!

    • Body image discussion is such a can of worms isn’t it. Which is why I try to avoid it as much as possible. Someone is always going to be offended. And I apologize for causing you offense.

      But the images in that TV news segment did really make me feel uncomfortable because whether you like it or not they do immediately remind me of those horrible Holocaust images. And as a aunt to a girl just coming into her teenage years, I am worried about the effect of thin idolization in our society. I want her to be healthy whether she’s skinny, average, or plump.

      Obviously your body is your body. And if you’re thin and choose to be thin it’s your choice.

      But for those who feel social pressure to be unhealthily thin, I just want to offer one person’s support to resist that pressure.

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