Thursday, November 16, 2006

ISAS and the boney

A few months ago European countries decried the use of stick-thin models -- Spain went so far as to require a certain amount of heft (albeit small) for fashion models because the women were NOT-EATING themselves half to death.

Or more.

Today the issue is at the fore in Brazil after Ana Carolina Reston died Tuesday. She was 21. She was also 5-foot-8 and 88 pounds (that's 40 kg or 6.4 stone for non-Americans). The Monkette is small-framed and 5-foot-3+. Her happy weight is about 25 pounds higher. In other words, Reston didn't eat and the fashion culture did not encourage her to change that attitude.

In the US, some commentators in the entertainment industry have noted the "Incredible Shrinking Actress Syndrome." This is not just confined to average sized actresses who get ridiculed as teenagers and end up with a decade-long battle with anorexia (Tracey Gold). Instead, lead actresses on prominent shows have contracted ISAS -- Calista Flockhart went from thin to pre-teen in body size while starring in Ally McBeal; Lara Flynn Boyle used to have a sizeable bustline, but during The Practice shrank to skeletal remains; Patricia Heaton has publicly acknowledged she had work done to help her with excess baby weight (she has four sons); Courtney Cox went from thin average to stringy during Friends.

This year, this list is worse: Ellen Pompeo of Grey's Anatomy had some chunk on her in season 1, now she's narrowing into a bean pole; Jennifer Morison of House had been shrinking a bit, now she's looking bobble-headed; and the transformation of Emily Deschanel of Bones is more obvious -- look at the cleavage she shows in part of the opening credits, she's lost too much weight to put that together again. At last check, each of these women were objectively highly attactive BEFORE the weight loss. Now, they're actually less so. And if the camera truly does add 10 pounds, these ladies need some weight-gainer shakes immediately! No wonder the Monkette salutes AJ Cook from Criminal Minds who has a normal petite figure, not an emaciated one like her former co-star Lola Glaudini had been dessicating towards.

These extremes are just wrong. There are tons (literally and figuratively) of fat fks in the US -- enough that The Monk himself isn't even that large, comparatively. But the Hollywood/fashion culture that lives by the motto "you cannot be too rich or too thin" is ridiculous. Worse yet, in some cases it's deadly.

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