Friday, February 15, 2008


I spent the better part of Wednesday looking at images of very thin models wearing very expensive clothes.

I wasn't just messing around, I was working -- it was for a media placement for one of my clients, the Achilles Project, who open the doors to their innovative boutique/restaurant on Monday. There was something unusual about these skinny models, however: they were all boys.

As I paged through look-books from McQ by Alexander McQueen and Shipley & Halmos, I couldn't help but notice: all the male models looked as thin, frail, and anorexic as their female counterparts. I was shocked.

I do recall the heroine-chic thing of the mid-1990s, but the models from these look books? They evoked something different. Just as the high-waisted, wide-leg jeans I bought last month are similar but not-at-all like my mom's bell-bottoms from the 70's, these skinny guys seemed to foretell a new era of thin. It's bad enough that we don't let the women eat, I thought. Are we now taking food away from the men, too?

Intrigued, I googled "anorexic male models" and turned up this article from last Thursday's New York Times. Says writer Guy Trebay: "Far from inspiring a spate of industry breast-beating, as occurred after the international news media got hold of the deaths of two young female models who died from eating disorders, the trend favoring very skinny male models has been accepted as a matter or course."

Huh. Really? Then I began to wonder: How will men respond to this new trend?

Are food issues going to become de rigeur for both genders now?

Will men finally begin to understand what it's like to have the media plucking away at their self-esteem all the time?

Will we see an increase across the board in manorexia?

It levels the playing field in a way, I guess, to have food issues plaguing everyone, not just women. But when I dream about gender equality, meritocratic food issues aren't exactly what I have in mind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Men have been doing pressured about their bodies too- look at all of the fitness magazines- steroid use, and teenagers on weight-gainer and kreatine. It's only until now (as well as the 90's you referred to) that men are pressured to be a 28 waist.