Vote for America's future. Vote Green.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Things that Piss Me Off: The resurgence of "Heroin Chic"

I know I'm just one of millions of ranting assholes on the internet, so either agree with me or think of me as just another ranting asshole who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. I can't say that I care much either way. But have you seen the latest photos of Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie, and a slew of other Hollywood starlets? It's truly heartbreaking seeing these young women looking emaciated. Lindsay Lohan was absolutely beautiful before her stunning and unreasonable weight loss. She had curves, she had a radiant glow to her skin... I don't believe in the idea of a "ten", a "perfect beauty", but I'd definitely rate her somewhere on the order of a 9 or a 9.5, that is, before her weight loss. I see a photo of her today, and it almost makes me want to cry. Where there was once this healthy, beautiful young woman, there's now an emaciated crone whose head is too large to be supported by her frame. My very first thought when I saw that cover of People Magazine is, "Oh my god, two more Karen Carpenters." In case you've been living under a rock since the 1970s, Karen Carpenter was a tremendously talented singer whose life was cut short because of her long-time battle with anorexia. She kept getting thinner, and thinner, and thinner until all that was there was skin and bones, like watching a long-term victim of famine, only there was something in her psychology that caused her to do that to herself. To this day, even all these years after her death, her story is used as an example of the damage that eating disorders can cause. She only survived to see her early 30s. When you're 18-19 like Lindsay Lohan is, that seems a long way away, but it isn't. I feel it should also be noted that the recently wed Renee Zellweger, in my opinion, looked her best when she was in the Bridget Jones movies.

But this is all part of a larger problem, the myth that women need to be pencil-thin to be found attractive by members of the opposite sex (or same sex, if that's their preference). It's just not true. I know the majority of men will agree with me when I say this: Forced to choose between a healthy-looking woman who may be larger than a size 10 with a beautiful face and a well-proportioned body, and one of these poster children for eating disorders, I'd pick the 10+ any day of the week. The single most beautiful woman I've known in the last decade has not been one of these ultrapetite toothpicks. She is a size 12-14, and she has been larger than that in the past and I still considered her the most beautiful woman I've known. That isn't to say that skinny people aren't healthy. Some people just naturally have a turbocharged metabolism and can't gain weight no matter how hard they try. I know because I used to be one of them, because of my genetics and my physical activity level. The only way I was able to gain significant amounts of weight was by cutting that activity level, and that was caused by a change in jobs. But it's pretty easy to tell one of these people with super metabolisms from these walking skeletons, partly by before and after photos, but mostly by virtue of the fact that their skin tone looks healthy, they have normal to high energy levels, everything looks to be in proportion, and a slew of intangibles.

So Nicole Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan, I beg you, for the sake of your own health, EAT!!! Start ingesting more calories than you burn in a day. Go to Wendy's and have one of their bacon cheeseburgers. Go to a fancy French restaurant and eat one of their butter-infused concoctions. Go to an Italian restaurant and discover the joy that is the alfredo sauce, or carbonara, or calzone, or any of a slew of other choices. But at any rate, EAT. Enjoy life and take care of yourself, because if you don't, you may have fewer years ahead than you have behind, and in your late teens and early 20s, that's just not right or fair to yourself or to your families and loved ones.