The Skinny Epidemic

Celeste Post, A&E Editor

Every year, it gets worse and worse. As summer 2013 looms round the corner I can safely say this is the worse season yet of the “skinny” epidemic. It started in January with the first “shed of the holiday weight!” articles popping up in every magazine.


The target crowd of this horrible dilemma is getting younger and younger every year, and this year is no different,  even Disney is hopping on this bandwagon!


The most recent incident is the induction of Disney movies Princess Merida of Brave as the 11th Disney princess, but with that induction came a makeover that didn’t necessarily please the crowds.


The new makeover slims the princess, gives her more doe-like eyes, and tames her red curls. Her skin tone is made almost a luminescent white and the very dress she hated in the movie gives the sexy illusion of being off the shoulders. She is also stripped of her iconic bow and arrow weapon.


Disney has since apologized for the re-animation and stated that its intention was never to “sexify” Merida.


But the issue is still clear: The image of skinny, perfect and pretty is being projected to younger audiences all around the world.


In a book titled “The New Rules of Retail” Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries was quoted by the author “ ’he doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store. He wants thin and beautiful people. He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’ ”


And in an interview with Salon magazine, Jeffries admitted that his brand doesn’t target all shapes and sizes, saying “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”


Even though the company has since sent out an apology for the 2006 comments, the effect is still the same craze of “I need to be skinnier” “I need to be thinner” “I need to fit into that size”


What is the point of this skinny craze?


These days I go to the gym to be healthy. Not to lose weight. I am a healthy 18-year-old young woman, and my doctor recommended physical exercise, as it is recommended for many other people as well. It is NOT recommended however, for the 12-years-old and under prepubescent children I see at the gym pinching their non existent belly flab and hitting weight machines that can’t even adjust to their small, under-aged frames.


Being skinny is overrated. Yes my thighs touch; yes they jiggle, as do other parts of my body. And I’m very proud of that. And let’s be honest: we are humans, our bodies are meant to store fat, our bodies are meant to gain weight in the winter months and will naturally shed it during the summer months. Anyone who is purely and solidly muscle is not healthy. So like the new Abercrombie spoof add suggests, celebrate your body. Let’s put a stop to the “Skinny Epidemic” , before we start seeing 5-year-olds stepping on scales and skipping meals.