Triple Zero: The New Size On The Block
So, the world has finally moved on from the alarming obsession with size zero and the even scarier double zero. On-wards and upwards, right? ‘Strong not skinny’ and all that? Unfortunately not. According to Grazia, the latest craze to hit the ‘glamorous’ streets of Hollywood is something even worse: size triple zero. No, that is not a typo, they’ve gone and added yet another zero. In other words, women can now buy clothes with the same waist measurements as a six year-old’s skirt.
If you thought having a 25 inch waist (size zero) was somewhat out of your reach, then be prepared to be even more disappointed. To fit into a size 000, you’ll need to shrink down to 23 inches round the waist. Hopefully, most of you reading this are pulling your best ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’ face and wondering why anyone in their right mind would want to look like a skeleton/six year-old girl. Well, that’s entirely the point; anyone who does feel the need to look like this is clearly not in their right mind.
I feel I’m reasonably entitled to say this because, until a couple of months ago, I was one of those people. However, as most sufferers will probably tell you, eating disorders are hardly ever about conforming with the latest trends or trying to look like the stick-thin celebrities in the magazines. They usually stem from something much deeper, such as stress or a perceived lack of control. Now, nobody is saying that the celebrities who are named and shamed in Grazia’s recent article all necessarily have eating disorders, but the fact that the fashion industry is now accommodating for (and therefore arguably promoting) those who are so obviously underweight is surely cause for concern.
By making clothes this small, the industry is implying that it’s okay to be this thin- something that is so blatantly contradicted by the health risks. To put things into perspective, I’m 5 foot 7 inches and when my waist was nearing 23 inches, health professionals were threatening me with a hospital admission if I lost any more weight. Perhaps if the celebrities who strive to fit into these ever-shrinking sizes found themselves having to buy clothes meant for six year-olds, they’d be shocked into realising that they aren’t living healthily?
According to Grazia, a number of popular female celebrities have turned to posting pictures of themselves on social media sites with protruding bones or thigh gaps, in order to grab the attention of the media. Clearly it’s working. If you think about it, it’s just the same as an overweight celebrity posting pictures of themselves and consequently being slated by the magazines. So why do we have this strange perception that being dangerously skinny is more desirable than being overweight?
Thankfully, I’m in recovery for my eating disorder and I write this whilst tucking into a rather delicious gingerbread man. However, in my mind, the concept of putting on weight is still linked with greed and negativity. Although my problems didn’t start with the desire to look like the Hollywood stars, I do think that these associations I make with weight-gain are largely fuelled by the media and/or the fashion industry, who have now decided that it’s acceptable to introduce size 000.
I think that if society has got to the point where celebrities feel they have to lose worrying amounts of weight in order to make front-page news, then maybe we need to re-evaluate things. Perhaps, instead of writing articles about how ‘shocked’ and ‘disturbed’ we are by their bodies, we need to look to the root of the problem. Rather than drawing attention to the issue by coming up with even smaller sizes for them to aim for, maybe we need to work out why these women crave attention so badly that they are willing to starve themselves.