Man! We say it every time it resurfaces in the news, but it's hard to believe the staying power of the controversy over stick-thin models. Today, Reuters reports that hip London restaurant Bumpkin is hooking up size zero models with free food. The Notting Hill eatery is offering professional waifs "the opportunity to gorge on fish pies, lamb burgers, king prawns and scallops."
There's something vicious and totally misguided about essentially saying, "Hey, you're nasty-skinny. Here's a burger and fries on me!" Imagine a gym offering overweight people a free membership -- the underlying message is that they're such a pathetic freak show as to be deserving of handouts. Not to mention, there isn't one drop of actual compassion for these women, some of whom may very well be anorexic -- if anything, the announcement is dripping with disdain. The Reuters article even refers to the models as the ones "who have come under attack for promoting a stick-thin image." The models are only one cog in the monstrous fashion machine, my friends. (Speaking of which, Spain is keeping its word, turning away five models from the Pasarela Cibeles runway show for having a BMI of less than 18.)
It's great that this issue has maintained global interest for so long. But I'm afraid its fortitude has more to do with a cultural fascination with and disdain for those women (whether in Vogue or Playboy) whom we nominate as embodiments of freakish physical perfection than it does with even mildly informed concern about anorexia or sickly thin models.