Just a few days before fashion week, a hilarious video went viral and had fashion folk in hysterics. With witty observations and mocking comments, the amazing "Sh*t Fashion Girls Say", starring fashionista P'Trique and his industry musings, gained a cult following and had even the most severe of fashion's elite cracking a smile. A sequel followed, and the latest video is a based on P'Trique at New York Fashion Week, every bit as #totesamaze as the first.
While the videos are comic genius based on some of the truly ludicrous comments by "fashion" people, some of them are worryingly accurate and say a lot about the state of the industry. Sitting front row, P'Trique quips: "Oh my god, she's so skinny... I love it!". While the sane among us would laugh at the idiocy of this comment, it is sadly not that far from the truth. Stereotypical and stupid though it may seem, fashion is still obsessed with a childlike state of skinniness.
It is a very difficult topic to address. It is undeniable that beautiful clothes do look better on skinny models, which is all well and good when you are naturally built like a ballerina, but when you are not so lucky, it becomes very difficult to achieve that body shape. It also becomes destructive and dangerous.
I am not for one second suggesting that every single model is anorexic or bulimic. There is no way it could be possible. Most are simply naturally slender and control what they eat to keep their slight frame. However, if you are naturally a size twelve, and strive to achieve Natasha Poly-esque proportions, it is likely you will be doing your body irreversible harm.
I shall still jump to fashion's defence on this one, though, as I know that the number of young girls across the world who suffer from eating disorders are not so fickle as to look at a skinny model and go "WOW I want to be that thin, i'm going to stop eating." There is much more to it than that, and the fashion industry is not to blame, just a contributing factor.
It doesn't help that some people in fashion feel the need to fulfil that "Devil Wears Prada" stereotype of "I don't eat. I live on coffee and cigarettes." It is, quite frankly, pathetic. The fashion industry is based primarily on the artistry and the beauty behind clothes, not on the skinniness of the editor. Hearing comments, as I have in the past, like "you can never be too skinny" infuriate me, and above all terrify me. I have watched a desperately ill girl limp past me, her legs so frail they can hardly carry her miniscule weight, I have seen women in their late twenties who weigh less than a child. From these heartbreaking images, I can safely say you CAN be too skinny.
Beat Eating Disorder Awareness Week strives to increase understanding of eating disorders. I know how easy it is to shrug it off, but what most do not realise is that anorexia, and increasingly bulimia, are demonic mental illnesses that are so hard to cure. The worse an eating disorder gets, the more it takes hold and it soon defines the sufferer. Anorexia changes a person, they become introverted, obsessed with food, vulnerable and often angry. This is not glamourous and it is not beautiful- it is truly devastating. Often, as much as the sufferer wants to change, they can not, as the guilt is too much to deal with. There are anorexics who have suffered from the age of sixteen into their late thirties. Their bones are brittle, their hearts are weak and they live a life defined by their eating disorder.
So many people have little sympathy, and disregard anorexia as self-inflicted, but society does not help. It takes a great deal of strength to fight the illness, and if people were more aware of how it can take hold so unexpectedly and completely destroy a person, they might acknowledge how being severely underweight is the opposite of glamourous, it is fatal.
Read more about eating disorder awareness week here.