There were three articles I read this week about eating disorders that warranted a Smooshy Faced Cat Award*. Two were hideous, ridiculous, and ignorant, while the other had such irony, I had to laugh.
The first is from fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (I have no idea who this guy is, but considering that people are falling over themselves to agree with him, I'm going to lean towards the idea that he's a fashion world bigwig) says that "anorexia has nothing to do with fashion." Which okay, fine, it really doesn't.
But that doesn't absolve you from basically forcing your models to starve themselves in order to work for you. People have been arrested for starving their employees. "How horrible!" we say. Yet that's what the modeling industry does. He justifies this by saying, "In France there are a large percentage of young girls who are overweight and less than one percent are skinny. So let's talk about the 25 percent who have a weight problem, or are overweight. We don't need to discuss the less than one percent."
First off, it's more than one percent, especially when you consider that anorexia isn't the only eating disorder. And we DO need to discuss that less than one percent, that one percent, that five percent because we're important and we matter. Dammit.
Next is the fun interview with British TV celeb Felicity Kendal. Ms. Kendal, who was best known for her in the TV show "The Good Life," calls the campaign against size zero models "a waste of time." She says that, "it was inevitable that some women would "stick their fingers down their throats" to be ultra-slim. She said politicians campaigning on the issue would do better to concentrate on more important matters."
Considering that some of our politicians have been involved in prostitution rings, I can say that they haven't been doing much concentrating at all.
She goes on to remind me, yet again, why feminism remains a crucial issue today:
"This desire to be thin has been going on for centuries," she said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph. "Get real. That is what women do. Why did women wear corsets and keep fainting? We do it because we think it looks great. That is what we are like.
"To pretend it's because of magazines is forgetting history. People used to bleach their hair or their faces because that was the image they believed was modern."The modern image now is to stick your fingers down your throat. I don't think politicians should get involved in the debate on size zero in fashion. They should get the hospitals and education right and just leave all that other rubbish to the mothers of the children."
And, thank the Lord, you will never be the mother of any of MY children.
Many things in life are inevitable, Ms. Kendal, such as death, taxes, and spam. Yet we spend a considerable amount of time trying to avoid these things and no one says not to get involved. So get a grip. There's also the crucial difference between bleaching your hair and forcing yourself to vomit, and the fact that eating disorders are not about wanting to be thin. They are an illness.
She does have some good advice for women considering plastic surgery, however.
But Miss Kendal, who is about to star as a vain and age-conscious socialite in Peter Hall's West End revival of Noel Coward's The Vortex, also admits that she, too, is worried about ageing. "I love being where I am now," she said. "But it's where I will be 20 years from now that is worrying me."
However, she would never consider plastic surgery: "If you are going to, you should have had it done in your thirties. If you wait until you are older nothing matches."
I will keep that in mind.
Lastly, we have some advice from Valerie Bertinelli, Jenny Craig spokeswoman extraordinaire. She's been all over the press this past week or two, promoting her new book called "Losing It." Some articles that have come out have been rather interesting. One said that she admits to using cocaine to lose weight.
And then- then! She blames Gisele Bundchen for the epidemic of anorexia and supermodels. She says:
"When there were several of those models dying from anorexia and I read that Gisele Bundchen said something about it's not being the designers' fault but the parents' fault, I was like, 'Well now, wait a minute, Miss Skinny Girl. (I said), Designers do have something to do with this because they hire women like you'," Contactmusic quoted Bertinelli as telling Ladies Home Journal magazine.
So basically, Ms. Bertinelli, you should be taking Jenny Craig to task for hiring someone with an eating disorder history to sell a diet product. Fine, maybe you weren't emaciated, but using cocaine to lose weight is an eating disorder.
To Mr. Lagerfeld, Ms. Kendal, and Ms. Bertinelli, without further ado, I present you this:
*A smooshy faced cat who is old, forgetting to use the litter box, and has fur coming out in chunks. For the one person on this planet who truly understands this comment.