Wednesday, April 16, 2008

French Law Against Excessive Thinness

I heard and read about the new law that passed in France fining and outlawing the promotion of excessive thinness by media outlets.

I think it is a good beginning, but it does not go far enough. It is just not about outlawing promotion of pathological thinness, it's about ceasing to promote weight loss and body modification at all and about embracing and accepting different body types.

I do not hate skinny people. I really don't. I would joke with my design partner in class who is also plus and super-tall , and tell her : " I am not a sizist, some of my best friends are thin". And also " Once you go fat, you never go back" and also " the plumper the berry, the sweeter the juice"...You know where I am getting at...I used to have the whole class in stitches...

Being of colour and gay male-minded has given insight into things that regular women would never think about.

The thing is idiopathically thin people have no more control over their size and weight that we idiopathically larger people do. They are pretty and lovely just the way they are and they have as much right to walk down a runway as we do.

What I want to see and what would really help people and help prevent eating disorders is if people of all sizes and shapes were celebrated and embraced. Fashion shows with girls who are size 2's and 6's and 10's and 14's and 18's and 22's and 28's as long as they are fierce and they can walk and sell a garment...

I mean to me this girl

is as fierce and sells the garments as much as this girl

or this girl


All of them are doing a kick ass job and I would book them all for my show in tandem...

Now this chick is scary and repulsive and turns me off the clothes because there is no way in God's green earth she is "naturally" this thin. This bitch should be hooked up to an IV and it's irresponsible to have her standing up and wearing a dress that weights more than her:

And please for the love of everything that is holy, STOP it with the mixing and using " HEALTH" to promote or censor one body type over another.

A person's health is NO ONE's BUSINESS but their own and no one should judge someone or pass moral judgement on somebody because of their health or lack thereoff anymore than they do because of their skin colour or sexual orientation.

They are a variety of increased and decreased health risks associates with every body type, every race, every gender, every sexual orientation... why is it such a big deal? And more over why do people and governments believe that they are entitled to pass judgement and create stigma? We all get sick, we all are going to die, that is kind of part of the deal with being human and alive.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A HEALTHY WEIGHT. PERIOD. You can be thin and get diabetes, medium and die of cancer and big and have a heart attack. Or live perfectly healthy at any of those sizes. You cannot tell anything about a person's health status by looking at them or even weighting them. And moreover WHY should you?

Stop using health to justify prejudice. End of story.

If I get sick, I heal myself best I can. And I try to help myself to function well and prevent myself from getting sick, but ultimately, not even a team of Nobel Prize winners can guarantee me health one way or another. It's about time we face the fact that modern medicine and science IS FALLIBLE and DOES NOT have the answers to even a small amount of the problems that human being face with their health and also that changing people's size should really be the LAST one they ought to be seeking to bother with since there are things that are a million times easier and more pressing and important like cancer, AIDS, malaria, congenital and genetic disorders, schizophrenia... you name it...Cure those first, m'k? How big my ass is is REALLY NOT an issue...I have lived relatively healthy with an ass the size of the USSR for 41 years. I don't see why I should seek to change it. So I just co-exist with and love my giant Soviet-sized ass. Why should precious national health ressources be concerned with the size of our collective asses? That is right, they should not be, they have bigger fish to fry, and "obesity experts" need to be taught how to make and sell me an iced venti quad soy caramel machiatto because they are obsolete as a medical specialty. Hear that Xavier Py Sunyer? You'll look GREAT in a green apron and a black polo...

I can authoritatively speak about the relationship between images in the media, social pressure and eating disorders. Why? Because I am the living embodiement of all this bullshit. I have always been fat, I am a recovering bulimic/anorexic, and I have been professionally involved in the arts/ show business, medicine and science AND in fashion. I have the most encompassing insight of anyone I know on the topic and have suffered all its brutality and ridiculousness on my own skin my whole life.

I am a girl whose dream of being a choreographer and dancer got ripped out of her gut because she could not starve herself enough to desired effect. I am the woman who as a medical professional faced constant looks of disapproval and disgust because of her size. I am the person who got in trouble for speaking against saying that "obesity" was a bonified medical condition and weight loss was a treatment. I actually told people out loud that they were wrong and that I was offended and that there was NO scientific consensus to support any of those assertions. Particularly when a certain psoriasis "biologic" medication maker associated fat people with wearing burlap sacks in their promotional pieces. I about vomited in the client's face. I wear Krizia and Chanel and Valentino, not burlap sacks, thank you very much. Fuck you and the psoriasis "biologic" train you rode on. I am a better scientist in my sleep because I do what good scientists are supposed to do. Question everything and turn it every which way until I come up with THE TRUTH. Not dogma. Modern medicine and science is no longer science. It's a religion and you are supposed to believe what you are told and taught just because it says so in such and such a journal. To me that is no different than fundamentalist Christians and the Bible or Moslems and the Koran.

I got an eating disorder in a small way because of having skinny chicks shoved down my throat and told that they were pretty and I was not. That was, I think, a small contributor.

What really sealed the deal was my doctor weigthing me every week and his smile of approval when the number went lower. My dance teachers saying that it did not matter if I was the most talented dancer in the school or the hardest worker but what was most important was how thin I could become. My mother ragging on my ass all the time about what it was that I put in my mouth and how my thighs looked. My teachers at school making fun of me and the other kids constantly teasing and tormenting me because I could not be thin enough. The constant celebration and people almost CUMMING on themselves whenever someone goes from fat to thin. And the thing is, if you start fat, you will never get thin enough. I was a size 7 in 1986 when I graduated High School. That is about a present day 5. And I was still the fat one. I know and remember because I was wearing a magenta suit of my mother's from when she went anorexic with depression because my dad cheated on her. I was eating about half a jar of Tamarine ( a powerful laxative that looks like prune Gerber baby food and that made me gag when I forced myself to eat it) or 4 or 5 Similaxol's, not eating, and exercising about 5 hours a day. Geezus, it was so NOT worth it because I got NOTHING of what I wanted. I did not get a serious boyfriend. I did not get my mother's love and approval. I did not become an assistant choreographer with Alvin Ailey or the Jeoffrey Ballet or the next Madonna. I just fucked up my metabolism and self-esteem.

So what France is doing is a step in the right direction albeint one that is kind of misguided and that does not go far enough.

The answer is STOP trying to change people and to tell them that they MUST be different than they are. STOP the bombardment with anti-fat and pro-"weight loss" bullshit.

And the cunts in the fashion industry who are saying that they cannot be regulated and that they can kill models of starvation and make war camp victims glamourous and a beauty ideal are stupid, daft , selfish, idiotic, evil and irreparably fucked in the head. Not only should they be fined. They should be removed from their positions and be forced to work as dishwashers or busboys in a chain restaurant like TGI Fridays or Chili's so they are constantly exposed to giant amounts of calorie-ladden foods as punishment.

Proposed Law in France Would Ban Promotion of Extreme Thinness

Tuesday , April 15, 2008



The French parliament's lower house adopted a groundbreaking bill Tuesday that would make it illegal for anyone — including fashion magazines, advertisers and Web sites — to publicly incite extreme thinness.

The National Assembly approved the bill in a series of votes Tuesday, after the legislation won unanimous support from the ruling conservative UMP party. It goes to the Senate in the coming weeks.

Fashion industry experts said that, if passed, the law would be the strongest of its kind anywhere. Leaders in French couture are opposed to the idea of legal boundaries on beauty standards.

The bill was the latest and strongest of measures proposed after the 2006 anorexia-linked death of a Brazilian model prompted efforts throughout the international fashion industry to address the repercussions of using ultra-thin models.

Conservative lawmaker Valery Boyer, author of the law, argued that encouraging anorexia or severe weight loss should be punishable in court.

Doctors and psychologists treating patients with anorexia nervosa — a disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming overweight — welcomed the government's efforts to fight self-inflicted starvation, but warned that its link with media images remains hazy.

French lawmakers and fashion industry members signed a nonbinding charter last week on promoting healthier body images. Spain in 2007 banned ultra-thin models from catwalks.

But Boyer said such measures did not go far enough.

Her bill has mainly brought focus to pro-anorexic Web sites that give advice on how to eat an apple a day — and nothing else.

But Boyer insisted in her speech to lawmakers Tuesday that the legislation was much broader and could, in theory, be used against many facets of the fashion industry.

It would give judges the power to imprison and fine offenders up to $47,000 if found guilty of "inciting others to deprive themselves of food" to an "excessive" degree, Boyer said in a telephone interview before the parliamentary session.

Judges could also sanction those responsible for a magazine photo of a model whose "excessive thinness ... altered her health," she said.

Boyer said she was focusing on women's health, though the bill applies to models of both sexes. The French Health Ministry says most of the 30,000 to 40,000 people with anorexia in France are women.

Didier Grumbach, president of the influential French Federation of Couture, said he was not aware how broad the proposed legislation was, and made no secret of his strong disapproval of such a sweeping measure. My thought is why the hell does he have a problem with it unless he has stock in Weight Watchers...

"Never will we accept in our profession that a judge decides if a young girl is skinny or not skinny," he said. "That doesn't exist in the world, and it will certainly not exist in France." To that I say : " Va te faire foutre gros connard fils de pute" See? I can even do it in beautiful Parisian French. As I have said before the buck stops here. NO ONE should be imposing "beauty ideals" because like the French song about the 300 meter ant says " Ca n'existe pas".

Marleen S. Williams, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University in Utah who researches the media's effect on anorexic women, said it was nearly impossible to prove that the media causes eating disorders.

Williams said studies show fewer eating disorders in "cultures that value full-bodied women." Yet with the new French legal initiative, she fears, "you're putting your finger in one hole in the dike, but there are other holes, and it's much more complex than that."


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