Eating Kleenex. April 5, 2013Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: anorexia, eating Kleenex, extreme thinness, modeling
Silence Dogood here. Yesterday, I read that some fashion models eat Kleenex in order to feel full without taking in calories. This brought to mind an article I’d read a few years ago about how, at the exotic locations where fashion shoots often take place, tables full of delicious food were set out on the beach (or wherever the shoot was taking place) so that the models could walk around the tables and imagine themselves actually eating that beautiful food.
The latter instance strikes me as sad, but at least I can relate, since whenever I read a recipe that sounds good, I certainly find myself imagining how it would look and taste. To actually see and smell it would make the imagining even more vivid.
But eating Kleenex? Eeeewwww!!! When I mentioned this to our friend Ben, he said, “Couldn’t they just eat plain popcorn instead?” Well, no. Even plain air-popped popcorn has calories. And it’s dry, terribly dry. And if a model were to indulge in even a handful, then wash the sawdust effect away with a couple of swallows of exotically filtered water, the water would swell the popcorn in her stomach and result in—gasp!!!—bloat. God forfend that her teensy model belly should protrude a quarter-inch for a quarter-hour.
So she turns to Kleenex instead. How anyone could choke down a Kleenex, much less several, is beyond my wildest imagining. That we live in a society that demands such unnatural thinness that models, who eat almost nothing and exercise rigorously, would be reduced to eating Kleenex, is horrifying. And we’re all to blame for keeping our mouths shut while these atrocities continue. And while anorexia, bulimia and smoking mushroom in the general population as girls try to look like models, sacrificing their longterm health in the process.
I have seen several anorexic women in airports over the years and they are terrifying, walking skeletons, the living dead. The sight of one is enough to make your hair stand on end. “Shaun of the Dead” has nothing on them.
But the most dreadful encounter I had with anorexia was years ago, when I went to visit a friend in the hospital. As I walked toward her room, a tiny, spindly girl, assisted by nurses, emerged from a room nearby. She appeared to be about six and tremendously fragile. I asked my friend if she knew about the child. “Oh, she’s 13, and has been anorexic ever since her parents signed her up as a gymnast. The doctors don’t think she’ll live another two years.”
What on earth are we doing? What are we allowing designers to do? Would you be willing to eat Kleenex instead of food, or condemn your daughter to death at 15 to fulfil your ambitions or hers?!
Let’s get real here, and show real bodies, real curves, and real acknowledgement for how bodies change. Yes, I’d love to still be 117 pounds and 34-17-34. No, I’m not willing to eat Kleenex or carve myself up to bring those days back. Far better to eat moderate portions of healthy, balanced, nutritious foods, exercise every day, and accept ourselves as we are. We may not be Victoria’s Secret material, but I guarantee we’ll live longer, healthier lives. And we won’t have to eat Kleenex.
‘Til next time,