Size Zero: The Latest Trend

anorexia.jpgWhat do Luisel Ramos, Ana Carolina Reston and Eliana Ramos have in common?

Besides being famous models at some point of time, they all are dead now. Their deaths can be attributed to the upcoming trend known as the ‘size zero’. For the unknown, size zero means having a frame of 31.5-23-32. For girls, it means fitting into jeans having waist of 22 inches, that of an average British 8 year old . Apparently, they all died while trying to maintain their slim figure. At the time of her death, Luisel Ramos was 22 and surviving on diet coke and lettuce leaves. Her sister Eliana Ramos, 18 died after suffering from complications arising because of anorexia. Reston also died from the pressures of maintaining slimness and her diet was reported to be solely consisting of apples and tomatoes. She died because of renal failure.

Size zero has always been surrounded with innumerable controversies. Loved and loathed at the same time by people all over the world, it is catching fire once again with fashion industries in Milan and Madrid banning them during their high-profile fashion shows. Some well known brands have also declared that they will be using ‘normal’sized women to advertise their clothes. International super skinny icons like Nicole Richie, Kate Bosworth and Victoria Beckham make size zero frame not only attainable but a must-get goal for all the fashion lovers and followers .They follow diets with no carbohydrates that is sometimes sushi wrapped in lettuce leaf and working out twice a day in the gym . Following the size zero trend, many young girls are suffering from various eating disorders like anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa, the former being eating really less in order to remain slim and the latter is an eating disorder marked by cycles of excessive eating followed by purging using self-induced vomiting, laxatives or diuretics . The repeated vomiting may cause burns to the oesophagus and occasionally dehydration and chemical imbalances in the body. The pressure to become thin takes a toll on their health while they go on becoming stick-ly thin. Back home, there have been reports of Kareena Kapoor slipping in a size zero dress for the photo shoot of a prominent fashion magazine. At one time there were rumors of her surviving on just orange juice which were, though rumors, but seeing her present frame can’t be ignored. Young girls are now aiming for a lean frame like her. Over exposure of people like her in the media creates a set frame of an ‘ideal girl’ in the minds of people. Already the Indian society is grappling with the ‘fair and beautiful’ framework, this new concept of connecting stick thin frame with beauty is bound to create problems for many girls who don’t fall under this ‘category’. The global uproar over skinny models has made an impact over Anglo-Dutch consumer giant, Unilever. The company has released a set of guidelines that bans it’s advertisements to use actors and models who are extremely thin or promote ‘unhealthy’ slimness in their star brands – Lux, Dove and Liril.The company says that all brand directors and agencies will have to use people who have their BMI between 18.5 and 25. Following the footsteps of these skinny female models, another group which is keen on copying them is none other than male models. It’s shocking to imagine reed thin male models but the trend is actually catching up after male models with a waist of 28 inches appeared in the New York Fashion Week. Like their female counterparts this trend can lead to eating disorders among young men. So it’s pretty much predictable that this trend has no good side to it and should be immediately discouraged by the media. Over exposure will only create problems among both sexes. The link between being slim and being beautiful is nothing but the sheer result of our mindless aping of the west which is not only unhealthy but dangerous too. It’s important to stop this trend before we get our Luisel Ramos, Ana Carolina Reston and Eliana Ramos. Neha Pant

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