I don't know if any of you saw this morning's copy of the Daily Mail or more specifically the article entitled: "Shop's Skinny Models 'cause eating disorders'" but if not I suggest you take a look. Normally this sort of panic inducing, ridiculously dramatic statement is enough to make me throw the paper to the floor but I've got to hand it to them here, this time, they've printed the truth.
I mean, it's stupidly obvious, but it's the truth nonetheless.
The hot topic of the last few weeks has been the size of mannequins in shops. Just a few days ago I lost my shit because I was walking past the Burberry window display in Knightsbridge and honestly thought they had accidentally used the arms as legs. Since sharing that photo on Facebook I've been sent loads of photos and articles by friends who have seen equally tiny mannequinsLast week Oasis came under fire for it. As have Gap and of course Topshop are always in trouble for it. (Bastards)
It is one of my biggest bugbears, and that is saying a lot if you bear in mind how much pisses me off, but the fact that shops are actually getting away with this makes me really angry. These shops who are full of real women with real lives have literally been given the chance to BUILD a 'person' to wear their clothes, and they are CHOOSING to fuck it up this badly!
We KNOW that the size zero culture is damaging. We KNOW that these tiny skinny models should not be walking the catwalk. We KNOW that the fashion industry is putting too much pressure on girls. And yet despite this, the Daily Mail only decided TODAY, years and years after all of this began, that there might be a link between skinny models and eating disorders. No. Shit. Sherlock.
Where was this headline when I was at school and feeling like a big old lump of lard because next to the paper-thin mannequin's in Topshop I was?
So although I am undoubtedly angry with the headline, because it almost feels patronising, I am MORE angry with the whole situation.
The article quotes an expert who warns that unhealthy skinny models used by high street fashion chains could force young girls into deadly eating disorders. Abercrombie and Fitch was among those highlighted, with every model on their website having an 'extreme' waist-to-height ratio of less than 0.4, which is deemed to be minimum safe level.
It goes on also to say that at least five other major chains including H&M, River Island and Urban Outfitters have also used models with the same ratios. Dr Margaret Ashwell OBE then told the Mail 'A lot of young girls measure their weight and they think they are overweight, but what they really are is a perfectly healthy pear-shape. They then see these models and think they need to have the same shape as them - that's when they slip into eating disorders to make themselves thin.'
So they've got a point. To be honest, there are lots of factors to eating disorders and of course not every sufferer has got that way as as a result of tiny models. This is something I don't actually feel qualified to comment on, but the truth is, the fact that these shops are not only doing this but getting away with it, should be sounding some really really loud alarm bells right now.
Because any society that, for so long, has accepted this, is not a society that I want my daughters to grow up in. When asked to comment on the Mail's findings, Abercrombie and Fitch were unable to comment.
Likely story guys. In the whollleeeee department, there wasn't one person who could grow some balls, pick up the phone and APOLOGISE? Were they all out paint balling that day? Was everybody ill? They were just informed that they may well be to blame for deadly eating disorders and they have decided to hide.
And do you know what's REALLY depressing about this? Apart from their PR team who will worry about it for at least a week, by tomorrow, we will all have forgotten about this. They are not going to be held accountable, by battoning down the hatches and putting their fingers in their ears they have made this whole problem go away.
We are unfortunately not the activists we'd like to think we are. I'd like to think that we could all unite Braveheart style outside their store and stampeed them. I'd like to believe we could do a sit in or a walk out. I'd like to think we could barge in their and steal their mannequines and forcefeed them pork pies for a week.
But we can't and we won't.
So they've got away with it and as a result, so will everybody else. We're going to keep screaming about it, the Daily Mail may well run another panic story next time there is a slow news day, the great community that is the body positive movement will keep doing all the right things, and still I can't see anything changing. And for the first time in my life, words totally fail me.
I am begging the world to prove me wrong here I really am.