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  1. Quote

    | 47 notes
    There’s no stopping point for this competition; there’s no “you weigh this little” certificate of completion. There is only the never-ending cycle of getting skinnier than your friends until you all completely disappear. By which I mean potentially die Marianne Kirkby, in 'Six weeks to OMG: The diet that will make you disappear.' Read more here.
  2. Photo

    | 3 notes
    In 'Dieting brides v the custom-fitted tyrant of the wedding dress,’ Sarah Ditum discusses the extreme dieting measures many take in the run up to their big day. She says, “a wedding is just one day in a relationship – one day that’s heavy enough with symbolism to make the bride’s weight an irrelevance”.
• Read more here 
Photograph: Lewis Whyld/AP

    In 'Dieting brides v the custom-fitted tyrant of the wedding dress,’ Sarah Ditum discusses the extreme dieting measures many take in the run up to their big day. She says, “a wedding is just one day in a relationship – one day that’s heavy enough with symbolism to make the bride’s weight an irrelevance”.

    • Read more here

    Photograph: Lewis Whyld/AP

  3. Photo

    | 30 notes
    
It’s a quiet epidemic of kids taking laxatives to lose weight, young  men taking steroids, girls throwing up or committing themselves to odd  and dangerous restrictions in food. The lifelong effects are becoming  clearer; they include wrecked careers and permanent ill-health.
The  “commonsense” response that many older people will have – get over it,  shake yourself down, just start to enjoy life – now looks dangerously  naive. There is simply too big, noisy and powerful a commercial drive  behind making people feel bad. Why? Because of the fortune to be made in  making them feel just a little better again.
At the base of this  industry are the drug companies that are pushing “wonder” cures and  diets, tanning firms and heavily advertised cosmetic surgery  specialists, as well as mainstream cosmetic firms. They all depend on  the advertising and fashion firms that are selling an idealised,  youth-obsessed beauty cult that is far beyond the reach of most real  humans; and they in turn squirt glossy profits into the media spreading  the cult.
Against all this, what chance does an impressionable,  insecure 14-year-old have? Or for that matter an insecure man in his  early 20s? For this is not a women-only problem. Though girls are still  vastly more likely to suffer from anorexia or to go for cosmetic  surgery, the growth of male anorexia in recent years is very striking.  Endless appeals to the fashion gurus to rethink the models they use have  received a cold-hearted brushoff.  The death at 28 just over a year ago  of the anorexic French model Isabelle Caro, who had bared herself to  shock the fashion industry, ought to have produced a dramatic  rethinking. Go and look at the images, if you can bear it, on the web.  Isabelle said: “It is everything but beauty… I have psoriasis, a pigeon  chest, the body of an elderly person.

Jackie Ashley on snake-oil diets. Read the rest here
Illustration: Andrzej Krauze

    It’s a quiet epidemic of kids taking laxatives to lose weight, young men taking steroids, girls throwing up or committing themselves to odd and dangerous restrictions in food. The lifelong effects are becoming clearer; they include wrecked careers and permanent ill-health.

    The “commonsense” response that many older people will have – get over it, shake yourself down, just start to enjoy life – now looks dangerously naive. There is simply too big, noisy and powerful a commercial drive behind making people feel bad. Why? Because of the fortune to be made in making them feel just a little better again.

    At the base of this industry are the drug companies that are pushing “wonder” cures and diets, tanning firms and heavily advertised cosmetic surgery specialists, as well as mainstream cosmetic firms. They all depend on the advertising and fashion firms that are selling an idealised, youth-obsessed beauty cult that is far beyond the reach of most real humans; and they in turn squirt glossy profits into the media spreading the cult.

    Against all this, what chance does an impressionable, insecure 14-year-old have? Or for that matter an insecure man in his early 20s? For this is not a women-only problem. Though girls are still vastly more likely to suffer from anorexia or to go for cosmetic surgery, the growth of male anorexia in recent years is very striking. Endless appeals to the fashion gurus to rethink the models they use have received a cold-hearted brushoff. The death at 28 just over a year ago of the anorexic French model Isabelle Caro, who had bared herself to shock the fashion industry, ought to have produced a dramatic rethinking. Go and look at the images, if you can bear it, on the web. Isabelle said: “It is everything but beauty… I have psoriasis, a pigeon chest, the body of an elderly person.

    Jackie Ashley on snake-oil diets. Read the rest here

    Illustration: Andrzej Krauze

  4. Write for us about … body image

    | 1 note

    As part of our People’s panel series, we’d like to ask our readers to weigh in on body image issues, and tell us how they feel about their own self-confidence. Do you feel confident about how you look? Are you a serial dieter, or a “health at every size" enthusiast? What do you think the government could do to limit the damage that negative body image can cause?

    If you would like to participate, please email Jessica Reed (jessica.reed@guardian.co.uk) before 12pm on Tuesday 16 January, with a contribution of about 200-300 words. Please include your Guardian username and your real name. We’ll pick four entries for publication. The subject line of your email should be “People’s panel” and you should include an element of comment – your opinion on the issue being debated. If you object to having your real name used, mention this; if not, we’ll print it.

    [More details here]

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