Bring Back Body Positivity

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From runways to magazines, instagram to tik tok, a trend far too familiar is rearing its ugly head once again, heroin chic. With figures from the timelike Kate Moss profiting off of saying “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” it is hard to beat about the bush that this trend is promoting an unhealthy way of life for youth then, and now more than ever. 


Heroin Chic was coined in the early 1990s as a way to describe the extremely thin, pale, and sick look that was the standard of the modeling industry at the time. The dark undereye circles and sunken in features are unfortunately the signs that come with serious eating disorders that are being glamorized by this trend and its re-emergence. 


Media publishing outlets such as The New York Post have been seen promoting the idealization of these standards with an article published on November 2nd titled “Bye-bye booty: Heroin chic is back,” while just months earlier the publication published a piece about bring back love and appreciation for all bodies, “Heroin chic out as supermodels ditch diet of booze, drugs, and cigs.” The piece was published in March of 2022 and is a telling sign of why “Heroin Chic” was and is so harmful to society and the health of real people.


On social media platforms, most notably tik tok, there are accounts dedicated to “Thinspiration” that include meal plans and different ways to fit the aesthetic that is being worshiped as the current beauty standard. These trends are far too familiar to the content prevalent on Tumblr in the early to mid 2000s promoting the same lifestyle. Online communities are created by connecting these content creators through hashtags that promote the videos to people seeking them out or strategically putting them on the pages of young people who may be triggered by the content at hand. Not only do these videos promote, but they glorify eating disorders in a way that takes out all the lifelong health effects that come from the behaviors. 


Not only is this being promoted as a trend, but celebrities are starting to revert back to this unfortunate standard. The Kardashians most recently have been called out on their bodies for changing in ways that may not always be healthy or safe for anyone to participate in. Bella Hadid has been under fire in recent news for her lack of transparency in her content and how she promotes her own eating habits. 


Rachel Oplinger, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology speaks about the lack of honesty in not only the industry but Bella herself, “the biggest model right now, debatably is Bella Hadid who is definitely not transparent about her lifestyle as she promotes herself eating mass amounts of food that society would deem as junk, yet it is impossible to eat how she says she does while maintaining a physique like hers.” Oplinger also states that high fashion brands are not hiring with body positivity in mind even with all the campaigns that have come up in the past promoting inclusivity at all sizes. 


An entire trend on tik tok uses a sound with Hadid’s voice as people say a behavior that mimics that of something that would be classified as harmful and borderline eating disorder behavior. Youth today correlates Bella with this toxic standard, and she continues with her lack of transparency although many would like her to address it.


The accessibility and ease of spreading content like the tik tok videos is what is causing the most harm in the glamorization of this aesthetic of “heroin chic” which is really just a poetic way of saying someone is so skinny they look like they are on drugs. Many models have admitted to this as well, Giselle Bundchen said her diet from her model days consisted of wine and “Cancer sticks.” It is a scary place to be in when this ideal is being ingrained into the minds of today’s youth once again, but change can be made. The toxic noise needs to be silenced, and a change to societal standards needs to be accepted and loved because bodies are beautiful at any size.