12 September 2006

Get famous through anorexia!

Isn't there a way to punish these people? Several model agencies in Paris allegedly rejected an Argentine model because she was "a bit chubby", standing at 1.8 m with 55 kg (that's 6 ft and 120 lbs for old-fashioned non-metric fans). Consider that Argentina holds the dubious honour of being #2 in the anorexia world ranking (after Japan), and this girl (19-year-old Chloé Bello) must have been already undernourished for some time; the agencies' refusal (apparently coupled with the suggestion of a diet) was practically a request for pathological behaviour. With a body mass index of about 17, Chloé should be trying to gain weight. Out of common sense, self-preservation instinct or spite (I don't know which), she refused to subject to this ridiculous discrimination and, losing a lot of money in the process, got back to Argentina.

The other day I heard for the first time about online forums where anorexic and bulimic girls put together recipes, diets, tips, and means to escape detection from their concerned parents. They'd be ridiculous and pathetic if they weren't mentally disturbed and in grave danger. In this case, at the risk of sounding like the proverbial grumpy old man, it is the modern media's fault. Men don't like thin women that much. Nobody wants a palo vestido (literally "a pole in a dress") except some sick individuals (Pancho Dotto, anyone?) who are into that. For all the talk of girls about weight (and they do talk too much, and out loud, about their own and their friends' weight, as uncomfortably noted by at least one female expat blogger in Buenos Aires), most willingly indulge in the comfortable, sensible self-deception tactics of drinking light soda and substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar in their coffee, only to proceed joyfully attacking fatty medialunas, generous pounds of asado, and huge icecream cones.

The good news is that, at least in Spain (and therefore probably soon in other places), the authorities are reacting. Two days ago they announced that models with a BMI under 18 will not be allowed to perform. The measure is simple, scientific, and difficult to fight in court. I'd like to propose a similar measure regarding actors' and TV presenters' IQs under 90, but that would bring the whole industry down, I guess.

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