The lovely bones


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Nikki from Big Brother is envied for her minuscule thighs. Victoria Beckham is revered as a 'thinspiration' by women with anorexia. When did hyper-thin come to look normal, asks Emily Wilson

Thursday June 29, 2006
The Guardian
Every day in the Daily Mirror, the journalist Polly Hudson gives a little précis of how everyone is doing inside the current Big Brother house. This is what she wrote in her "Pollyometer" column last Friday about the BB contestant called Nikki: "Even though I'm beyond jealous of her perfect, skinny thighs, she must stay in. I'm counting on you all."
Nikki Grahame, who is 24, does have very skinny thighs. There is hardly an ounce of fat on them. Nor on her little boy bum, which has been on show ever since she arrived in the BB house in a bunny-girl outfit which showed off a scoop of each of her tiny buttocks. Not for Nikki the indignity of unfashionably wobbly lady bits.

Now if you want a figure just like Nikki's, all you need to do is eat ... nothing. And when you have chowed down on your big bowl of nothing, ideally washed down with mineral water (tap water has impurities! Impurities make you fat!), make sure you puke up the lot. Give that a year or two and, tah dah! Perfect, skinny thighs.
Nikki has been hospitalised at least once by her eating disorder and once weighed less than five stone.
It is true that this may play hell with your teeth (Nikki says she doesn't have much left in the way of tooth enamel) and that you will probably never enjoy a half-way happy relationship with a plate of food again, and may not make it to 40. But what price skinniness?
It is obviously a pretty dumb thing to do, heaping praise upon the figure of a woman known to have been seriously ill with an eating disorder, but you can see how it happened. We are bombarded by pictures of gorgeous and apparently healthy celebrities with legs and bottoms just like Nikki's. You may look at Nikki and think, wow, is she skinny. But the kind of skinny she models on television every day is rapidly becoming the celebrity standard - and that ends up messing with everyone's heads.
Yesterday came the news that Victoria Beckham, Wag empress, is now a "thinspiration" for the women who hang out on pro-anorexia, or "pro-ana" sites (ana being an affectionate nickname anorexics have for anorexia). Although there is no clinical evidence that she has actually had any official eating disorder, one recent pro-ana posting, quoted in the papers yesterday, said: "I envy [Beckham's] thin legs and chest. She has beautiful bones sticking out of her chest."
A colleague in Baden-Baden says that in the flesh Victoria looks far thinner than she does in pictures, and that without the enormous barnet and the plastic breasts, people would be calling 999 every time she stepped out of her hotel room. Yet, week after week, Posh in her impossibly short shorts and handkerchief dresses wanders through the pages of Hello! and OK! accompanied by picture captions that mention how "gorgeous" and "perfect" her figure is.
The pro-ana sites are disturbed, and disturbing; they are a monument to a truly awful set of diseases. In pro-ana world, eating disorders are a lifestyle choice and it's all about bones, lovely bones ... pictures of your classic stick-insect celebrities (Calista Flockhart, for example, a woman who has admitted to an eating disorder) are mixed up with pictures of unfamous, obviously ill, women. It's immediately obvious why Posh's figure might appeal to them.
The real problem, though, isn't that pro-ana women think Posh looks like "a major hottie!" ("I love her arms! If I could look like her, I would never have a problem with anything!) or that a journalist gushes about Nikki's thighs, but that, somehow, all the rest of us supposedly non-ill women have become almost blind to how thin Posh et al really are. Sure we all know that Posh used to be significantly more curvaceous in her Spice days - that she wasn't born to be a skinnifer, as some models and even real people seem to be. We know that, by her own account, she "came close" to have an eating disorder and that her husband once talked publicly about her needing to put on a few pounds. We know that when Heat magazine and some of the papers, in their regular, rather fetishistic, features on "lollipop lady" celebrities, always put Posh in the line-up. Yet we look at these pictures of Posh, and other women who are almost as thin, and think, hmm, well, I think she's too thin but hey, she does have nice thighs.
Somehow, despite all the hype about too-thin celebrities, hyper-thin has become the new nice and slim, and women like Posh and Nikki simply don't stand out all that much. I guess the drip, drip effect of a thousand images of Kate Moss's inch-wide legs and Sienna Miller's bony back, and Nicole-Paris Ritchie-Hilton's pipecleaner arms, has finally done its work. I guess I will go to hell for saying that I think Posh should put on about two stone, minimum, because it is nasty and unsisterly to be negative about someone's figure. And it is true, too, that when the press says that people have a serious problem, the saying of it is rarely helpful to the individuals concerned. As Will Self pointed out in London's Evening Standard last week, apropos the Mirror's recent run of stories about crack or coke-addicted celebrities, publicity didn't kill off George Best's alcoholism. (In the end, of course, it was the alcoholism that finally killed off the publicity.)
But this isn't just about Posh's health and happiness or that of any of the other hyper-thin celebs. These women, and their figures, have become an ideal, something to aspire to, for millions and millions of women - and even if you don't actually want to be as thin as Posh, even if you think she is far too thin, the reality is that she has shifted the goalposts for every single one of us. If we are going to keep on putting pictures of these women in every paper and magazine, while they are so desperately underweight, we have got to remember to put big health warning stickers on them. You know - "Warning! This photo may seriously, but in a perniciously subtle way, screw with the inside of your head!" Something like that.
Yesterday Dr Dee Dawson of the Rhodes Farm clinic in London, which specialises in eating disorders, said in one paper: "Victoria Beckham is usually the celebrity most people that I see want to look like. She is horribly thin - you can see all her ribs - and she is not normal."
A big part of the delusional, amnesiac bubble we have all moved our mental luggage into, is the idea that you can be as thin as Kate Moss (a woman who's been in rehab at least once because of her heavy cocaine use) or Posh (a woman who clearly has issues with food) or Nikki (who at one time had to be force fed), while shovelling down three square meals a day plus snacks and doing a bit of light yoga. Because, however many crisps Posh says she eats, you can't.
In April 2003, Natasha Hamilton, a member of the band Atomic Kitten, was asked how she had managed to get her figure back so quickly after having a baby. In a rare moment of perfect celebrity frankness, she replied: "That's easy, I just don't eat." See how it works?

affectionate- czuły, tkliwy
amnesiac- osoba cierpiąca na amnezję; amnezyjny
apparently- widocznie
aspire to- aspirować do
barnet- włosy
bubble- bańka (mydlana)
bum- tyłek
celebrity- sława
chow down- wcinać
current- obecny, aktualny
curvaceous- o zaokrąglonych kształtach
delusional- urojeniowy
disturb- niepokoić
empress- cesarzowa
goalpost- słupek bramki
gush- wylewnie opowiadać
hang out- spędzać czas
heap- obsypywać (np. pochwałami)
hottie- osoba atrakcyjna, seksowna
impurity- zanieczyszczenie
indignity - zniewaga, obelga, upokorzenie
minuscule- drobniutki, bardzo mały
nickname- przezwisko
perniciously- zgubnie, fatalnie
pipecleaner- czyściciel rur
précis- streszczenie
puke up- rzygać, wymiotować
revere- czcić, szanować
scoop- dziura, dołek
screw- spartolić
shift- przesuwać
shovel down- wcinać, zjadać
significantly- znacząco
subtle - subtelny
thinspiration- inspiracja do bycia szczupłą (thin + inspiration)
unsisterly- niesiostrzany
wash down- popijać
wobbly- problematyczny; trzęsący się


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