If today’s New York Times style story The Vanishing Point is to be believed, male fashion models have gone from being athletic-looking muscle men to hollow-cheeked, concave chested stick figures. The latest men’s runway shows in Paris and Milan were full of such young men, reports the NYT, shocking an industry that just over a year ago was telling itself that its female models have to get more real-sized.
As Marcia and I discuss in our book, men with eating disorders are now believed to make up 25 percent of the total eating-disordered population, far greater than the 10 percent it was up until recently believed to be. This recent fashion trend is not going to make that number any smaller. It will be sad to see future headlines about male models in treatment for anorexia or bulimia, but this could happen. Men are already feeling that they have to compete in the arena of shape, size and appearance, just as women do. Do we really want to make it worse for them?