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When did scary skinny become the new "hot"?

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Reel Mama: When did scary skinny become the new "hot"?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When did scary skinny become the new "hot"?

Sophia Loren, during the Golden Age of sexy

When looking back on a figure like Marilyn Monroe's or Sophia Loren's, the gold standard of sexy, it's a bit painful to look at some of the reality stars, supermodels, and movie stars of today and the trend towards scary skinny, with rib cages clearly visible and thigh bones and clavicles jutting out unpleasantly.  I shutter when I see these figures and don't think ooh la la or va-va-voom!  But that's just me.

Twiggy ushered in the androgynous ultrathin look in the 1960s.  

Bucking the hourglass figure trend, Twiggy showed that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes

There was heroine chic in the 1990s, but even those models look like they have meat on their bones compared to today's standards of skeletal chic, the new standard of beauty.  If you look like you should be hanging in an anatomy lab, then you have arrived.  You are beautiful.  Eating, it seems, is a thing of the past.  Better get your quick shot of electrolytes intravenously, then spend 5 hours in the gym working it off.  
But let's face it: figures have changed, but women have always done scary things to be thin.  There were the corsets of the 1800s.  Remember Scarlett's hunger strike and Mammy squeezing her into that corset to achieve a 17-inch waist in Gone with the Wind?

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett, with Hattie McDaniel as Mammy, in Gone With the Wind (1939), thinking that #$%&-ing corsets are overrated

And then there were the impossibly small-waisted pinups of the twentieth century, not to mention stars of A- and B-grade film and TV, including hostess of horror flicks Vampira, proudly B-grade, the original "Mistress of the Dark" (Elvira being the most well-known) who "sexed up" the character of Morticia of Addams Family fame at a masquerade ball.  (The cartoonist who created Morticia for the comics took note, and the sexier Morticia was portrayed in all future incarnations.)  

Vampira must have had cobwebs in her belly--she starved herself to get this look

According to an interview I heard recently, there was nothing Vampira wouldn't do to maintain her 15-inch figure.  A weekly weekend fast, a waist cincher, and even a self-described "flesh-eating cream" to maintain that girlish (goulish?) figure. Talk about scary skinny!  (Vampira would love that!) 

Now I'm gonna go get some Ben and Jerry's.  So loosen your corsets, ladies, and join me.  Chunky Monkey is the new standard of beauty!

Enjoy reading a favorite post of mine from last summer: "When will they get to eat?"


At January 26, 2012 at 2:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always wonder who finds these super-skinny girls attractive - most of them look like they have one foot in the grave. Icons like Marilyn, Rita Hayworth and Julie Newmar were both beautiful and vivacious.

At February 7, 2012 at 10:09 PM , Blogger Lauren Ivy Chiong said...

Thank you for the comment--one foot in the grave indeed. Vampira would for sure appreciate that morbid bit of humor. I agree that the Golden Age of Hollywood set a real standard for beauty that came in a variety of shapes and sizes.


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