Is social media to blame for size triple zero?

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Has social media created the new triple zero – when are skinny bodies going out of style?

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Super skinny images like this are promoting triple zero body images that Bondi Beauty doesn’t support.

The new size triple zero trend is encouraging a scary state of skinniness, and social media could be to blame with apps and role models idealising skinny sizes.

A recent Grazia UK article puts a spotlight on the shrinking waists in Hollywood, claiming that “right now it’s in to be thin in Hollywood”. Double zero is not enough however as celebrities aim to squeeze into the new size triple zero with frames still  getting smaller by the minute.

To put this into perspective, a size triple zero equates to a 23 inch waist and would be 5 sizes smaller than an AU size 10. According to medical measurement charts a 23 inch waist is considered normal for a 5-6 yr old girl.

To put this into perspective, a size triple zero equates to a 23 inch waist and would be 5 sizes smaller than an AU size 10

So why is thin back in? We all celebrated the new direction of the media when curvier models and celebrities such as Beyonce and Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio led the ‘strong is the new skinny’ and ‘fitspiration’ trends.

However, the good work done by these trends that encouraged a balanced and healthy lifestyle seem to be now undermined by the recent flourish of skinny selfies and social media activity that shows role models with rapidly dropping weights.

Social Media’s usual suspect sites of facebook, instagram and twitter aren’t helping the matter. Celebrities showing off their skinny frames to perhaps gain media attention are consequently promoting sticking out hip bones and pin thin arm sizes to their fan base, which often includes young adolescent girls.

Sarah Leung, Holistic Nutritionist, Accredited Practising Dietitian and founder of www.healthyenergy.net.au, says “If having a 23 inch waist is an unrealistic goal and you result in restrictive dieting, your behavior may result in serious cases, an eating disorder like anorexic nervosa and bulimia nervosa can develop”

These aren’t the only impacts of striving for an unhealthy weight goal, “If one takes a very restrictive or disordered eating as a way to achieve unrealistic body size, long term detrimental damages can result, both physically and mentally” Leung says.

Leung explains that these damages could include a slow metabolic rate, loss of lean muscle, dehydration, dry hair and skin, nutrient deficient and reduced bone mass, distorted body image issues, mood swings, depression and low self-esteem anorexic nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

The skinny selfies that showcase hollowing collarbones and jutting out shoulders have led to the rise of a range of apps that promise to slim down and un-blemish your typical selfie, turning innocent photos into a tool of propaganda for ultra skinny sizes.

Apps such as ‘SkineePix’ claim to have you looking ‘5, 10 or 15lbs (approx. 7kgs) skinnier’ in your selfies while ‘plump&skinny booth’ offers to slim down your face and thighs while plumping up your breasts. Both apps offer easy to share features that will have these transformed and generated images up on social media in no time.

Before and after images used as weight loss product promotions or personal achievements can also be a problem, “Some of these before and after photos are highly edited and unrealistic (often promoting rapid weight loss)” says Leung,” this can create unhealthy weight ideals and expectations for those who want to lose weight and have been looking for these ‘quick fixes’”.

The new super skinny trends and distorted ‘selfies’ are spreading the wrong message and ideals, is it time for social media sites to come with warnings of distorted images and untrue content?

By BB intern Dominique Tait

Dominique Tait

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