Back when Rachel Zoe was the stylist everyone in LA had to have, and starlets like Nicole Richie and The Olsens were in the spotlight for their incredible shrinking frames (not their incredible designer talent), size zero was all the rage.
Then, Victoria’s Secret models like Alessandra Ambrosio and Izabel Goulart pioneered the ‘strong is the new skinny’ body type. #fitspo and #instafit were the hashtags to use, and personal trainers became celebrities while promoting the ideals of being fit and healthy. Celebrities whose weight had yo-yoed for years seemed to find a happy, healthy medium and positive body image was back in vogue.
According to Grazia UK’s LA-based sources, “Right now it’s in to be thin in Hollywood.”
“It’s not about size zero anymore. These days, double-zero sizes don’t cut it either. Size triple zero is the number-one goal here.” That’s the equivalent of a 23-inch-waist. While some women are naturally thin or built with a small frame, this trend ‘zeroes’ in on those who go to extreme, unnatural lengths to drop sizes.
“Although there are thankfully curvier role models out there, from Kim Kardashian to Beyoncé, it’s a cut-throat industry and it’s no secret that stars can make headlines out of being scarily skinny,” says the source.
Even Kim and Beyoncé have slimmed down in recent months. Bey made a stellar ‘comeback’ when performing at the Grammys with husband Jay Z, after the pair embarked on a 22-day vegan diet before Christmas last year. New wife Kim slimmed her waist and arms down considerably in the lead-up to her Florence wedding to Kanye West.
Grazia’s report lists stars like Kate Bosworth, Modern Family’s Julie Bowen and British It girls Alexa Chung and Mary Charteris having noticeably thinner arms and legs, and sharp collarbones in the past few months. If they are in fact slipping into size 000, their waist is the equivalent of a six-to-eight year old girl’s.
While most British and Australian womenswear stores don’t cater to those sizes, American retail chains often do. “While stars might be following this potentially dangerous trend hoping to grab attention in the press, young women are in turn copying them, spurred on by the ultra-thin photos these celebrities share on social media,” adds Grazia’s source.
Many believe sizing standards across all countries needs to be enforced to minimise the risk of women feeling like they ‘need’ to fit into a particular size. High-street brands often size their clothing in unpredictable ways (which is why you’re sometimes a 10 in a brand, and other times a 14 – huh?!). Social media has also been called out for propagating the ‘thin is in’ mentality in women who idolise celebrities.
Grazia’s editor-in-chief Jane Bruton says it best, “When size is the benchmark for self-worth, these extreme negative sizes are leading to women aspiring to be a shape that could be dangerously unhealthy for their frame.”