Working in media, particularly in Hollywood or when covering pop culture, it's not uncommon to hear that your colleagues believe you can never be "too rich or too thin." That mentality always made me want to scream, because it's so over-the-top, unapologetically superficial and dangerous. Furthermore, the truth is, some people can't handle being "too rich" and of course you can be "too thin!"
Case in point: LeAnn Rimes Cibran. The newlywed singer tweeted bikini pics of herself over the weekend, and I feel pretty confident hypothesizing that she has some kind of disorder. She has to be mentally unstable and/or have an eating disorder and/or some kind of medical condition like hyperthyroidism. Thankfully, the general Twitter consensus seemed to be that she doesn't look normal, healthy, or okay.
LeAnn may have squawked at naysayers:
This is my body, and I can promise you I'm a healthy girl. I'm just lean. Thanks for your concern, but no need to be.
But I'm not buying it. And I gotta say I'm comforted knowing that most people are reacting to her photos with disdain and/or concern. In particular, a female follower of Rimes' tweeted at the country singer:
Whoa, you're scary skinny! Sorry don't mean to offend but that's a lot of bones showing through skin...
(Rimes' clearly patronizing response: "Those are called abs, not bones, love.")
The thing is ... she is scary skinny!!! Given how society holds up the beauty ideal of being svelte, thin, a "skinny girl," thank GOODNESS we can tack "scary" on in front of "skinny" to create that term and to call a spade a spade. I really feel tiptoeing around the topic instead of voicing concern is more of a disservice to a "scary skinny" -- or scary obese -- woman you care about. Also, I'm super relieved that there are people out there who see LeAnn and immediately differentiate between "fit" and "terrifyingly thin." Sadly, it seems LeAnn herself is having trouble figuring out the difference for herself.
That's why we need to call it like we see it. In part so "skin-and-bones chic" doesn't ever become acceptable or aspirational. But also because, as much as she or someone who looks like LeAnn may argue that they don't need help, their appearance begs to differ. If we can point out that "too thin" is more troublesome than attractive, we might slowly chip away at society's skewed beauty ideal. And with hope, prevent other women from falling down the "scary skinny" rabbit hole.
Are you a fan of the term "scary skinny"?
Image via YFrog/Splash News