Skinniness is back in fashion, but did it ever really go away? | Eva Wiseman

The style press might be reporting that ‘thin is in’, but lurking behind the headlines is alarming knowledge that the continuing obsession has been there all along

I respect the Halloween tradition of successfully sluttifying that which, on any other night, would refuse to be sluttified. Scrolling through photos last week I saw multiple slutty ghosts, multiple slutty Toy Story characters. I saw many, many cleavages, one attached to a Minion, and I saw both Marge Simpson and Cinderella’s bottoms. But while I always applaud the mission, one which never goes out of style, this year I was struck by something else – the skinniness.

“Thin is back,” the style press is reporting, warily. When Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s old gown to the Met Gala, most news stories concentrated on the scandal of a museum piece being disrespected. But for women, young women especially, the real story ran way down in paragraphs four and five: it was the extreme diet Kardashian went on, eating only the “cleanest veggies and proteins”, in order to make that sparkly dress fit. Similar diets were happening in student kitchens across the UK and shared online in hashtags and well-lit videos. It’s no coincidence that this culture shift, these Halloween costumes featuring vast plains of taut belly, coincides with the return of Y2K fashion. With the return of baby tees and low-rise jeans came the memory for many of how such clothes helped inspire in us the idea that it wasn’t that these clothes did not fit our bodies, it was our bodies that did not fit these clothes.

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