Body Dysmorphia is OUT OF CONTROL! Now Affecting the Mannequins

Help those with no voice!

Help those with no voice!

Many men and women suffer over body image issues. We try to eat healthy, work out and yet we can never measure up. For most of us, we just wear black in mourning for our pre-baby figures. We live in yoga pants and the idea of bathing suit shopping requires three stiff drinks and a Xanax. For me? I haven’t worn shorts in fifteen years.

Is the pressure to be thin too much? The actresses and models get skinnier and skinnier by the year. When did ZERO become a SIZE?

I actually happen to be a size 6-8-10-12-14-16-22 depending on where I shop.

And then, when I DO finally get drunk enough the urge to shop, I am greeted with this:

Um, when did MATCHSTICKS become sexy?

Um, when did MATCHSTICKS become sexy?

And then THIS:



Whatever happened to wanting to look like Marilyn Monroe or Jane Mansfield? Women used to be soft and curvy and sexy. Now we aspire to look like the sliver of wood that holds together hors d’oeuvres we’re too scared to eat?

Because we would be SO FAT! Like, a size SIX!


I knew that the fashion industry was creating a body-dysmorphia problem of epic proportions, but I didn’t know how bad it was until I saw THIS:

I don't eat. I'm disciplined, but I can't *SOBS* I just can't!

I don’t eat. I’m disciplined, but I can’t *SOBS* I just can’t!

We thought anorexia and bulemia among young girls and women was bad, but now body issues are now even affecting inanimate objects. Though headless, many mannequins are getting fatter and can’t keep up with the ever-shrinking sizes.

When I interviewed this poor mannequin (we will call her “Sheila” to protect her identity), she claimed the pressure to be perfect all the time was too much. She’s supposed to just stand there and be ogled for NO PAY, and now apparently a Size Zero is FAT.

Sheila is a Size Zero, but this store forced her to model the newest size/fashion craze…a Size Negative Three. The store believed that if the clothes were tight, Sheila would stop being such an undisciplined pig and lose weight. Everyone walking by would see her bulging sweater and then maybe she would stop stuffing her non-existent face.

Save the mannequins. It’s bad enough that men, women and children are suffering with body image issues, but we have rights. Mannequins like Sheila have no voice (likely due, in part to the lack of a head). Sheila needs us to CARE!

Stop the madness. Boycott Matchstick Jeans and Toothpick Pants! The fashion industry has lost its ever-loving MIND and people are hurting enough, why should people of plastic and foam suffer, too?

Have you noticed any inanimate objects getting fat? Maybe your couch is eating too many chips and Goldfish? Is your vacuum getting a bloated bag belly? Hampers stuffing themselves? Refrigerators food hoarding?

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of June, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

NOTE: My prior two books are no longer for sale. My new book, Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World will be out (God-willing) July 4th. I will let y’all know when it’s ready for sale and I am updating/rewriting the other two ;).

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of June I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!


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  1. a writers blog or…………
    When we operate ouf of fear, no matter how “good” our intentions, we just breed more fear.
    Womens bodies are not immune from that, as men’s bodies arent.
    I always love reading your posts.
    someone as crazy as me!
    Love to you!

    1. My hampers are fat as hogs. But on serious note, I so enjoy your blog. Gives me an injection of humor and insight before I start writing each day!

  2. Save Sheila! I agree wholeheartedly, Kristen. If we spent half the effort on being healthy that we do on being matchsticks, we would all benefit. I joke that I’m a recovered anorexic, only I recovered too well, but that joke is rooted in years and worlds of hurt.

  3. Hahaha! That poor mannequin! Come with me, we’ll commiserate over a pint of ice cream together.

    I hate clothes shopping. It’s my least favorite time of the year. I usually find myself in a store, staring around in a daze, wondering, “Seriously? People actually buy this stuff? Have I been abducted to planet Wasteful?”

    • Jessica Burde on June 27, 2013 at 6:52 am
    • Reply

    Oh good God. *eye roll* Thanks for managing to put a humorous slant on a disgusting situation. The ironic thing is that (at least in theory) we are all trying to be skinny and beautiful to attract mates, and every man I know likes his women with some curves, and maybe even a roll or two. “Size 0” and “Playboy Bunny” do NOT mix, after all.

    As far as inanimate objects, aside from Hummers, most inanimate objects I know seem to have anorexia. I swear if my phone gets any smaller I won’t be able to use it. For that matter, has anyone noticed the way recommended food portions keep shrinking? It’s like the food is so ashamed of being the cause of all this that it’s going on a starvation diet or something. “Seriously, It’s okay to eat me. I promise I won’t make you fat! I’m only 100 calories!!!!!!!”

  4. I find its not so much my size but my shape. Even if I can get into something I generally find that it’s not made for a woman who has hips, and no amount of healthy eating and exercise is ever going to reduce the size of my pelvis. That’s my excuse, anyway 🙂
    Save Sheila!

    1. I joke I am actually a very-very-very-light-skinned African American, because I am seriously built like a black woman–small waist, BUTT and THIGHS. I love shopping in ethnic stores because their designers so GET that women are supposed to have SHAPE, not disappear when they turn sideways. What’s the next type of pant? We have Toothpick, Matchstick….maybe BOOKMARK?

      1. Such a good idea to shop at stores that have clothes made for hippy women! Now I need to do some research to find them!

      • Lanette Kauten on June 27, 2013 at 7:37 am
      • Reply

      Women were made to have hips. Love your delicious hips. When I had a BMI of 18.4, my big hips couldn’t fit into skinny girl jeans even though I had a BMI not far from anorexic. Now that I’m bigger, it’s easy for me to find pants my size because my hip to waist ratio isn’t nearly as pronounced as it once was.

    2. so true! I am so into fitness and have worked hard at this for years, but guess what? Still an hourglass. Still have hips. And even worse, now that I have stronger legs my thighs have become bigger! UGH….so strength and health sometimes work against the whole skinny thing…

  5. The maniken story would be hysterical if it wasn’t tragic. The normal woman is several sizes larger than those on TV, in the movies, and the fashion world. Who are these people who insist they know what the perfect woman’s size is and it’s anorexic Barbie? Interestingly, retail knows and provides sizes ranging all the way up so they can sell their clothes. But that doesn’t make women feel good.

    Being seriously overweight is definitely a health hazard but so is being seriously underweight. Having one’s bones stick out of one’s back, having shoulders and thighs no bigger than one’s wrists and a big head because the rest so skinny, is just a crazy image.

    I remember Suzanne Sommers on a talk show quite a few years ago saying she was a size 6 and was told in no uncertain terms to lose weight by the producers. She was not five feet and

    1. to continue as my hand hit the space bar too soon. Ms. Sommers was not five feet tall and looked fine to me. Thanks for bringing up the subject.


    • Anna Erishkigal on June 27, 2013 at 7:01 am
    • Reply

    As writers, we are in a unique position to fight back against this madness by highlighting it in our work no matter WHAT genre we write (especially you GUY writers!!) After the Abercrombie CEO’s tone-deaf statement about only the cool people being wanted to shop there, I rewrote a paragraph in the book I was about to release (now out) Angel of Death: A Love Story as follows:

    Elisabeth stared down into the gully. The wind cut into the tiny openings in her coat and made her shiver. She should have brought her hat, but some odd impulse had made her leave it behind. She was no Abercrombie wannabe, wishing she was thin and cool enough to step foot into one of their stores without being lambasted by some tone-deaf CEO about only popular kids being welcome to shop there, but lately she wished she could dress a little nicer. Her choices were olive green. Olive drab. Khaki green. Khaki beige. Khaki drab. Black. And taupe. With a good measure of … you guessed it … army green if she had an excuse to wear her dress uniform. Even her hair had to be kept neatly tied back in a regulation army bun.

    *** Now mind you this wasn’t the sort of fashion-dense story where it was EASY to insert a sneaky little statement against Abercrombie (in fact this scene takes place during the Iraq war in 2004 and the person she wishes to be beautiful for is the Angel of Death who has only recently revealed himself to her) but Abercrombie was even in 2004 an obnoxious body-image smasher so I was able to credibly sneak it in. In my other series(3500 BC) I have characters who are desirable because they are ‘curvaceous’ and the matchstick-thin characters are notedly ‘too thin’ or ‘immature.’ As writers, we get to shape people’s perceptions of reality. I suggest we all make a concerted effort to do so.

  6. If you let their labels, literally, define you, you’re toast. Spanx, exercise, lycra, some more spanx. I wear dresses most of the time and feel pretty in them. The hell with jeans.

      • AMMahler on June 27, 2013 at 7:47 am
      • Reply

      Likes this! I’ve been wearing more dresses too. 😀

  7. why would you take your books off the market ? Isn’t that one of the e-book advantages ?

    as to body image, magazines are the worst. When my girls were young, I always used to point out cover-girls and mention — no muscle tone — yuck….

    1. I didn’t. Other publisher did, so I will have to rerelease them.

      1. sales driven, and they want a revision ?

        this sounds like an interesting post topic. How does a publisher make those decisions, and what can the author do about it.

        1. I made the decision to leave to self-publish my new book, because 1) I wanted to experience self-pub since I work with so many authors who are doing it and needing advice 2) the books needed updating 3) I intend to publish at a more accelerated pace and CGP has a lot on their plate and fiction is a real money-maker for them. They gave me a great start and we just parted ways and now I can revise the books as I want to.

          1. And take out the reference to MySpace from book #1, LOL. 😉

    • AMMahler on June 27, 2013 at 7:39 am
    • Reply

    This was hilarious! And sadly, very true. I’m 5:1′ and a size 6-8 (depending on where I shop and how my weight is fluctuating) and constantly comparing myself to women with trimmer figures when I KNOW it doesn’t matter. I don’t have a bad diet. I eat fruit for breakfast and regular lunches and dinners. I walk my dog and do yoga, and I, too, live in yoga pants! I wish there were more companies like Dove out there to take a stand against this crap!

    • Lanette Kauten on June 27, 2013 at 7:40 am
    • Reply

    All I can say is I love my bootylicious curves.

    I also re-tweeted this blog post.

    • Kevin on June 27, 2013 at 7:41 am
    • Reply

    Because you have to have at least ONE male posting in this comment thread… 😉

    I have to confess, I JUST DON’T GET the whole “must be narrower than a doorpost” ideal. But then, I’m male. Being 5’10 and 185 lbs makes me skinnier than average for my sex, and I could be a lot heavier before peers started poking at me about losing a few pounds. In fact, when I do talk about getting into shape, I get people looking at me funny. Even though I am into the “overweight” category by BMI.

    There was an interesting study done a while back. Men and women were shown body outline images of various body shapes, and asked to pick the one they thought looked best. Men *consistently* preferred a woman’s body significantly heavier than women picked.

    Women think skinny is sexy.

    Men do not.

    Now, I know that male opinion is not a primary to want to look a particular size. There are lots of others. You want to be healthy (too skinny, it turns out, is JUST AS BAD for health as the “obese” category).

    What are the other reasons? You want to wear Abercrombie clothes? I think Kristen visited THAT topic well enough lately. You need to “fit in” with a certain crowd? If they’re judging your value by your waistline, you’re hanging with the wrong people.

    I want to lose a few pounds of fat and put on a few of muscle. That’s because I do competitive athletics (OK, it’s medieval re-enactment sword fighting, but!!!), and I’m 40, and I want to keep doing it another twenty years or so, which means staying in shape.

    To me, that feels like a healthy reason.

    But I look at stores selling only or mostly clothing to women who are unhealthily skinny, or calling the healthier sizes “plus”, and I am baffled. Why do women put up with that? I’m offended FOR you.

      • Lanette Kauten on June 27, 2013 at 7:50 am
      • Reply

      Are you in the SCA? I used to do epee years ago. Now the only weapon I play with is my horse bow, sans horse.

    1. My figure was always more Frank Franzetta’s style than Abercrombie. All I need is a chain mail bikini and a battle ax, LOL.

  8. Wonderful post, Kristen. This is such an important–and disturbing–issue. It always disgusts me when I see mannequins with clothes that are pinned in the back, to make them look like they’ll actually fit someone the way it looks, and the idea that now the opposite is happening, just…. *shakes head* Not good. It’s just not good. As Debbie said in her comment, it’s about more than size, too–it’s about shape. I’m going to have to try out that little shopping trick of yours myself. I can’t fit into anything that’s made for a “stick” of any kind!

  9. Reblogged this on Laurie Boris, Freelance Writer and commented:
    Kristen Lamb’s blog today is funny but sad. Bring back the curves!

  10. Oh, poor Sheila! This kind of thing makes me want to move to one of those countries where normal-sized women are revered. Oh, and one where the gray-haired are worshipped. Is that too much to ask? Yeah. I thought so.

    1. Hi Laurie, Try Mexico! I love living here. Big women are the norm, and gray hair is respected as a sign of wisdom. Even the teenagers are openly polite to me. Yes!

      Love this post, Kristen! Thanks!

    • AMMahler on June 27, 2013 at 7:51 am
    • Reply

    Oh, and I retweeted this too!

  11. I used to do mystery shopping. As a size 16 (at the time), when i had to mystery shop at The Gap, it was a very upsetting experience. Their PLUS size was a 12, which last time I checked was AVERAGE. I wear a 12 to 14 now, but it’s not due to dieting. It’s because I QUIT stressing over dieting, and my body settled into a comfortable shape. I eat when I’m hungry, if there’s food in the house, and otherwise I don’t worry about it.

    Roxanne, many fashion designers are gay men. They like the masculine shape, and the closest they can make a woman is to make her as skinny as a boy, ridding her of those horrible curvy hips and thighs and breasts. After all, it’s the fashion industry that’s telling us how we should dress and what we would look best in. That’s my theory on it. We need more lesbians designing clothing, IMO. Or women who are sensible about what women should look like. Men should stick to designing clothing for the male shape, unless they actually like the female form. While gay men tend to have wonderful taste, they just don’t like the way women look. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just the way it is, but that’s my own personal thought on why women’s clothing is designed to minimize curves and maximize extreme skinniness.

    I don’t want anyone to think I dislike gay men, BTW. I’m a proud member of the QUILTBAG and think whomever a person loves is who they love and they have the right to be with that person. I am only expressing my theory on why the fashion industry glamorizes an essentially anorexic women’s form.

  12. I had heard that the backlash against this had the industry moving back to healthier images. I am sorry to hear I am mistaken. This is so sad.

    • Jennifer Cole on June 27, 2013 at 8:05 am
    • Reply

    Wow, if a mannequin can’t fit the clothes, then by golly, who can? May we should start assembling toothpicks and lollypop sticks, draw faces on them, put a wig on them, and hang clothes on them. Then no one can ever feel the pressure of fitting in with such high standards. Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 11:37:50 +0000 To:

    • moonduster on June 27, 2013 at 8:21 am
    • Reply

    Hahahaha! Wonderfully witty post, while at the same time making a statement about the fashion industry and impossible ideals.

  13. I think the next style of pants will be sliver. Reminds me of that family guy episode where he dates Kate Moss, who just keeps falling through grates.

    On a slightly more serious note though, why are we so intent on succumbing to making ourselves disappear? We hide behind clothes, or we starve ourselves so there is less of us. It’s messed up.

  14. Funny and uplifting…feel a little better in my apparel this morning. Thanks for posting.

    • edenglenn on June 27, 2013 at 8:50 am
    • Reply

    I needed the laugh today. THANK YOU for the humor.

  15. I don’t know how relevant this is, but I became suspicious about sizes a few months ago, so I measured waist sizes against the advertised sizes of two pairs of trousers. In both cases, the waist was wider than the figure given on the label. So the buyer was flattered by what he bought.

      • Jennifer Rose on June 27, 2013 at 9:01 am
      • Reply

      So true! Ann Taylor is guilty of this. I bought a size-small dress last week. I am always a size-medium…

  16. So funny with a great message.
    Fantastic job, again!

  17. Thanks for this post, Kristen! You gave me a great chuckle before I have to go out shopping for the DD (Damned Dress). I HATE clothes shopping, and I don’t wear dresses, but I have two outdoor garden weddings to attend this summer. So far, I’ve looked like a fat, post-menopausal cow in everything I’ve tried on (that I can zip up). Sigh.

    • Jennifer Rose on June 27, 2013 at 8:59 am
    • Reply

    My sister has a creative solution for this. She only shops at vintage stores and often buys 50s dresses.

  18. And it’s hard when you have a size 6 butt and size 4 waist

    • Pirkko Rytkonen on June 27, 2013 at 9:12 am
    • Reply

    Our marketing and advertising tools used to sell clothing is supposed to make us feel better about ourselves? No, it brings us shame if compared to our real body size. I love the humor and sarcasm in your blogs, especially this one….size 0. What? I never thought it that way?

  19. Who comes up with these names for pant styles? They must be twigs or made of wood themselves and are using names to honor family members lost to camp fires for the purpose of making s’mores.

    Sheesh, even when I was skinny and my hip bones stuck out (I was in high school), I couldn’t wear the skinny jeans of the times. I’d like to see more clothes made for us humans.

  20. As the mother of four teen age boys, I am surrounded by guys and I can honestly say: women, we are doing this to ourselves. I cannot think of a single boy who has passed through this house (and there have been bunches!) who preferred stick skinny to curvy. If I had a nickle for every time I have heard, “Angelina used to be hot until she started looking like skeletor” I’d be able to afford my chocolate addiction.

  21. Now I know why I don’t shop for women’s clothes.

  22. Negative sizes EXIST? How is that, from a mathematical perspective, even possible?

    1. If ZERO (which is the absence of a numerical value) can be a size, why not? Though I hope I didn’t give those @$$clowns any ideas.

        • ET on March 21, 2015 at 4:10 am
        • Reply

        If your garment is size zero O – and you wear that garment – and you don’t wear another garment – you are naked

  23. “When did zero become a size?” Ha! Love it.

    I have the same problem about sizes. I’m a 6-8-10-12 depending on which store I go into. A girlfriend of mine was once shopping at a well-known store, and when she tried something on in her traditional size (6) it was too small!!! The numbers stay the same but the sizes get smaller. Before long they’ll try to sell us baby clothes.

  24. Sadly, I too, feel unable to wear shorts. And I suffer from delusions because I will create fashionable outfits in my head and then when I try them on in the dressing room, I can’t figure out why I don’t look like Cameron Diaz (in my head my thighs are matchsticks, in reality they are more like the drum sticks of a plump Thanksgiving turkey).

    I wish I could “like” this post more than once. I give it a five “like” rating.

  25. Went to Old Navy to find some cheap kickin’ around light weight pants for Texas summer. EVERYTHING was denim and fit like leotards (on purpose)!! No sane person bops around in Texas heat wearing leotards! I am thoroughly sickened by skinny!

      • AMMahler on June 27, 2013 at 10:49 am
      • Reply

      I started getting more lightweight skirts for things like that. I’m in VA, not as hot as TX, but hot all the same. Not only is it still cool and comfortable, but it covers up my legs when I want to. My legs aren’t considered fat – or maybe they are, since it seems a 6/8 is fat these days – but they ARE pasty white. My husband jokes that my legs are so white they’re almost blue. I don’t tan either; I burn.

    • Melissa Lewicki on June 27, 2013 at 10:32 am
    • Reply

    I live in Texas. It is hot. I wear shorts almost 12 months a year. And I have a size 18 butt. Why should I have to cover up me. I am what I am. I am more concerned about my health than what size clothes I wear. Of course, it took me many many years to come to this conclusion.

    1. I mainly don’t wear shorts because it’s tough to find a length that is appropriate. An almost 40 year old woman in hot-pants? Yeah, NO. So I wear capris. What happened to normal shorts that hit at the KNEE?

      1. I don’t wear shorts for the same reason. Ugh.

      2. NYDJ makes shorts I can wear. They go to the knees and are cut right at the waist (the “muffin top” shouldn’t even be a thing with a name). Made in the USA, too (if that’s important). I sent you a link on WANATribe.

    • SweetSong on June 27, 2013 at 10:40 am
    • Reply

    I think it’s weird how much I love the squiggly arrows you use in your pictures. XD

  26. If Sheila hadn’t been given breasts, I would have thought she was a teenage boy.

  27. Ha! Cracked me up. 🙂

    I hate clothes shopping to, and I also suffer from “suddenly-become-a-different-size-depending-on-the-store” syndrome. I’ve this adapted a habit I learned from a magazine a while back:

    Take a pair of pants, hold them by the waist. Wrap the waist around your neck. If you can get the two ends to touch each other, the pants will most likely fit. I do this to decide which pair to try on, and if they fit (they usually do!), THEN I check the size and pick out another pair or two based on that.

    On the other side of things though, WHY DO THEY KEEP CHANGING SIZES?! Pick a standard for puppies sake!

    • Denise McInerney on June 27, 2013 at 11:18 am
    • Reply

    Wow, spot-on as usual, wonderful blog Kristen. Re-posted link to Facebook and Twitter. Coincidentally, I’ve got a scene between H/HN referencing H’s preference for curves vs sticks in MS I’ll be pitching at upcoming NYC ThrillerFest–for which I desperately need more business casual clothing, but have been putting off shopping till last minute because I dread it so much! Who decreed this season’s blouses should be utterly sheer and in floral prints that scream “finger-licken’ poi, here I come?” Gazing at husband’s side of closet with great longing and jealousy…

  28. I can sometimes fit into a size zero, and let me tell you, I don’t like it. How would you like your size to be ZERO? It makes me feel like I’m insubstantial and nothing. I’m small and petite, not non-existent!

  29. It started with me liking to read your blog; then it got to “must read your blog” to “laughing my head off at your blog”. Honestly, this was spot-on funny, crazy, lol blog-super great. I’ve been in Capris for several years now, grateful it covers everything except the one remaining “small” part of my body, which is my ankles. Chico’s clothing has NICE size labels, like 1.5, and 2 or 2.5. You know 1.5 is a 10, and 2 is a 12, but you don’t care because “they” make you feel smaller about yourself.
    Friends have asked me to join them for water aerobics. Seriously? They want me to put on a bathing suit in front of them? Not. Maybe if water aerobics were in the dark, and you could wear a towel to and from the pool. I’ve accepted that my former size 4 body will never appear again at this age, and it’s okay. I’m healthy, happy, writing (sit on the butt too much) and enjoying life. I buy clothing, cut the label off (with the size) immediately and get on with life!

  30. I’m with you on the shorts thing. Love this post. Seems to be in the air, talking about this issue. I’ve refused to wear a bathing suit for years.

    • annerallen on June 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm
    • Reply

    Say it Sistah! This post is powerful as well as hilarious. We need more stuff like this from women of all sizes and professions. The fashion industry is simply anti-female. If you don’t look like a crossdressing 12-yr-old boy, men aren’t attracted to you? WTF? That’s insulting to men as well as women. And probably to 12-yr-old crossdressers, too.

  31. So funny. I feel the same way about aging, finally realizing I didn’t INVENT wrinkles; I’ve just lived long enough to have them manifest on my face. Convex twenty-somethings advertising Oil of Olay is absurd. Do they think we are STUPID?

  32. Too funny. Shows what creative talent you have. Along the lines of ridiculous, I read a magazine editorial stating that women over forty shouldn’t wear sandals, because their feet were too ugly. I also read an article (same magazine) that women should shave their faces. Yes, I wanted to vomit on that magazine. Throwing it away and never purchasing another seemed too kind.

  33. Awesome post Kristen. I am raising four young impressionable girls and constantly have to fight with the media/popular culture etc to ensure they have a good body image and high self esteem.

  34. Ever since I figured out (about the same time) how to sew and just how hateful our delightful patriarchal culture is toward women, I’ve been making my own clothes … that, a) fit me a whole lot better than anything I can buy in a store, (within my budget – I’m sure I could find a perfect fit if I were prepared to pay thousands of dollars for a single sock!) … and b) are in colours other than large floral prints or black.

    1. But what I don’t get is a lion’s share of the designers of female clothes are homosexual males (I.e. Versace), so it would seem they would not exactly fit patriarchal ideals. Laggerfeld is openly homosexual and his models look like they escaped Auschwitz.

      1. Sort of makes a point about my insane theory… 🙂

      2. Male privilege isn’t restricted to heterosexual blokes, nor is woman hating/baiting a male thing. T’is much more insidious and pervasive than that.

        1. Oops … that should be .. ‘just a male thing’

  35. Our modern sensibility tells us the thinner the better, then condemns anyone who is too thin. This goes for most anything, really and is a symptom of our greater, more serious, inability to simply love for the sake of loving.

  36. Enjoyed the post!

  37. LOL You know, my clothing drawers seem to be shrinking—as is evident by the overflow and crammed-in storage style.

    I think clothing should have affirmative words or symbols instead of numbers for sizes. I’m a size Fabulous. How about you? 😉

    1. You should launch your own line :D.

  38. I can’t say I knew what “body dysmorphia” was before reading this post nor have I ever heard the term. I personally believe a woman should have curves. The skin and bone trend is awfully sad- the fact that someone somewhere decided that all woman have to be skeletons to be sexy is disturbing. Be happy with who you are is as simple as beauty should get. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and I think that should be enough. If you’re skinny be happy, if you’re curvy or full-figured be happy. Your inner beauty will shine. It’s a shame more people don’t think this way. I should stop now, this comment is beginning to look like a self-help message.
    Great post Kristen!

    • author693 on June 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm
    • Reply

    Loved the pic of the too tight sweater on mannequin. As a retired fashion designer I ended up with a dz or two mannequins around the house for my hub to complain about, just can’t part with them. I have been thinking about the whole Advertising Business lately, not just food products. If a TV commercial this or that, and it will do this or that….I just plain don’t believe anything they say…anymore. I believe the Big Macs,etc. have created the need for the Health Care fiasco. Something is giving us cancer…and somebody is getting rich. Reality much worse than SyFI….yikes!

    1. The x-ray pictures and actual of a brain tumor from the medical books of my father, it looks like a squid or an octopus lodged on the side of the brain. Since it grew in a different environment than the ocean, it may not be exactly. But it resembles a squid or an octopus. A picture and description of what supposedly Jesus of Nazareth cured with “bitter herbs” during Biblical times causing paralysis resembled a giant worm or snake the length measuring of a full-grown person from the knee down to the ankle. Since mosquitoes transmit worms, mosquitoes could cause living growth in the body. Here at the Philippines spider bites and the bite of a coconut beetle have caused breast enlargements in men and women. If you compare it to actual pictures here with pictures of breast cancer in the medical books of my father, which were published at the United States, the pictures look similar along with enlarged foreheads and growth the size of a softball underneath the jaw bone.

  39. Did you ask Sheila if she is in the first trimester? I am sure even headless mannequins have active social life. I was watching the Miss Universe Pageant awhile back and she had a great runway walk and the face of a blonde bombshell but appeared to show a possible bun in the oven, but her bikini strut did not have it. It could have been water retention. Or diet. Prescription drugs some are steroids and many can cause an increase in appetite along with water retention. I was thinking of the last post and I thought about writing that it was suggested to take vitamin supplements to decrease allergic reactions because allergies could be because our body does not have the body defenses.

  40. The great thing about clothes is their ability to make whatever figure look good–if the person is willing to try things and get advice and stuff. I’ve learned to appreciate that since I started working retail.
    But really, truly, it isn’t the way a person looks so much, but ‘the inner beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit’ or the inner light of the heart shining through. I wish people could recognize that more. I know a few people who are, physically, nothing to look at but they love people and they love life and that makes them beautiful people. I hope others think the same about me.

  41. Haaaah!!! I know laughing doesn’t qualify as a comment, but goodness… I love this.

  42. Oh my! I haven’t laugh like this for awhile. Where do you get your delightful sense of humor? I loved it. Thank you. I needed this article.

  43. I say we start a coup with regard to these fashions. No longer will we buy any size under size 8. It’s time to get back to the Victorian era where women looked like women, not skinny boys with boobs.

  44. I wish my refrigerator hoarded food. Instead, it gives it up whenever I walk by. I don’t even have to ask.

    • Rachel Thompson on June 28, 2013 at 8:53 am
    • Reply

    The saving key is; don’t buy into this kind, or any kind, of social construction for profit. Employ critical thinking skills at all times. Big media and corporatist influence is unhealthy bull shit.

    • Debbie on June 28, 2013 at 9:16 am
    • Reply

    I have seen grade school children whose weight inhimits them from sitting comfortably on the gym floor with their peers. It would be politically incorrect to suggest that they lose weight, and the thinner people would be generalized as unhealthy as a transferrence, rather than dealing with the concern.

    A&F can sell to a market and label it as cool and popular. Why take offence? Do they refuse to sell to customers without ‘proof of popularity’? Should we take offence to Shirly K. Maternity, to Brown’s” A Short Man’s World Of Fashion, or to TAll Girl, and perhaps even Penningtons? What about Mom and Me, or Babies R Us?

    The problem is the judgement and whether we direct it at ourself when we are in a healthy range or at others, it is the judgement that is the issue. Thigh gap? Some adults who have had multiple children have it naturally. Some teens and adults reach a particular weight and can shop in a 0 or a 2 and do not diet or practice unhealthy habits to remain at that weight. Their bmi and waist to height supports that they need not gain weight. Why do we insist on making fun of the people who aren’t our size by making fun of the clothes that they can wear “matchstick” or by spreading the myth that they are unhuman because, ‘since when did 0 become a size? Seriously?’ Ever heard yourself saying, ‘Must be nice to eat like that?’ Next time stop yourself and look again at the person. Are they thinner than you? If so, there’s a good chance that they don’t regularly eat excessive portions and unhealthy foods, and they burn off the calories they eat. How about, “Oh, I can’t eat like you dearie. I’d just balloon out. I have to watch what I eat.’ Guess what folks? Size 14 thinks 10 is thin and 10 thinks 6 is slim and some think they are all unhealthy and are starving themselves. Don’t assume the weight just stays away from the people whose body type you find offensive. And if it does ‘just stay away’, why chastise them for the way they are? Isn’t that exactly what everybody here is railing against?

    Let’s not be hypocrites. It’s okay to look like Marilyn Monroe and it’s okay to fit into skinny jeans. It’s okay to enjoy a 100 calorie snack and actually not want more. It’s okay to be desirable and not be curvy, just as it is to be curvy and desired. So she has shoulder blades…so what? Stop judging and live life.

    1. That would be all well and good if I didn’t have to learn to sew to find clothes that FIT. Target has a color structure, the pink being for those with bigger thighs and small waists. THEY ARE ALWAYS SOLD OUT. And yet, all the other pants are for human toothpicks. They have 42 varieties of Matchstick pants.

      I can’t go into a store and find clothes that fit because the designs are being driven by this stupidity. I am not Plus sized and yet can’t fit into regular clothes…so I wear yoga pants. Happiness would be easier if I wasn’t being told constantly what a cow I am because I am not built like a toothpick.

      I know there are people who are naturally very thin. They need clothes too. What bothers me is those are the ONLY clothes. What is that saying to people who aren’t built naturally thin. I happen to be very muscular and curvy. I played soccer and I finally had to wear men’s bootcut pants because female pants got stuck on my calves.

      My problem is there is more than ONE kind of body and the designers don’t get that.

  45. You’re killing me, Kristen. I sent this to Michigander Sister this morning. She will love it. When I first looked at the picture all I could thing of was, “Finally! A mannequin with boobs!” Bwahaaha! All my sweaters fit like that.

  46. Your talent for sarcasm amazes me. You wield it as sculptor wields his knife, creating works of art! Love it.

    1. My mother is from New York. Sarcasm is a second language there, LOL.

  47. LOVE this!!

  48. Amen, sister, to every perfect word. The world’s gone mad!

    • Dr. Rakhshanda Fazli on June 29, 2013 at 4:18 am
    • Reply

    Reblogged this on Rashid's Blog.

  49. Amanda Bynes, former actress & Twitter addict, is suffering big time from body dysmorphia 🙁
    Great post!

  50. Hello MS Kristen, I really thought about publishing my work independently even more so now after reading your article about sleeping on the floor, bugs, living with grandparents and so on. My problem is, were to really begin, I have published my work, two actually, that are in the main library where I live, but I have not tried to make money on my work with the exception of my art. So, it would really be helpful, if you had a chance to view my Blog and make any suggestions. I would also like to follow you here if i may.
    Thanks David A. Morrow SR.
    aka Penticular

  51. Great post – hilarious and yet painfully true. Poor headless mannequins!

  52. Preach on! At least your post made me feel a bit better about my body after reading about “Sheila”. At least I have a head!

  53. You know it’s a great blog when it makes you laugh and think at the same time. Very good point. What the world thinks is sexy is getting to be a joke these days.

  54. You know, I really need to put my purse on a diet. He just keeps getting fatter and fatter. Eating Kindles, notebooks, kids’ toys, receipts…on and one. He just doesn’t know when to quit.

  55. My 14 year-old daughter informed me recently that having a big booty is in now. She does not have one (she takes after her father who pretty much has no butt), but I was pleased to hear her say this. What’s important is that we (and our daughters) are healthy. It’s not about the scale (in fact I’ve thrown mine out). I’ve been passed (left in the dust, really) at 5&10k’s and triathlons by women who by many standards would be considered “fluffy” but who are obviously fit. Fit and Fluffy is in!

    1. If you do not want the big butt, you need to jog or power walk (sweet the legs) on a regular bases. It is probably caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Stand more or walk around more while at work or rest in a reclined position.

  56. Wow… this is a post which kind of hurts me… I know that I’m a little “too much”… but then, I as well know what I will never be what’s generally known as “slim”, no matter how much I diet… HAHA
    And worst is: it’s not even my fault… I’m born with no thyroid gland and this causes me weight problems.
    If I wouldn’t watch out so well what exactly I’m eating I’d be three times heavier… but I don’t want that… I just want to do best I can.
    I know, I have a butt, I’ve got a waist, and I’ve got boobs… I have, what’s generally known as “hour glass figure”… proportionally good – just a little “too much”… Monroe, Sophia Loren… and Gina Lollobridgida had figures like mine…
    I thank God that I have a wonderful partner who loves me the way I am! Even though most of the others “complain”… Should I care? No I shouldn’t. Do I care? Yes… because it does hurt… *sigh*

      • katyasozaeva on July 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm
      • Reply

      What? Too much? Sophia Loren is one of the sexiest women to ever exist! You have just described what, to me, is the IDEAL feminine form. I think you’ll find a LOT of people (outside the fashion industry) agree with me.

  57. I was thinking about this earlier today thanks to my wonderful five year old’s attitude. While shopping at Century 21 this weekend, she looked at size zero shorts and said, “That’s not for adults. My booty fits in those.” She got a kick out of it and proceeded repeating herself at American Eagle and Hollister after that.

    I am not sure how it came to be that we look to the fashion industry for support or that we continue to do so. I don’t see how dysmorphia could be sustained without a feedback loop from consumers. We are the consumers, we have the purchasing power so why aren’t we dictating what should be in our advertisements and in our media? What is it about our society that is feeding this?

      • katyasozaeva on July 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm
      • Reply

      I think you’ve hit the crux of this. SOMETHING in our culture IS feeding this ridiculous attitude. So all we can do is as individuals start trying to take it BACK. Teach our children better, give them the self-confidence to maintain a healthy body image: strong and healthy, not starving themselves into submission. After all, we can’t be strong if we don’t have any energy, and energy requires FOOD. Your daughter sounds awesome. I hope she keeps that wonderful attitude!

    • lily on November 14, 2017 at 4:40 am
    • Reply

    Hello,At least your post made me feel a bit better about my body after reading about “Sheila”. At least I have a head!

  1. […] via Body Dysmorphia is OUT OF CONTROL! Now Affecting the Mannequins. […]

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