Adele vs. Lana Del Rey, Anorexia In Ballet, Thinspiration And More From A Week Full Of Body Talk (PHOTOS)
With one of the most pressurized holidays for women almost upon us, it's as good a time as any to ask: what was with all the retrograde news this week? From charges of institutionalized anorexia leveled against a major Italian ballet school, to tin-eared comments about Adele's weight, there was a lot of timely background to inform the most disturbing body image story we ran across this week: this look at Tumblr's pro-anorexia blogging community by our colleagues at HuffPost High School. In case you missed the onslaught, we've got a rundown of all the queasy-making stories below:
- Mariafrancesca Garritano talked a little too much about starved, barren ballerinas for her employer's liking. The La Scala school in Milan fired Garritano Sunday, launching think pieces galore (including one by us) and denouncements of Garritano by her fellow ballerinas, who say she's exaggerating things. For the truly curious, never fear: she's written a memoir.
- This story is actually about a bad situation getting better. 29-year-old Sara Ziff, once the face of Tommy Hilfiger, launched "The Model Alliance" Monday, an organization meant to protect ("often overworked, underfed, and underpaid") models with a "Models' Bill Of Rights" and a system through which models can report abuse, starting during this week's Fashion Week in New York. Because as one Alliance board member put it, "one beautiful 13-year-old can be substituted for another beautiful 13-year-old." Yikes.
- The saddest in our list: Huff Post High School's devastating story on the intricate world of pro-anorexia Tumblrs. "Thinspiration" is nothing new, but Tumblr makes it easier for fellow anorexics to share their aspirational photos of skeletal people with each other. How do we stop this?
- Maybe this was an inevitable standoff (we don't see it), but this week saw Lana Del Rey vs Adele comparisons. And this was inevitable, the topic of vocal ability always coincided with some comment about their respective sizes. In a gushing T Magazine profile of Del Rey, writer Jacob Brown posed the worst new question on the internet:
"Without straying too far off the pop grid, [Del Rey]'s the perfect antidote to Rihanna-Gaga overload -- dare we say, a skinnier Adele, a more stable Amy Winehouse?"
To mention Del Rey in the same breath as Adele and the late great Winehouse is to assume a level of musical fortitude we've been given no reason to think she possesses. To do so in a way that prods at both phenomenal singers in possibly the most hurtful way? Bad form Brown.
- Before there was Jacob Brown, there was Karl Lagerfeld. On Monday, the 78-year-old designer guest edited Metro World News, which seemed to involve very little editing and a whole lot of saying crazy things. Some viral genius in Metro's edit department compiled all of Lagerfeld's crazy things into one long post, and his unsolicited take on Adele's weight soon reached the internet's darkest corners. The update on the screenshot below makes Lagerfeld's quote a great study in the life cycle of a news story.
Notably, no one asked Karl to clarify his thoughts on Lana Del Rey, not-so-lonely implant monster. Our thoughts on this: "A little too fat but a beautiful face" is exactly the kind of constructive criticism our grandmothers would offer. Is it ok to give someone an old man pass?
Consider the next two Karl answers in the post:
And the words that come out of Karl Lagerfeld's mouth are 50% genius and 50% trash! Honestly, that bimbo/pregnant woman breakdown is the most astute analysis of Us Weekly we've ever seen, delivered right after a nonsense hypothetical about him being a perforce lesbian Russian woman. Further down, Karl gave himself another backtracking opportunity, this time putting the White House press secretaries to work:
In what world would a first lady ever say, "Why you don't like my big black ass?," ever? Karl! But then, his strangely mystical response to a question about racism in soccer seems to offer a suggestion as to how we can come to peace with all of this old man word vomit, as Adele already has:
In conclusion, a turbulent week in terms of how we perceive ourselves, and just a normal week for Karl Lagerfeld.