WTF Is Heroine Chic And Why Is It Trending Again?

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The New York Post was recently criticized for an article entitled Bye-bye booty: Heroine chic is back. For those who didn’t live to see the ’90s, the term “heroine chic” can sound incredibly irritating; because it is. Heroine Chic refers to a specific look that was really only achieved by supermodels in the late ’90s, think Kate Moss and Jaime King. If low-rise jeans and skimpy garments are on the rise again, does that mean the super-skin body ideals will make a return, too?

THE aesthetic of everything

A few decades ago, having an eating disorder was a trend. It was the only way for the average woman to keep up with the emaciated looks of those on the catwalk and the covers of fashion magazines. It has been described as having “pale skin, dark circles under the eyes, emaciated features, androgyny and straggly hair – all traits associated with abuse of heroin or other drugs”.

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia became much more common in teenage girls. “In 1993, an eating disorder counselor told People that her patients believed Moss had the ideal body shape. She said she’s never seen such a strong attachment to any particular celebrity body.” And when celebrities opened up about their own struggles with eating disorders, they received little sympathy from the media. Princess Diana suffered silently under the eyes of the royal family and the rest of the world, her mental health issues constantly being swept under the rug by those around her. Music artist Fiona Apple has been dubbed “Kate Moss with songs” despite speaking publicly about her penchant for starving as a traumatic reaction to being raped.

There’s a common theme running with the heroin chic wave: every model is white, female, and usually wealthy. There is very little data on people of color who suffer from eating disorders. However, black teens are 50% more likely than white teens to engage in bulimic behaviors such as binge eating and purging. Gay and bisexual boys are more likely to fast, vomit, or take laxatives or diet pills to control their weight. ANAD also states that gay and bisexual young men are significantly more likely to fast, vomit, or take laxatives or diet pills to control their weight.

A quick return

Even though the body positivity movement has greatly shaped the social norms of the modern world, skinny culture continues to find its way into the press. The creation of social media allows the ordinary user to see models on the catwalk and what types of clothes are trending at the moment.

The ’90s continue to return in a wave of retro fashion that’s now all over your Pinterest feed. Low rise jeans and tiny tops are the typical uniform for slim models like Kendal Jenner or the Hadid sisters. Even on the catwalk, high-end brands are joining the influx of skinny garments like Versace and their 2022 Milan Fashion Week.

Your body is not a trend

It is important to remember that each person will retain their own unique form. It doesn’t matter if being skinny is “the new thing” because it’s been a continuous cycle since the beginning of society. Someone’s body type will always be “in trend,” while others feel alienated from the way they were created.

The best thing you can do is continue to support artists of all body types. It is crucial that every individual finds someone in the media to relate to. Work against food culture and explain to younger generations why body type diversity matters because it leads nowhere.

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