Have you ever seen a grown man with a 27" waist? Well, that's the new fashion ideal being planted in British shop windows next month. Rootstein's new male mannequins will also have 35" chests and resemble the physique of actor Russell Brand...even though the average British man has a waist that's four inches larger than the mannequin's chest!
Will this new trend toward super-skinny men trigger more male eating disorders? Absolutely. It's already happening. In the past decade the percentage of males with eating disorders has more than doubled. Male eating disorders have long been rampant in professions and sports, such as horse racing and wrestling, that require men to meet unnatural weight thresholds. As the entertainment and fashion industries pressure male performers and models to meet equally abnormal standards of physical perfection, those who submit to the pressure are bound to develop disordered eating.
Welcome to the world of women, guys! Let's see how long it takes you to fight back. Maybe the turning point will come when you realize that the side effects of eating disorders in males can include shrinking testicles and erectile dysfunction. Manliness and "manorexia" are, in fact, incompatible.
But that's of no concern to the designers who push these fraudulent "ideals" on both men and women. The fashion drivers who insist on pushing the envelope of the human body seem to believe there is a complete disconnect between the body and the psyche. The plastic out of which they make dummies or the fabric out of which they cut clothes can be sculpted and pruned any which way, and these arrogant sadists (I really can think of no kinder description for them) insist that the human body be forced to resemble these artificial creations instead of creating fashions that honor the beauty of living health.
Some of us have long boycotted designers like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren for stunts such as photo-shopping female models until their heads are bigger than their hips; now it's time for men to heed the call, as well. It's worth reminding the fashion industry and ourselves that without us, the DESIGNERS are nothing. Let's see how they like it when their bank accounts are sized zero.