The beauty standards in the film and fashion industry have always been problematic and unrealistic. And our own perception of beauty is then influenced by the trends encouraged by the people involved in the industry. With the return of Y2K, we prayed that the problematic trends would just not pop back in, but boy were we wrong! With the maximalist aesthetic and DIY clothing, the unfortunate trend of being skinny is also back, leaving us all shocked and frustrated. The skinny girl aesthetic with a skinny waist, skinny legs, and skinny everything seems to have also made a comeback.
This came to notice when the runways brought back skinny jeans, low-rise skirts, and pants, micro skirts, which are styles from the 2000s that are preferable to the size zero and were also showcased mainly on the zero figure models. The worrisome ‘heroin chic’ aesthetic that referred to women who looked grungy, skinny, starved, and drugged was problematic then as is but seems even worse two decades later after the number of revolutions for body positivity and body inclusivity. Encouraging the trend, the most eminent example is, Victoria’s Secret Angels which was shut down in 2019 as the company was “rethinking literally everything” about their business. The step was towards a more inclusive environment and also progress in terms of acceptance. But this reverse turn of events has left us all flabbergasted about how easily it overcame the years of progressing revolution.
Talking about beauty standards and the setback of inclusivity, the first thing when it comes to trends and body image issues is the Kardashians. Honestly, we are all tired of keeping up with the “icons”. But their fascination and influence are so vast, that when Kim Kardashian in 2018 showed her big butt in magazines everywhere, there was a 77.6% increase in BBL surgeries all over the globe. Even though she “proved” on her then reality show with X-rays about never getting any implants or treatments for a bigger butt, there have been other theories. Nevertheless, the impact of her body image was enough to affect, especially young girls, in getting the unrealistic hourglass figure of the icon.
That was the 2010 era of Brazilian Butt Lift fashion (read more about this here) that went on until recently, though declined over the years. When Kim Kardashian nude dress entrance at the MET left us all speechless seeing her in the iconic Marilyn Monroe dress looking skinny as never before. Admitting to losing 16 pounds in two weeks, in total 21 pounds over a month just to fit in the dress, was met with a lot of mixed criticism, mostly negative for encouraging problematic diet and body standards. Twitter was taken aback by the appalling change in her appearance and how it encouraged the skinny girl aesthetic’s return.
The Kar-Jenners have always been vastly influential and when Khloe Kardashian also walked their new show premiere carpet in a size zero “snatched” figure, it was another notch up to the disturbing “heroic chic” aesthetic return. There have been various talks of her getting her implants removed and Kim Kardashian’s skinny moment gave the trend a wider way to come about. We still see Kim Kardashian promoting her “tummy tightening” products and equipment. Kardashians are not exactly known for their body-positive and inclusive way personally but do cater to it when it comes to their fashion and apparel businesses when it comes to size and shade ranges. Nevertheless, it is deeply saddening to see the years evolved and progress body inclusivity and positivity revolution setback by this resurgence of Y2K. Although we cannot lose hope since many designers refused to drop down by this trend and are fighting it so.
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