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Home > Media

Journojism: Supersize Zero Me

11 February 2007

Ever since the success of 'Supersize Me', journalists and documentary makers have been eager to subject themselves to weird diets, regardless of whether or not there is any actual point. It's surely only a matter of time before someone decides to drink eight cans of Special Brew a day for a month, culminating in the revelation that potential sexual partners find constant involuntary shitting a bit of a turn-off.

The latest bit of dietary gonzo journalism was the BBC3 show 'Super Slim Me', in which writer Dawn Porter went on a 'size zero' diet that would reduce her weight to that of super-skinny catwalk models. The findings weren't enormously surprising: Porter suffered constant hunger, mood swings and bouts of lethargy. She also found a strange sort of comfort in starving herself: 'When your goal is to be thin, then hunger is your best friend,' she commented. This is no doubt true, but not really that profound - if you want to be an alcoholic, then alcohol is your best friend; if you want to watch piss-poor TV, then 'Torchwood' is your best friend, etc., etc., ad infinitum.

The big problem with the project is that it was so unnecessary, simply because size zero chic (as opposed to people who are naturally incredibly thin) is a very specific fad. It's a ridiculous idea cooked up by a small number of warped individuals in the fashion industry. Almost *no one* believes the Bridge on the River Kwai look is appealing - not even Impressionable Teenage Girls, and certainly not the general male population. Sleep easy, Linsey Dawn McKenzie.

If you actually believe that size zero is something to aspire to, then you're probably already suffering from an actual eating disorder, or you're so impressionable you really believe that Omega 3 drinks make your smarter, or whitening toothpaste gives you a Tom Cruise smile, or air fresheners smell of the breezy fragrances of nature, rather than perfumed CS gas. The wider problem is that there have been so many debates about unrealistic role models for women that we're starting to wonder what's left to be said. Generally speaking, fashion models *do* offer unrealistic and unattainable examples of beauty, partly because it's their full-time job to look slim and pretty.

And, like most of the nonsense from the fashion world, being a size zero is so divorced from any form of reality it doesn't really merit the attention it's been given. But that's enough from us. We're off to buy 240 cans of Special Brew to start The Wino in the Park Diet. It won't prove anything worthwhile, but hey, it might get us a double page spread in The Daily Mail.

More about the joy of Special Brew here.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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