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‘Heroin Chic’ May Be Making A Comeback

Last month, the New York Post published an article headlined “Bye, bye booty: Heroin chic is back.” The internet did not take kindly to the headline or the story, for good reason. It is not helpful for a major publication like the New York Post to celebrate a fashion trend that has been seen as glorifying opioid use and anorexia.

“Heroin chic” reached peak popularity as a fashion trend in the 1990s. Extreme thinness, sunken eyes, and stringy hair were all very ‘in’ at the time. Supermodels and actresses were all rail thin and were seen as the pinnacle of beauty.  The trend continued for over a decade, captured perfectly by the moment a super-skinny Kate Moss famously told reporters that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” 

Clearly, she’s never tried a good cheeseburger. 

Kate Moss has since then distanced herself from that quote, saying she regrets making the comment and the impact it may have had on young women at the time. 

It is estimated that over 28 million Americans have had an eating disorder at some point in their life. These disorders can be complicated to treat, and people often relapse into problematic habits. It’s estimated that 10,200 people die every year as a result of an eating disorder. 

For people who suffered from disordered eating in the 1990s and 2000s, the “return of heroin chic” can be a problematic, slippery slope. Back then, the pressure of a problematic fashion trend was limited to what you saw in movies and fashion magazines, but today 35% of teenagers are using social media “constantly.” Troubling trends now can go viral faster than ever before, making it that much more important that we catch some of this stuff and educate ourselves and our loved ones as soon as we can. 

Similar to obesity, ‘heroin chic’ is an extreme lifestyle that shouldn’t necessarily be celebrated

It goes without saying that extreme thinness is not healthy, especially for young women. We all need a certain level of fat in our bodies to promote proper hormonal, mental, and reproductive health. Crash diets, juice cleanses, and significant caloric deficits are all extremely detrimental to your health. Add to that the pressure of attaining an entirely unrealistic body composition, and you get the perfect recipe for some really bad outcomes. 

For all these reasons, the return of heroin chic has caused quite a vocal uproar. Actress Jameela Jamil tore into the recent New York Post article, begging for the trend that impacted her childhood not to come back and impact our youth today. 

The key takeaway? We have a major obesity problem in the U.S., but overcorrecting to “heroin chic” is not the answer. Let’s leave this trend in the past and move forward with a message that promotes strength, nourishing foods, and confidence in whatever body type your genetics land on when you eat right and exercise regularly.

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