Last week's cover of In Touch Weekly featured photos of Nicole Richie and Angelina Jolie, tagged: "Scary Skinny! Alarming new photos of Nicole and Angelina spark more fears for their health."
But, are we really worried about their health? Sure, they look unhealthy, and perhaps we pontificate about the consequences of their being too thin, but are we really concerned about their lives? What needs to happen in order for there to be bona fide concern, in order for us to stop trying to look like them? Richie and Jolie are just the latest faces of celebrity emaciation. Their predecessors (Kate Bosworth, Keira Knightley, Kate Moss, etc.) either gained weight or somehow escaped the too-thin radar. For now.
Somehow, we've learned that the consequences of being too thin aren't that serious. Somehow, we've ignored the passing of South American models. And, somehow, we've denied the fact that anorexia has hightest mortality rate of all mental illnesses.
This weekend's New York Times featured an article on cocaine, New York's party favor du jour. The substance, as common at bars, parties, and clubs as vodka tonics, has proliferated recently, in part, because of a recent absence of publicized drug-induced casualties. As Herbert Kleber, of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, is quoted as saying, "'Drug use tends to be cyclic. . . . As some of my colleagues said, John Belushi had to die before people believed that these drugs were really dangerous.'"
Is that what it will take in order for us to wake up to the dangers of anorexia? Do we need, at least on American soil, a star to lose her life? Do we really need another Karen Carpenter?