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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Castillo

Heroin Chic and the Trend to Be Smaller

The term "heroin chic" emerged in the fashion world in the 1990s, characterized by pale skin, dark circles under the eyes, and a very thin body. This trend marked a shift from the healthy and athletic appearance that was previously in vogue. Over time, this aesthetic ideal evolved into an obsession with being smaller and smaller, perpetuated by media and fashion industries.

The Truth About Health, Size, and Fitness:

* Exercise and Health Over Size: Research consistently shows that being physically active and fit contributes more to overall health than merely being at a "correct" weight. Even those considered overweight can be healthier if they are regularly exercising, compared to a person at a "normal" weight who is sedentary.

* Optimal Size and Balance: Each individual has an optimal size where they feel and function their best. This size isn't determined by a fashion trend or a number on the scale, but by a combination of genetic factors, lifestyle, and overall wellbeing. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are paramount to reaching this optimal state.

* Clothes Should Fit Us: The idea that people should change their bodies to fit into certain clothing sizes is misguided. Clothes are meant to fit us, not the other way around. The pressure to conform to specific sizes often leads to unhealthy practices and distorted body image.

* Media Influence: The media's portrayal of body image heavily influences societal standards. The relentless pursuit of becoming smaller often stems from these unrealistic depictions, not from genuine health or personal fulfillment.

* Perception vs. Reality: Many individuals struggle to see themselves accurately. This misperception can lead to dissatisfaction with one's body, regardless of actual appearance or health status.

* Focus on the Process: Concentrating on controllable factors, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and self-care, provides a healthier and more fulfilling path. Focusing on weight alone can lead to a never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction.

* Personal Experiences with Clients: My experiences with clients reaching their goal weights only to desire to become even smaller reflect a societal issue. They expected significant life changes, yet found that being smaller did not alter their lives in meaningful ways. This disconnect can be attributed to unrealistic expectations set by media and cultural pressures rather than genuine health needs.


The pursuit of health, well-being, and self-acceptance is a complex journey, often complicated by societal standards and media influence. Recognizing that optimal health is about balance, self-care, and individual needs, rather than conforming to a narrow aesthetic ideal, is essential. By shifting focus from weight and appearance to overall wellness, people can foster a more positive relationship with their bodies.

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