We all know thinspiration is a problem. We all know that people shouldn't purposefully starve themselves. We all know this and most people are quick to point out the problem when we see it in the media- the "pro-ana" websites or the magazine covers that display headlines that are all about losing weight and changing oneself.
Oftentimes the most vocal of supporters are celebrities. We hear Cameron Diaz inspiring us to embrace our bodies, models assuring us that they don't starve themselves, they were just born with that build, and actresses inspiring us by taking a stand against excessive photoshopping.
Is it celebrities' responsibility to support a healthy body image for women? No, they never signed a contract. But do they have amazing opportunities to make a huge impact in the way young girls grow up feeling about themselves? Yes.
The Daily Mail's article I can't eat anything that might taste good! Game Of Thrones' Emilia Clarke reveals her strict diet ahead of new Terminator movie' left me shaking my head in disbelief.
According to the Daily Mail, Emilia Clarke revealed in an interview with the British edition of InStyle that "she couldn't eat anything that tastes good," as she preps for her role in the remake of the Terminator.
And she told her interviewer, of their lunch: 'Everything on these plates looks amazing but, heartbreakingly I'm not allowed to eat any of it.
'Not one thing on this table. Except a cup of tea. One cup of tea. No sugar. No cream.'
There are so many parts of this quote that make me cringe.
The scariest part being that she states she isn't "allowed" to eat certain foods. Exactly who is dictating what she can and cannot eat? Is this now something that studios can actually write into a contract? A detailed list of what one is allowed or not allowed to eat? Does Clarke have a handler following her around to make sure she doesn't put anything into her mouth that tastes good?
I know that sometimes male actors lose large amounts of weight to play a part to be able to really look the way the character would look, but in those cases they're usually losing the weight to play a drug addict, someone marooned on a desert island or a terminally ill patient. In interviews, we hear the actors reassure us that they are being monitored by dieticians and doctors to protect their health.
Or when actors need to wear skintight superhero costumes, we may hear that they've upped their workout schedule to crazy hours every day, but they also tend to mention that they're also eating a lot, too. Yes, they may be watching what they eat, but they certainly are not starving themselves.
I'm sure there's no one telling them they aren't allowed to have sugar or cream in their tea.
OK, so Emilia Clarke wants to (or contractually needs to) look good in her costume for her new movie. I get it. There's nothing wrong with wanting to look good. According to her, she's "been spending all day, every day, in weapons training...shooting guns, weightlifting, kick-boxing..." This all sounds like she's being really healthy, but with all that expenditure of energy, someone is still telling her she is not allowed to put sugar in her tea?
This is the progress we've made as women in film? This is the message we want to send to young girls?
In the same interview, Clarke responds to a question about her not being in a relationship, "I think as a woman it's in our nature to nurture someone else. Sometimes at the expense of ourselves."
As women, are we getting lost in the nurturing of others' needs and fantasies to the point that we are willing to do harm to ourselves to meet today's standards of what a woman should be?