Life imitates anti-anorexia art

ph20090107035251German photographer Ivonne Thein intended her bold new photographic exhibition, “Thirty-Two Kilos,” which opened yesterday at the Goerthe Institute in Washington, D.C.,  to telegraph a harsh anti-anorexia message and to serve as a critique of  the fashion industry’s fixation on skeletally thin models.  The 29 year old, whose portfolio includes high fashion shots, used 14 friends as models, then digitally manipulated their bodies to grotesquely emaciated proportions (click here to view).  A Washington Post review reports the most common response among visitors has been “horror.” But in an all-too-predictable development,  “pro-ana” (pro-anorexia)  websites, sick havens that celebrate the eating disorder as a “positive lifestyle choice,” have seized upon the images  as “thinspiration” to goad the afflicted to starve themselves even further.  Thein is now being unfairly criticized for feeding the monstrous affliction.  Yet her manipulated images look positively robust next to the lifeless, occasionally headless models featured in Dolce & Gabbana’s gushed-about new coffee table book, Diamonds and Pearls. For a glimpse of these new plastic role models, click here.

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