Too Thin? PEOPLE Readers Respond

Hundreds of readers weigh in on the Hollywood thin debate

This week’s PEOPLE’s cover story explores the salient – and controversial – topic about the increasing pressure to be thin. PEOPLE’s story investigates how the fashion world and Hollywood have reacted, or contributed to, this growing problem.

On Friday, PEOPLE.com opened the discussion to readers, inviting them to share their thoughts on the “thin debate,” and also to weigh in specifically on who might be responsible for creating these standards of beauty to which many women feel forced to adhere. Within several hours, there were more than 100 comments with a wide range of perspectives.

“Honestly, it’s frightening,” a reader, Lucy, writes in. “I am not judging anyone that is going through it. I just hope they can find some help or realize that it is not healthy. It seems they want to please others instead of themselves.”

Other readers shared personal anecdotes: “I’ve struggled all my life to lose weight,” Jo wrote. “I’ve probably lost over 500 lbs in my 53 years and gained back most of it. Celebrities can afford personal trainers and chefs, so I am surprised to read that drugs and cigarettes play a part in their dieting efforts.” And other readers shared similarly personal stories about having children with eating disorders and how that affected their lives.

Some viewed the source of the problem as stemming from outside of Hollywood. Some felt the media was to blame for continuing to spread these expectations for women. “I really can understand this,” Megan, a reader, wrote. “The media doesn’t help – remember a few months back when those bikini pics of Reese were all over the web and everyone was saying she looked pregnant or maybe “just fat”? Can you even imagine what that would be like for someone?”

Meanwhile, some commented that these issues were societal and, as such, could not be blamed on solely one cause. “Society as a whole is putting the pressure to be thin on young people, especially women,” Kara wrote. “I teach school in Arkansas and in the last two years numerous laws about what kids can and cannot eat in school have been passed.”

To read the whole range of comments or to post your own, visit our blog, Off the Rack.

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