It’s no surprise trends from the past have a way of coming back. Take low-rise jeans as an example. After almost two decades of being out of style, they are becoming popular again. Now, some might argue that this is merely a statement about clothes, but I would argue otherwise. Low-rise jeans are coming back and, unfortunately, they’re bringing “skinny” with them.
Low-rise jeans were created in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the late ‘90s that they became cool. This trend carried into the early 2000s with celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan making them popular among the younger generation. An article said these two were known for their on-and-off friendship, and the unhealthy and chaotic amount of attention they got.
The early 2000s was a time when being small and thin was the best thing you could be. Perhaps Hilton and Lohan, among others, were victims of the expectation that women should not be bigger than a size two. Unfortunately, their compliance led to millions of young girls idolizing their weight and figure, which could not be achieved healthily for everyone.
“Heroin chic” is what they called it. According to a Britannica article, “heroin chic” is an aesthetic consisting of pale skin, dark undereyes and an extremely small frame. During this time, drugs like heroin and cocaine and vices like cigarette smoking became normalized because they suppress your appetite. Looking to get as skinny as Paris Hilton? Just smoke cigarettes, snort cocaine and inject yourself with heroin, all to lose the desire to eat.
Low-rise jeans reached peal popularity during the “heroin chic” era because they are thought to be most “flattering” on thinner bodies. According to an article, low-rise jeans were widely worn during the 2000s by many celebrities like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and Paris Hilton.
Recently, however, high-rise jeans were the trendiest jeans you could wear, and just like low-rise has a body type that comes with it, high rise does as well: curvy.
[Related: OPINION: The problem with 'heroin chic']
The Kardashians became icons of the fashion world in the late 2010s but have exploded in the past couple of years. They made “curvy” synonymous with “hot.” Even though high-rise jeans were popular in the ‘80s, they came back in the 2010s and curvy was the thing to be. You no longer had to be skinny, you just had to have a huge butt and a tiny waist. Oh! Don’t forget the boobs and the small ribcage.
We saw and experienced what it meant for our bodies that high-rise jeans were coming back –– you needed to weight lift at the gym for that big butt and nice legs. In a couple of years, we will see it with low-rise as well. Even the spokesperson of curvy, Kim Kardashian, lost sixteen pounds in three weeks to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s dress for the Met Gala not too long ago in 2022.
If the spokesperson of “curvy” is losing this amount of weight and keeping it off, I don’t think there’s much hope that “skinny” is not making its way back.
As iconic as worldwide model Kate Moss is, I disagree with her personal motto shared in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily: “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Our bodies are not trends. They are made of flesh and blood. We are not molds that can be changed every time society determines what is trendy and what is not. We are real human beings who cannot cinch in our waist for the sake of an outfit. We cannot make our legs thinner when we sit just because we’re wearing shorts or a skirt. We cannot hold our breath just for our jeans to fit. We cannot let society do this to us over and over again.
Maria Amanda Irias (she/her) is a junior studying Journalism and Psychology.