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The Dangerous Return of the ‘Heroin Chic’ Trend

Body standards for women put an immense amount of pressure on young minds to achieve the looks they see in the media. How healthy are these drastic changes and are they really being achieved in a safe way?

Calvin Klein has always favored the slim and bony look in models to pose in the brand's apparel. Image: Nata Sha/ Shutterstock

As 2023 tugs along, trends have been more and more reflecting the late 90s and early 2000s era. As fast as trends come, they can leave just as quickly. Celebrities and influencers have seemingly made drastic changes to their bodies; but are these changes healthy?

We all know that body image can be struggling for anyone. No matter what age, where you live, or who you are, at some point people struggle with body issues. especially with social media, it is hard not to compare yourself to others.

Body image standards

Rewind to the late 90s and early 2000s, the expectations for women’s bodies were drastically different. Models like Kate Moss, Jaime King, and big brands like Calvin Klein were making the heroin chic look popular; skinny, frail bodies with androgynous curves. This trend widely stemmed from the popularization of drug use, particularly heroin, and its effects on the body.

In the last decade, the big butt with curves has been the look many women have wanted to achieve. People hit the gym, and eat healthy to stay in shape. However, there have been countless ‘shortcuts’ shoved in our faces; diet/gym culture can be extremely toxic. Now, a new drug has made its way into diet culture. This drug, however, is used for diabetes.


When they say “Heroin Chic” is coming back…they’re not in charge anymore!! WE ARE! #fyp #90skids #seventeen #bodypositivity #covergirl

♬ original sound – Katie Sturino
TikToker points out body shaming and toxicity that is reminsccnet of the heroin chic trend coming back in 2023. @katiesturino/ TikTok.

Weight loss achieved by Ozempic

Known as Ozempic or Mounjaro, the drug is given to people struggling with weight loss or diabetics who need it to quite literally stay alive. This drug has been used for years and taken by people who get prescribed it. More recently, it has been boasted to be a helpful trick in the celebrity sphere.

Ozempic is used by Type 2 diabetics, yet can be prescribed to someone for weight loss issues. Panaceum Media/ Shutterstock.

Celebrities’ weightloss suspicions

Notice how some celebrities have looked slimmer? Maybe even posting gym selfies or videos of them working out? Many people have taken to the comments to be suspicious of the fast these celebrities are slimming.

Kim Kardashian caused a tizzy when wearing Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white dress, and she lost about 16 pounds in less than a month. Of course, she maintains she was on a strict diet and gym regimen. Nevertheless, this can cause self-esteem issues in young teens as well as pressure on their own bodies. Seeing someone lose weight so drastically can affect how someone treats their own body.

Rumors have started that celebrities pay big money to get a prescription for the weight loss drug. Bravo star Kyle Richards‘ weight loss is also questionable to many. Apart from getting a breast reduction, she has become the thinnest she has been while in the spotlight. She attributes this to sober living and eating healthy while working out.

Kyle Richards denies the allegations of the weight loss drug. @extraTV/ YouTube.

This is not an attack on anyone’s body; everyone has different metabolisms, genetics, and ways of living. This is a question of whether or not celebrities and influencers have gone too far to achieve the perfect body and how this affects our society as a whole.

The negative effects

Seeing drastic changes to people’s bodies without explanation can be hard on someone’s own health journey. With social media pushing the new heroin chic look we saw in the 90s, it can contradict society’s new message of “body positivity”. How can a celebrity promote equality while simultaneously being deceiving? Especially with the rumors of Ozempic use, paired with a recent shortage, who can you believe?

Users of the prescribed drug who actually need it are reporting there has been a shortage. Wholesalers are being advised to fairly distribute in all regions in places like Australia to make sure people who need it will have it. The issue has been hard on many; and unfair to people who need it to stay healthy and safe.

It is important to note this recent craze over thinning your body because there is a healthy way to do it and an unhealthy way. Whatever one’s health goals are, they should never be compared to another one’s journey. The heroine chic push in fashion and social media is way too outdated, as well as detrimental to our society’s and the young generation well being.

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