First of all, let me start by saying that I do not mean to offend anyone here. I just want to give a different point of view on the whole anorexia discussion. Please feel free to debate anything I say, since I am rarely 100% correct about everything.
I wanted to say that I think the model in the picture does look beautiful. How much work the make-up artists and air-brushers had to do to make her look that way, I don't know. I think make-up artists can make corpses look good for viewings before a funeral as well.
I think it is a disservice to say that being thin is not beautiful. I believe humans are supposed to have a thin stomach area. Those who do not have a thin nidsection generally have congested colons/intestines and/or too much fat. The human body stores fat either as a reserve because it thinks it will starve and may need it in the future, or the body is using the fatty acids to store toxins that would otherwise disrupt the ph of the blood and cause many worse health problems and/or death. I don't mean that no one should have any fat - I'm saying that people nowadays have too much of it and it is not healthy. Some people's bodies store more fat than others. Obviously, not everyone is or can be as thin as a model. But, there are people who can be model-thin and eat healthily. As an aside, some people think fat is needed for insulation in the cold months - I saw a PBS special on tribes in Siberia and they were not fat in the least.
I think the problem lies in the way "society" says people are able to become thin. People are mislead into thinking they have to EAT LESS FOOD to be thin and beautiful - which may possible lead to eating disorders. Instead, these same people CAN become thin by eating healthy foods. So, I think the majority of the problem with young girls/women is not that they look at a model and want to be thin. Rather, the problem is that they look at the model, want to be thin, and then they look around at the SAD and think that the only way they can be thin is to eat less. THEY ARE MISINFORMED - but, by who? People blame the fashion industry for anorexia - maybe we are looking in the wrong place. Maybe we should blame fast-food and the food pyramid and the American over-indulgent society as a whole.
I live in Japan, where many people are as thin as that model. I assure you they do not all have eating disorders. In fact, their average life expectancy is 10 years higher than in the US. Also, in the US, we are trained to believe that as we age, our metabolism will slow down and we will gain weight - and no longer have those "thin stomachs". Let me tell you that the older women here in Japan are NOT fatter than the younger ones. They still have thin stomachs. In fact, it is the teenagers that are the fattest of all here, as there are fast-food places springing up everywhere. To teach teenage girls that it is "okay to be fat" is just as much a disservice as teaching them that they "need to be skinny" and causes just as many, if not more health problems overall.
Also, I think it's ridiculous to say that Marilyn Monroe would be considered fat now. Sure, she may have been between a size 8-10 in her lifetime, but back then sizes were smaller. If she were alive today, she would likely be around a 2, and she would have to wear a belt so that her jeans would not fall off her waist. If you don't believe me, visit a vintage clothing store.
Here are some pictures:http://www.marilynmonroe.com/about/photos.html
I think people today would suspect that she might be anorexic/bulemic.
In addition, the constant criticism of thin people does more harm than good. I have known a few people who were anorexic and/or bulemic. However, I have known many more thin people who have self esteem and eating problems because they are thin and want to gain weight because people make fun and speculate if they are anorexic. I am one of these people, though I think the majority who feel too skinny are male. I have been the same weight for over 18 years. I have tried numerous weight-gainers and such to try to gain weight because people constantly make comments about my being too thin and speculate about me having eating disorders. For me, as well as others I know, it had gotten to the point that I was forcing myself to eat large amounts of unhealthy high-calorie food (up to 4,000 calories a day - with no weight gain). The result for me was gestational diabetes and subsequent pre-diabetes conditions. Yes, at 96 pounds, I have/had an over-eating disorder! But, now I know that I am just a thin person and am re-gaining balance with regards to eating.
So yes, thin IS beautiful, as long as it is a healthy thinness.