When discussing body dissatisfaction, women often argue that we have it much harder than men. However, in certain subcultures in which certain men reside, like indie rock, the Guardian argues, skinniness is heralded, and the overweight are mocked. According to the Guardian's Priya Elan, when Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill (at left) announced that he was anorexic, "It isn't a huge surprise…What is surprising is that he's admitted it. Maintaining a skinny frame is the elephant in the room of indie."
Elan goes on:
Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson has been at the receiving end of barbs about his weight…Richey Edwards and Kurt Cobain famously had issues of body dysmorphia and anorexia. And I'm sure I'm not the only one to be taken aback by recent press shots of a gaunt looking Brandon Flowers. It can surely only be a good thing that Caleb has highlighted this serious, and too often ignored, issue.
Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns and the Darkness singer Justin Hawkins have also publicly discussed their eating disorders.
I actually noticed the rampant emaciation of indie rock stars almost three years ago when I was working for Spin and going to shows all the time. "The boys in Ambulance LTD are nearly translucent they're so skinny; We Are Scientists are gangly like real scientists; Detachment Kit is bony as all get out. Is there a Y-chromosome gene that includes both thinness and guitar proficiency?" I wondered.
Obviously eating disorders are far more complex than just societal pressures, but being in a looks-focused industry can certainly exacerbate body insecurities that were there anyway. However, it's impossible to have gone to an indie rock concert in the past five or ten years and not notice that a certain skinniness was the romanicized male ideal.
Indie's Obsession With Skinny [Guardian]