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Julia fox Grimes body image beauty ideals
Courtesy of Forbidden Fruits Podcast

Watch Julia Fox and Grimes discuss body dysmorphia and eating disorders

In the latest episode of Fox’s Forbidden Fruits, Grimes opens up about her 10-year eating disorder, and says that Kim Kardashian helped her feel good about her body

The way that beauty standards damage and impact us all has been a big topic of conversation on the celeb circuit recently. Last month, Ariana Grande spoke out about fans judging her body and weight concerns, while earlier this week a trailer for the new season of The Kardashians teased Kylie Jenner attempting to discuss with her sisters the part they play in upholding and perpetuating unattainable ideals. “All of us just need to have a bigger conversation about the beauty standards that we are setting,” she is shown to say.

Now, Julia Fox and Grimes have opened up about the subject in a discussion on a new episode of Forbidden Fruits, the podcast Fox hosts with Niki Takesh. The conversation kicks off when Fox, who is wearing an unexplained ginger Dolly Parton wig, says that Grimes looks amazing. In response, the musician says that when she was younger she wanted to defy oppressive beauty standards. “I made a point of not wearing make-up a lot early in my career,” she says, adding that eventually, she decided that she just wanted to have fun with beauty. “At some point in life, you wanna be a baddie,” as Fox puts it.  

Grimes then opens up about having an eating disorder for 10 years, which leads to a discussion about the way that body ideals have shifted in the last year from ‘slim-thick’ curves back towards the thinness that was so heavily prized in the 90s and early 2000s. “I thought it was good for a while,” Grimes says. “I actually feel like I shed [my] body dysmorphia during the peak of the Kim Kardashian, Cardi B times, and now I feel without it. But I thought those times were really good and I wish we could maintain a level of that because I felt like we did move past body dysmorphia and now it’s coming back.”

When Takesh asks whether they think it was harder to be a teenager when they were growing up or now, Fox and Grimes agree that there were good and bad sides – and that while there is more representation now, the pressure that social media and filters put on young people is immense. “I think this might be one of the most irresponsible things that tech is doing right now, is allowing this stuff to exist,” says Grimes.

“A lot of celebrities photoshop their images and then these girls have such unrealistic expectations because they’re like ‘why can’t I look like that’ and it’s like, boo, they don’t even look like that!” Fox adds. “I even make it a point to not photoshop my photos. Obviously, if it’s a magazine, it’s different. But I always ask ‘hey can we just keep the photoshop to a minimum’. I don’t care if I don’t look pretty, looking pretty is not on my agenda, I really don’t give a shit. But [beauty standards] are super oppressive for sure.”

The conversation then moves on to artificial intelligence and the role it is playing in art and music right now. Among other gems, Grimes jokes that she is currently a data collection spy in San Francisco trying to find out what’s going on with AI; that she is sitting on an album she recorded two years ago and is now bored of; and that she recently started attending a poetry night with a group of bankers, which sounds absolutely insufferable but apparently has produced some of the craziest art she was witnessed.

Like previous occasions that the Kardashians have discussed the ways they are impacted by unrealistic beauty ideals, what is missing from this conversation about beauty standards is the ways in which, as public figures with huge platforms and influence, Fox and Grimes themselves impact the ways the young people who follow them think about their own appearance and body image, and how they could use their platform to make a change.

Fox, in particular, has been vocal about the impossible expectations that are placed on women and often proclaims statements like “Ageing is fully in” and “I wanna see bellies hanging over the low rise jeans pls”. However, at the same time has been criticised for being paid to be the face of Botox-alternative Xeomin, which she justified by saying that she is “always going to get my bag”. 

This is just a casual conversation on a podcast, and no one involved is arguing that they are changing the world with this discussion. But if Fox, Grimes and Takesh really are as concerned as they seem to be about the damaging impact of filters and body standards on the self-esteem of young people, then they have the opportunity and the platform to start some really meaningful conversations and actually make a difference. 

Watch a clip of the discussion above or listen to the full episode here.