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'The City': Allie and the anorexic elephant in the room

February 3, 2009 |  7:42 am

Restaurant_1_02701 Emmy please! After watching actresses shrink for the past five years to such prepubescent proportions that Ally McBeal looks hefty, I can not commend "The City" enough for finally -- finally! -- tackling this issue head on.

And it's a weighty one.

So, in one corner we've got Kelly Cutrone, the tell-it-like-it-is fashion maven who feels a sort of obligation (or so she claims) to rid the world of unrealistic standards of beauty.

In the other corner we have Allie, just trying to make it in the cutthroat fashion world, just trying to make a friend or two, and just hoping her boyfriend won't cheat on her.

Two sympathetic women, and yet you can't be on both sides in this debacle.

So, in tonight's eppie, Kelly Cutrone confronts Allie, asking if she's "OK" and repeatedly pointing out how skinny she is. 

Allie, for her part, is left flustered, tearful and just utterly hurt. "I know I'm healthy. I know I'm happy the way I am," she tells Whitney the next day. But it's more like she's telling herself.

What would you do if you were Whitney in this situation? Would you tell your starving friend you'd been worried for months now? Or would you say, "Ooh, forget Kelly, she's just jealous!"

Answer? Neither. You would, or should, do exactly what Whitney did, which was to say, "If you're healthy and you're happy, that's what matters." Utterly judgment free. If Allie goes to anybody about this, ahem, debacle, you can bet it will be Whit.

But who will Whitney talk to about the whole mess? Erin, perhaps? Or, might she call LC? Anybody but Olivia! But, of course, she does go to her local "social," saying, "I don’t know what's healthy in modeling."

"Are you kidding," replies a characteristically unsympathetic Olivia. "Like you think we have like Shamu coming down the runway?" In other words, this is the biz, honey, get used to it!

Cut to an awkward scene in which Allie tries to show her proclivity for food by grocery shopping with her boyfriend.  "I want salmon," she says. "Smoked salmon." And then there's something about asparagus.

So everybody is going to have their own, strong, opinion coming off this episode, but I'd like to voice mine: Kelly Cutrone is full of it. "I couldn’t not say something to her," she tells Whitney, as though attacking Allie the model is a step forward for women everywhere. But if you're so big and strong, Kel, why don't you attack the people who cast those models? Who is really responsible here? I mean, isn't attacking Allie for being thin a bit like going to a non-organic farm and strangling the chicken?

Am I totally off-base? (Hint: no.) Was Kelly in the right crucifying Allie tonight? Let me know. If this ep doesn't stir up some strong opinions, I don't know what will.

Till next week!

-- Stephanie Lysaght

(Photo: MTV)

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