They are talented, famous, wealthy and supremely successful. Many are in their 30s and 40s and are wives and mothers.Yet with their sparrow legs, jutting collarbones and barely a hint of natural breast or hip, you would be forgiven for thinking that many of these celebrities’ bodies could be those of children.

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Women such as Alexa Chung and Amal Clooney look so under-developed that, in some cases, critics say they appear pre-pubescent. Disturbingly, some stars appear to have waists the same sizes as catwalk models, many of whom measure 24in — the same as an eight-year-old child.Of course, this is deeply unhealthy for a woman and can have knock-on effects on fertility and bone density.

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So why is it that so many stars covet children’s body shapes? Experts say it’s a way of setting themselves apart from the woman in the street.Among their circle, being incredibly skinny is seen as the ultimate sign of wealth and success — and unobtainable to most.With outlet villages and internet sites making designer bags and clothes ubiquitous among the middle classes, an incredibly thin body has become the new way to signal wealth.

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