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Nicole Richie is taking out the trash.

Not literally, of course. People who don’t eat generally don’t accumulate much garbage, such as food boxes and wrappers and things. In that sense, people with eating disorders are lucky! Nicole is certainly getting rid of unneeded waste in the metaphorical sense, however, having axed personal stylist Rachel Zoe, a confidant who looks nearly as skeletal and emaciated as the Simple Life “actress” herself.

The reason? Richie, 25, “wanted to surround herself with positive people and influences,” an insider says.

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Um, Nicole? You’re friends with Paris Hilton. Just saying.

Apparently that didn’t include the controversial fashionista, 35, who has long been accused of promoting unhealthy body images. Her client roster includes a pair of 20-year-old stick-figures, Mischa Barton and Lindsay Lohan.

“Nicole didn’t trust Rachel anymore,” a Richie pal says. “Zoe didn’t take the news well.”

Zoe’s rep denies this, adding that the split was amicable. We’re not sure who to believe. But we are sure these Nicole Richie pics are friggin’ gross.

In her place, Richie has hired Cristina Ehrlich, who has dressed the likes of Jessica Biel and Penelope Cruz. Hmm. We’re sure she has a great resume, this Ehrlich person, but we do prefer Jessica Biel topless and in the bathroom sink. Just saying.