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Monday, October 23, 2017

Dying to eat?

by Alethea (writer), Los Angeles, November 23, 2006

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Most people on this Thanksgiving holiday are excited to stuff their face with mashed potatoes, turkey, pie, and all the other classic Turkey Day accoutrements. Many others that don’t have the luxury of affording such a gracious meal, but there are also those that have it all right in front of them and refuse it. Welcome to anorexia.

This disease took a new life this past week, albeit not under an entirely surprising circumstance. Brazilian fashion model Ana Carolina Reston, 21, died last week from complications due to her struggles with anorexia. At 5’8”, Ana weighed in at a mere 88 pounds, a weight which doctors said would be fitting for a 5 foot, 12-year-old girl.

The fashion industry has been criticized for making the current “beauty norm” a standard which is nearly impossible for most women, a rail-thin, lanky female. There have been some acknowledgements among the fashion world who have not allowed models with a body mass index of less than 18 into their shows, but many others do not seem to be changing. Ana’s body mass index was about 13.4 at the time of her death.

At one time, the most beautiful women were voluptuous, curvy females many of which could have been considered heavyset by today’s standards. This was mostly during a time when food was a luxury most people could not afford. Now that more of the general population is obese, it’s more fashionable to look like you’re constantly starving. But just consider boys and girls, you do have an option; you don’t have to be hungry. No one’s life is worth loosing over a few pounds. Although it may seem like I’m simplifying the issue, self-image diseases, like this one, are a very serious matter that needs to be addressed by a professional. But as for everyone else, be thankful you not only have all this wonderful food, be thankful you can enjoy it.


About the Writer

Alethea is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Dying to eat?

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By Ariel on November 23, 2006 at 07:14 pm
Is the model on the picture the one who died last week?
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By D. E. Carson on November 23, 2006 at 09:39 pm
My humblest of bows -- very nice article. It is sad to see another life ended because fashion designers cannot seem to understand that their designs are so impractical "on the street" where the real world lives and that models allow themselves to be subjected to such rigorous and unreasonable standards. Again, good article.
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By Annonymous on December 05, 2006 at 04:31 am
I know a little about this issue. I work in the modeling industry (I am NOT and never have been a model btw). I see many girls aspire to be models who simply should not. There are three types of models. 1. The Editorial Model 2. The Commercial Model 3. The Supermodel (who can successfully traverse both. I can count on my fingers and toes the only ones that exist. The category 1 & 3 model is 99% of the time born that way. They will almost always be thin no matter what they eat (and they usually eat lots of rubbish food and don't usually exercise). They are freaks of nature who are often not the kind the boys wanna date. They are the muses and coat hangers for those designers that deem themselves "artists." They are the standard blank canvas on which these designers can paint their works. And these designers care about what the people on the street think about their collections as much as the people on the street have the money to buy them. The category 2 model is the one that all the boys wanna date. That's why they are booked to sell stuff to the average joe, not to the platinum-card-wielding trophy wife drowning in ennui, the trustafundian or self made careerist. These models are usually a little shorter, less intimidating, approachable and more 'normal' looking. It is this category of model that appears in the more widely received media. Then there are all the girls that want to be models who these stupid, model reality search shows have allowed to think can be. Modeling agencies associate themselves with these shows for incredible free PR. They NEVER find real models on these shows. Having to sign the 'winners' is simply a small price the agency has to pay for the huge, free exposure. Any girl that was potential 'supermodel' material, at the age that they have to be to appear on such shows (which is 18)would have been long ago discovered and already in the prime of her career by then. I'm serious. But now, because of these lucrative PR deals, almost all the teenage girls who may have entertained thoughts of modeling for no more than two days, are led to believe that they could be too because, "Oh my God! My body is just as hot as that girl standing next to Tyra." Which it probably is, but the problem is that that girl standing next to Tyra doesn't have a body that's hot enough to be a model's either. All these girls need to leave the modeling to the freaks. Those freaks of nature who don't have to work to look the way they look. Contrary to popular belief, there ain't that much anorexia going on in the industry. Perhaps a lot of drugs, but not anorexia. This was a very, very sad uncommon incident. It is true that we are influenced by the media in many facets of our lives, so it is important that there are watchdogs, in particular to protect our children. Designers make up for a small portion of clients who use models. It is corporate advertisers who employ the bulk of models. Your Coca-Colas, your McDonalds (who, along with their competitors are killing our children via obesity), your car companies, your beauty and hair brands. We live in an insidious culture that effects us everyday, everywhere we look, everywhere we turn. I hear what you are saying, but I think it is too simplistic a view. Other than making a life choice to physically remove yourself from such a culture and go live in a second or third world country (which I have done before and could do again), we have to look at teaching our children to step outside of themselves and be aware of the pitfalls of a culture that breeds a sense of entitlement and self absorption. We need to be vigilant in our parenting. The best defense is to teach our kids to have strength of mind and purpose by showing them the truth behind all their false idols and the difference that they can make in the world. We need to impress upon them a social conscience, a sense of something higher and greater than the instant gratification and disposability of the current consumerist world that is theirs. It ain't just the pretty magazines and their ads that are killing the kids ...
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