Skinny or Skeletal?

Lindsey Cohen, Associate Editor

The saying beauty hurts holds true in this scenario. Why should models be portrayed as rail thin? Fashion bosses in Madrid and Milan have set a minimum body mass index for girls appearing in their shows in an effort to discourage starvation diets and eating disorders, according to Evidently, these measures aren’t extreme enough to abolish anorexia in the modeling world.

Young models who riskily and precariously want to keep their jobs are dropping like flies. Girls in their youth are always trying to slim down and be a mirror image of what appears in the media, how can this possibly be a good example? Our role models are literally starving themselves to death. We all need to have a normal body mass index (BMI), not that we should be pigs in a blanket… but a little meat could only be beneficial. Friends, siblings and co-models are dying right before each other’s eyes, and still they continue to deprive themselves of necessary nutrients.

The Price of True Beauty hosted by Jessica Simpson touched on the issue of anorexia in the modeling industry. The show went to Paris to get the story of a past runway model who left the modeling industry after nearly dying from anorexia after weighing a meager 86 pounds. In the episode, the former model described her experiences during her modeling career, which consisted of daily weigh-ins and constant criticism regarding her weight. It got to the point where she was desperate enough to meet these standards and started to starve herself, according to Anorexia in the Modeling Industry. After this traumatizing experience, the model turned her negative experience into a positive one by helping others to not go down the same path that she did. She created a No-Anorexia campaign during the Milan Fashion Week in Italy to shed light on the issue of anorexia in the fashion world. This created a lot of controversy but at least brought attention to the issue of anorexia in the fashion industry. She is also trying to pass a law in Parliament to change the standards in the modeling industry in France in the hopes of preventing other models from going through what she did in her modeling career, an article by Sheena Osman (

There’s a huge line between being driven and obsessive. I would never gamble my life for a job, no matter how much it meant to me. I think its pure ignorance within the models, fashion designers and the fashion media. A model by the name of Carolina Reston, age 21 died of anorexia on the evening of a Paris photoshoot, after existing on a diet of apples and tomatoes… not so tasty (
Many can agree that this is an extreme, dangerous, and malignant issue. Marie Caro, mother of model Isabelle Caro, committed suicide after watching her daughter literally starve herself to death. Australian actress and model, Peta Wilson, once said “I was anorexic-bulimic when I was 16-17. It was a top secret that time, but these things always are.” I believe this quote is directed towards the present day youth and models because we all go to egregious measures to fit in or look acceptable for whomever we are trying to impress, but sometimes, it’s so repulsive and immoral that we will do it secretly.

Finally articles are being published to show the dangers of anorexia in the fashion world; hopefully more extreme actions will be taken in order to save countless lives. This idealistic standard of beauty should not be the norm in the modeling industry in particular in the area of soaring fashion. I think generally these expectations in high fashion have been considered acceptable overall and they are what must change because model’s lives are in jeopardy.
Tyra Bank’s show, America’s Next Top Model, has had numerous radiant plus size contestants compete and one curvier, yet beautiful model, Whitney Thompson, triumphed over many on Cycle 10 of the show.

Evidence shows that some girls need to be reminded that risking their health to land a runway gig isn’t worth the trouble. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… but who wants to look at frail and feeble girls trudging down the aisles?