The world of fashion has always been filled with glamour and glitz and perfection. Celebrities and models being surrounded by the paparazzi almost everyday of their lives and being present at the most prestigious functions, not to forget being featured on the covers of those oh-so-glossy fashion magazines and billboards all over town.
Lifestyles of the rich and famous – something that every pre-teen and teenage girl wants.Flipping through fashion magazines and seeing these young women being clad in the most beautiful dresses and looking their best, with their hair and makeup and features that are sculpted to perfection, catch the attention of almost 90% of these girls and that’s when they decide that they want to be that girl on the cover of their favourite magazine. But there is one very alarming and dangerous fact that they overlook – most of these models end up being anorexic.The fashion industry has become more aware of anorexic models and the dangers of anorexia nervosa within this business. Like others who suffer from anorexia, an anorexic model develops fears over becoming fat and loosing jobs.
And this is a valid fear; many models have been told by managers that they need to lose weight in order to keep working. The disease may start out innocently enough – with just harsh dieting, intense exercise, and/or the use of laxatives. Over time, however, the person’s self image gets distorted.
They always see themselves as too fat for success and continue the unhealthy behaviours. Anorexic models are common on catwalks where the pressure to fit into zero size outfits seems intense. As time goes on, an anorexic model may become very weak, develop a variety of health issues, and also show serious signs of depression. Eventually, anorexia nervosa can lead to death. Sadly, many fashion designers deny that anorexia is a problem. It’s important to understand that anyone can become anorexic.It’s just that the fashion industry has a much higher risk of anorexic models developing than other less appearance-oriented jobs.
An anorexic model may develop the condition in their teens, as do many other individuals. About 90% of people with anorexia are women. No one knows for certain if there’s a sure-fire way to decrease the number of anorexic models. However, the severity of anorexia, and its high percentage rate among models has led some fashion show facilitators to taking a closer look at their runways.In some cases this has lead to rule changes. For example, fashion leaders in Madrid have a rule requiring a minimum body mass index of 18. Girls must meet this to appear in shows. Anorexic models are often below that index.
The hope is that by having new guidelines an anorexic model will be encouraged to take steps toward wellness. Now, not all models become anorexic, but there’s no question that the industry hesitates to move out of the “thin” trend. Designers feel that they won’t get exposure for normal and plus size lines.
Considering that many magazines hire only small size models, their concerns are not without valid foundation. So as a whole the industry appears to send the skinny message out to not only models but also the women and younger girls who admire them. The difference is the line where someone loses their perception of themselves and becomes an obsession – the diet controls them rather than them controlling the diet so to speak. This is how ordinary models turn into anorexic models, and many young girls fall victim to their obsession of looking just like them and become anorexic too.