In an interview conducted by Tara Kelly she asked Crystal Renn about her past struggles with eating disorders and how it all began. “When I was 14 years old, my mother put me in an etiquette beauty school. One day a scout came up to me and said, ‘Oh, my gosh, you’re going to be the next supermodel. ’ I didn’t even know what that meant. He pulled out a picture of Gisele and said, ‘This is who you can be. ’ But he said I had to lose nine inches off my hips.
That was the beginning (Plus-Size Supermodel). ” Crystal Renn was an unknown size-0 model who moved to New York from Clinton, Mississippi to make it big. She struggled with her weight for years however, and finally made the bold decision to switch to plus sized modeling. Her weight once dropped down to 95 lb. on a 5 ft. 9 in. frame. Now healthy, she is the highest paid plus sized model in the world (Plus-Size Supermodel). Unlike many other models Renn made it out of this brutal cycle.
A model (from Middle French modele) is a person who is employed for the purpose of displaying and promoting fashion products and for advertising or promotional purposes (Model Wikipedia). The size of models over the years has changed from more curvaceous to “a good clothes hanger” as Lisa Fonssagrives (a popular model/dancer from the 1930s) described herself, but unlike a number of the models today she most likely didn’t starve herself. The average Body Mass Index (height to weight ratio) of an American person in the 1990s was 28. while an emerging models BMI at the same point was usually 16 (Female Body Shape in the 20th Century). This may have happened because, as suggested by “Ann Bolin, an anthropologist at Elon College suggests that ‘during periods of liberation, like the 1920s, when women had just gotten the vote, and the 1960s, when the Pill became available, the ideal shape for women deemphasized their reproductive characteristics–the nourishing breasts, the wide, childbearing hips. ’” (Female Body Shape in the 20th Century).
This leads to my proposition of making a new standard of having a minimum BMI of eighteen for models. By making the BMI minimum eighteen it promotes a healthier body image for the models and the young women who may look up to them. It also allows leeway for the naturally thin; the World Health Organization defines a BMI below 18. 5 as “underweight. ” The placement of this standard would help by cutting down on the “dangerous influence on admiring young women, some of whom are at risk from anorexia nervosa (Robertson)” because of the excessively thin models.
Some designers “have called for minimum weights or body mass index measurements. Others demand that doctor’s certificates be presented before models can go on the catwalk. (Robertson)” Another reason this “trend”, of sorts, in weight loss and eating disorders may have started increasing is because of these “pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia” websites on the internet actually helping, praising, and encouraging young women to live this unhealthful lifestyle. People on these sites reinforce each other’s views, share tips on purging and fooling others, and defend their ‘life choice. ’ They such things as “Fidgeting burns 800+ calories a day, so fidget away” or “Remember how hard you have worked to get this far… don’t give up. ” Disturbingly ‘pro-ana’ websites are much more numerous than pro-recovery or professional services websites” (Chesley, Alberst, Klein ; Kreipe).
The big difference between the helping site and pro-eating disorder sites “is, they’re not concerned with getting better, but maintaining their sickness. Thinspiration’ photos of well-known celebrities who are extremely skinny, such as Nicole Richie, Keira Knightly, Victoria Beckham, Mischa Barton and Lindsey Lohan, adorn the pages as a motivation to keep losing weight. The more bones they show, the better worth of the photos. ”(Henry Pro Ana) There should be a cap put on these websites by their domain sites or at least censored in some way. Cigarettes as well as some drugs help you curve normal food cravings. Having minimum physical standards would ensure that young girls could not be put under pressure to adopt extreme diets. Such an objective standard would be much better than asking for doctors certificates or having age restrictions, both of which could be got round by dishonest agents. ”(Robertson) Drugs can have the same effect of bulimia and anorexia if not worse. To lose maximum weight they may chain-smoke instead of eating square meals helping them lose even more weight unhealthily.
For models like Terri Schiavo, a women who died in a vegetative state because of bulimia, or Ana Carolina Reston, a 5’8” ,88 lb Brazilian model and that died of an eating disorder, this new standard could beyond doubt be the difference between living and dying. In the modeling society as well as the average Joe society emotions and physical welfare are being slashed by these deadly images. To help carry out this new standard in the modeling industry I would suggest to contact most of the majorly worn clothes of young adults and propose using more healthily sized models.
Although this has in all probability been done after many indefinite rejections by the designers the use of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) comes in by making the BMI standard a direct bylaw. According to Ella Robertson “Voluntary codes will never be effective. Designers will always claim that favorite models should be exempt from the agreed codes. The system will end up being policed by the very people who are responsible for the problems today – agents, designers and photographers. To be credible, action must have the force of law. In finale this regulation should be put in place, or at the very least, no terribly thin models. Our society is no longer prepared to tolerate unnecessary images and advertisements of the so-thin-bones-are-clearly-visible models for fashion and craze. If we continue with these inadvertent crimes against our future, our selves the consequences could be deadly. If the past models of the world saw us today they would think of us as cruel and pitiless by the generation.
“Plus sized super model Crystal Ren” October 2009 Times Inc “Female Body Shape in the 20th Century” 2009