Model Dies of Anorexia, 2nd this year

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I hate to even bring up this model's name because it is a shame to use her as an example of what is wrong with the fashion industry, but people really need to see the reality of the pressure the industry puts on many women. Twenty-one year old Brazilian model, Ana Carolina, suffered kidney failure after years of battling anorexia and bulimia. She weighed just 88 pounds, and functioned on a diet of apples and tomatoes. This marks the second death this year, the first being a 22-year old Uruguayan model who suffered heart failure on the catwalk after trying to survive on diet coke and lettuce leaves.

In the eighties and nineties, it was very common to see fit models, generally healthy size sixes and eights walk down the runway. Now the standard size hovers around size zeroes and twos. The pressure to be thin is REAL. Many women entering the industry are in their teens, have no supervision, very little self esteem, and/or face constant criticism on a daily basis. It is these same women that we often see in magazines and ad campaigns that are often revered by other impressionable young women. Industry professionals, advertisers, media, designers, agents, bookers, and models need to take more responsibilty and action in this area. We truly need to begin promoting healthy living and healthy image in every step of the way.

This September, Spanish officials banned models with a body mass index of less than 18. I applaud this move. Ana Carolina had a BMI of 13.4 at the time of her death, and weighed what a 5'0" twelve year old should weigh.
This is very sad and only wish that she had a chance to fight her illness.

Though this issue is not something I speak out about directly, I do hope that young women can take away a healthy lifestyle from my own work. If you do not take care of yourself and do not learn to embrace your body in a healthy manner, then you will not be able to live happily or create the change that you wish to impart on the earth. Beauty is not strictly about physical features. It is about inner confidence, peace with oneself, and a good heart. Don't compromise your health. It's not worth it.

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