airbrushFor millions of readers, the Vogue model represents the pinnacle of femininity. But what we see as ‘beauty’, can be very disordered indeed.

Former Vogue editor, Kirstie Clements, has written a book, (‘The Vogue Factor‘) about her experiences.  Here’s an extract:

‘I was dressing a model and…noticed scabs on her knees.  When I queried her about them, she said nonchalantly, ‘Because I’m always so hungry, I faint a lot’.  She thought it was completely normal to pass out each day, sometimes more than once. .. On another shoot I was chatting to one of the top Australian girls over lunch…’I get a lot of time by myself actually’, she said, picking at her salad. ‘My flatmate is a fit model,’ (used by top designers and workrooms as the body around whom their clothes are designed), ‘ so she’s in hospital on a drip a lot’…

‘Girls who can’t diet their breasts away will have surgical reductions.  They then enter into dangerous patterns of behaviour that the industry…begins to accept as par for the course.  We had a term for this in the office.  When a model who was getting good work in Australia starved herself down two sizes in order to be cast for the overseas shows…the Vogue fashion office would say she’d become ‘Paris thin’.  This dubious achievement was generally accompanied by mood swings, extreme fatigue, binge-eating and sometimes bouts of self-harming…

Not every model has an eating disorder, but I would suggest that every model is not eating as much as she would like to’.

Eating disorders are not caused by the fashion industry.  But within it, disordered eating seems to be a requirement.  Add in photoshop -and normal hasn’t a hope.


2 thoughts on “Skin-deep

  1. Ah…what excellent role models for all the beautiful women that God (the ultimate fashion designer) created in his own image: spend your vibrant youth laying in a hospital on a drip, and the whole world will starve, puke, and slash themselves to pieces wishing they looked just like you.

    Several of us females sat together and watched the You Tube commercial “Evolution” by Dove that your photo came from. After it was over my lovely, healthy, but terribly insecure 15 year old niece said “Oh! I need to get photo shop!”

    The one about women describing themselves as
    ugly to a forensic artist was really good too. Very telling.

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