T Nation

Model Dies Anorexia Complications

It was only a matter of time, I suppose:

POSTED: 1:09 a.m. EST, November 17, 2006
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) – The mother of a Brazilian fashion model who died from complications of anorexia has made an emotional appeal for parents to take better care of aspiring young models.

The death of Ana Carolina Reston, 21, follows growing criticism of the use of underweight models in the fashion world, an issue given new significance after the death in August of Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos of heart failure during a fashion show in Montevideo.

Reston died Tuesday in a Sao Paulo hospital from a generalized infection caused by anorexia, an eating disorder in which sufferers obsessively deprive themselves of food in pursuit of an ultra-slim look.

Reston weighed only 88 pounds and was about 5 feet 8 inches tall. Doctors consider this weight normal for a 12-year-old girl no more than about 5 feet tall.

“Take care of your children … no money is worth the life of your child, not even the most famous (fashion) brand is worth this,” her mother, Miriam Reston, told O Globo newspaper.

She said her daughter had been trying to help her family with the money she made as a model.

Miriam spoke on national television and to local newspapers to highlight the tragedy. She said she had pleaded with her daughter to eat more and to see a doctor.

“She would reply, 'Mummy, don’t mess me around,”’ Miriam told O Estado de S.Paulo.

“Dictatorship of skinny look kills a model,” said the front-page headline of O Dia tabloid, which carried a picture of the dark-haired, big-eyed girl in lingerie.

Many top models come from Brazil and thousands of young girls from all walks of life dream of modeling careers, inspired by the international success of Gisele Bundchen or Adriana Lima.

Reston was not famous, but she had worked abroad, including in Japan, and did some jobs for Giorgio Armani and the Brazilian model agency L’Equipe, which declined immediate comment.

In September, Spain caused a storm in the fashion world when Madrid barred models below a certain weight from its top fashion show. Models with a body-mass-index (BMI), which takes into account height and weight, of less than 18 were banned.

Reston’s BMI was just 13.5 while the World Health Organization considers anyone with a BMI below 18.5 underweight. A BMI below 17.5 being one of the criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and a BMI nearing 15 is usually used as an indicator for starvation.

Other famous fashion venues like London were considering following suit.

Darwin’s inexorable truth moves ever onward…

Damn, didnt see this posted already. Guess I have to get up earlier!

[quote]lizard king wrote:
Darwin’s inexorable truth moves ever onward…[/quote]

LOL

That is why it is survival of the fittest. Not survival of the unfittest and richest.

[quote]PGA wrote:
Damn, didnt see this posted already. Guess I have to get up earlier![/quote]

Yeah, I was up early today. Don’t worry, PGA, it probably won’t happen again.

It’s a sad event.

Maybe we can hope that eventually the fashion world will stop pushing, or consumers will stop buying, a look that is so hard to attain and so dangerous for most of society to even try to achieve.

Wake up you anorexic fools, it’s sickly looking, not sexy looking.

[quote]vroom wrote:
It’s a sad event.

Maybe we can hope that eventually the fashion world will stop pushing, or consumers will stop buying, a look that is so hard to attain and so dangerous for most of society to even try to achieve.

Wake up you anorexic fools, it’s sickly looking, not sexy looking.[/quote]

I agree.

Didn’t they ban “thin” models in Spain? Seems like they restricted models under a certain BMI from modeling.

Hopefully that was a step in the right direction, and girls will stop killing themselves trying to look like a breathing skeleton.

Just saw this on a photographer’s website.

And it’s not the fashion world’s fault, right?

[quote]vroom wrote:
It’s a sad event.
[/quote]

No it’s not. People starving to death because they HAVE NO FOOD is sad. This is just fucking dumb. No sympathy here, except for the family and friends of the deceased.

When I read this article, it reminded me about how intense the pressure is for young girls and women to be terribly thin.

What really bothers me is that really young, pre-adolescent girls are inundated with ultra thin images in all aspects of the media from such a young age. The “role models” who come to mind are Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsey Lohan and the “supermodels”.

It IS very stupid for us to consider these people “role models” (not to mention some of these peoples’ behavior in public, sex tapes and the like), but for such young girls these are the people who are referred to when the magazines write an article about beauty or fashion, when the movies have a female heroin, etc…this seems to be what the media defines as “Beautiful”, and most young girls want to grow up to be beautiful, meet her handsome prince, etc…this is the way we’re generally nurtured.

Not to be on such a soapbox, but I remember being 11 years old and wanting to be as thin as certain models, and all the girls my age always talking about dieting and weight loss. I can imagine the pressure today that the girls go through with the even thinner, Scary Skinny people in the media.

I think the media and the fashion industries need to be more responsible…I agree with Spain setting a minimum BMI for models to be hired. Also, maybe in the curriculum in schools, schools should educate the children about the health impact of anorexia, what are healthy BMI’s, etc… There needs to be heatlhy information and messages for them to counteract the unhealthy messages that are inundating the youth in our society. I’m thinking something along the lines of the stop smoking campaigns that are currently being utilized.

Again, sorry about the Oprah-esque soapbox. Thank you for starting such a great thread!

[quote]Miserere wrote:
Just saw this on a photographer’s website.

And it’s not the fashion world’s fault, right?[/quote]

What photographer?

[quote]chinadoll wrote:
When I read this article, it reminded me about how intense the pressure is for young girls and women to be terribly thin.

What really bothers me is that really young, pre-adolescent girls are inundated with ultra thin images in all aspects of the media from such a young age. The “role models” who come to mind are Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsey Lohan and the “supermodels”.

It IS very stupid for us to consider these people “role models” (not to mention some of these peoples’ behavior in public, sex tapes and the like), but for such young girls these are the people who are referred to when the magazines write an article about beauty or fashion, when the movies have a female heroin, etc…this seems to be what the media defines as “Beautiful”, and most young girls want to grow up to be beautiful, meet her handsome prince, etc…this is the way we’re generally nurtured.

Not to be on such a soapbox, but I remember being 11 years old and wanting to be as thin as certain models, and all the girls my age always talking about dieting and weight loss. I can imagine the pressure today that the girls go through with the even thinner, Scary Skinny people in the media.

I think the media and the fashion industries need to be more responsible…I agree with Spain setting a minimum BMI for models to be hired. Also, maybe in the curriculum in schools, schools should educate the children about the health impact of anorexia, what are healthy BMI’s, etc… There needs to be heatlhy information and messages for them to counteract the unhealthy messages that are inundating the youth in our society. I’m thinking something along the lines of the stop smoking campaigns that are currently being utilized.

Again, sorry about the Oprah-esque soapbox. Thank you for starting such a great thread![/quote]

Preach on!

I have two young girls and I pray they do not fall for this kind of pressure.

[quote]Miserere wrote:
Just saw this on a photographer’s website.

And it’s not the fashion world’s fault, right?[/quote]

I assume you’re joking. :slight_smile:

It’s a free country. Part of the blame goes to the individual who chooses to believe “others”, too. Finding another photographer or another agent is an alternative.

[quote]MrChill wrote:
Miserere wrote:
Just saw this on a photographer’s website.

And it’s not the fashion world’s fault, right?

I assume you’re joking. :slight_smile:

It’s a free country. Part of the blame goes to the individual who chooses to believe “others”, too. Finding another photographer or another agent is an alternative.
[/quote]

Everybody makes their own decisions. You really can’t say that a ‘victim’ shares no blame for choosing to pursue a lifestyle/career where such unhealthy lifestyle decisions may be required to be successful. But there are a lot of problems in the fashion industry and I think they do share a lot of culpability.

They are the ones who set the standards and CHOOSE [in many cases] to only use use sickly skinny girls who are way under a healthy weight and amount of muscle. It’s all well and good to find another photographer or agent, but that holds no purchase if doing so and failing to follow the advice of the first resulted in getting no jobs.

The standards chosen are the big problem. I think most of the supermodels are gorgeous and have amazing bodies. They are quite thin but still have some curves, feminine shape, and ridiculous proportions. But normal models don’t even have to be pretty. For whatever reason that’s not what the fashion world chooses to promote.

Many average girls I see all the time are MUCH pretty than some of the models. Except for at the highest level, the requirements to model are being tall, super skinny/sickly skinny and having good hair. This is wrong.

Right, ChinaDoll. We need some ‘Stop Starving’ campaigns. Just like smokers, it of course is the ‘fault’ of girls who choose to starve themselves. But that doesn’t mean that, as a society, we shouldn’t take steps to try to stop it.

[quote]alownage wrote:
vroom wrote:
It’s a sad event.

No it’s not. People starving to death because they HAVE NO FOOD is sad. This is just fucking dumb. No sympathy here, except for the family and friends of the deceased.[/quote]

Yes it is. Develop some sympathy. It’s a young woman, who probably has been starving herself since she was a little girl, dying because she was obsessed with her weight and her career.

You have to realize, the people growing up hoping to be models are not adults, they are not fully educated, they do not deserve our scorn because they are still making bad choices. Especially in less fortunate countries where large scale poverty can still be found.

When children make bad decisions that are deadly or ruin their lives, it is sad. The fact that they get a bit older and are stuck in a world of skinny people who have to stay skinny in order to stay employed doesn’t make it less sad.

I get tired of all the people who are “happy” that people suffer horrible consequences for their bad choices. Sure, it may happen when bad choices are made, but that doesn’t stop it from being a sad event.

Let us know when you become human.

[quote]MrChill wrote:
Miserere wrote:
Just saw this on a photographer’s website.

And it’s not the fashion world’s fault, right?

I assume you’re joking. :slight_smile:

It’s a free country. Part of the blame goes to the individual who chooses to believe “others”, too. Finding another photographer or another agent is an alternative.
[/quote]

True, but its as much a fault of the individual as the snake oil salesman.

[quote]alownage wrote:
vroom wrote:
It’s a sad event.

No it’s not. People starving to death because they HAVE NO FOOD is sad. This is just fucking dumb. No sympathy here, except for the family and friends of the deceased.[/quote]

I think you’d have some sympathy if it was your girlfriend, wife, or mother who was affected by an eating disorder. It is a mental illness and should be treated as such. It is a lifelong battle for most people, and losing it will often end in death.

Also, the whole notion of “they should just eat more” is an ignorant statement to make. They can’t cure their illness just by themselves.

I’m not happy that this happened, and given her possible circumstances (i.e. not knowing that she could break into the modeling world without being anorexic) I definitely could have sympathy for her situation. I didn’t read the part about her raising money for her family.

The people who I have no sympathy for are the ones who live in developed countries, are no means poor, and insist on starving themselves until death. They need to wake the fuck up.

Also, I don’t know how god damn warped you would have to be to dictate that all women need to weigh under 100 pounds to be “beautiful.” I hope one of these days somebody in the modeling industry gets charged with something for threating one of their models with dismissal if she didn’t stay at a certain weight.

I really don’t know who came up with this myophobic heroin-chic crap, but they need to die.