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Old 24th November 2007   #1
Kaitlynn
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 633
Default ANOTHER model starves to death

The nightmare never ends. It only gets worse and worse.

It's happened again. Again. Another model has DIED from anorexia.

This picture shows her during her illness- already so starved that her tragic end was forthcoming.



The story is here:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3883944&page=1

and here's the text. It's worth reading in full:

Quote:
When Israeli fashion model Hila Elmalich died last week after years of fighting anorexia, she weighed less than 60 pounds. Her death sent a shockwave through Israel's fashion world.

Elmalich, who had been in and out of hospitals for several years, collapsed at home and died Wednesday of heart failure.

The Israeli fashion photographer and modeling agent Adi Barkan was her friend. He spent hours at her bedside over the years...

For the last three years Barkan has been campaigning against the fashion industry's use of super thin models. He now refuses to use models whose body mass index is less than 19...

Barkan led the charge against the pressure on models to be ultra-thin, and in 2004 Israel became the first nation to pass laws requiring modeling agencies to hire only healthy models who have a body mass index -- a measure of body f** -- of 19 or above. That means that a 5'9" woman would have to weigh at least 129 pounds.

Barkan is convinced from his own experience working in the industry that young models are under intense pressure to lose weight. "In Israel we lost several sizes in 10 years!" he said, "when I was shooting fashion 10 years ago models were size 38, now it's 32 or 34."...

[Barkan is] campaigning internationally to change attitudes in the fashion world. "They say a lot but they did nothing yet, so let's do it! Because from talking nothing will move," he told ABC News.

Over two years ago Elmalich was admitted to hospital. Adi rushed to her bedside, along with a film crew that caught the harrowing pictures of Hila collapsing into his arms, unable to support her own weight. "When she fell down, I felt the bones going into my legs, like a knife. When she fell down, I felt like I took hold of something from the grave," he added.

This experience and Hila's sudden death last week have shocked her old friend. But he is determined to carry on with his campaign. Adi Barkan hopes this tragedy will provide the necessary momentum to finally change attitudes in the fashion industry. The issue of skinny models flared up across the globe last year with several high-profile incidents.

In August, 22-year-old Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos died during Fashion Week in Montevideo after reportedly surviving on lettuce and diet drinks.

A few months later, it happened again. Twenty-one-year-old Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston, who was 5'8", was reported to have weighed just 88 pounds at the time -- that's a BMI of 13.5.

Spanish officials took action, requiring models to have a minimum BMI of 18 to participate in Madrid's Fashion Week. Italy then ordered fashion officials to secure proof that the models they hire do not suffer from eating disorders.

In New York, the Council of Fashion Designers of America issued voluntary guidelines to raise awareness -- urging designers to promote the message that beauty is health -- but setting no minimum BMI requirement.

Officials in other key fashion capitals, London and Paris, did not act on the issue...

Designers say...rules and punishments would only stifle creativity.

...a study by the British Medical Association confirmed the link between the images of "abnormally thin" models on TV and in magazines and the rise in anorexia...

According to the Academy for Eating Disorders, 10 percent or more of late adolescent and adult women report symptoms of eating disorders at any one time. The AED says those who have such a powerful influence on the perception of beauty must take more responsibility.

The death of this model is paintful and frightening to read about. The proposed minimum standard is so little anyway- 129 pounds is still extremely, extremely thin. The idea that any company or agency would accept models lower than this weight is monstrous.

And STILL nothing is done. How many must die? How numerous must the tally of dead models be (let alone the women who are not models and die of this disease, due to the fashion industry's influence) before the government steps in and ends this nightmare?
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Old 25th November 2007   #2
Emily
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Default Re: ANOTHER model starves to death

Quote:
Designers say...rules and punishments would only stifle creativity.

This has to be the most disgusting excuse the fashion industry could use to keep excluding naturally-proportioned womanly beauty, and to maintain its poisonous emaciated standard. The thinking is utterly sociopathic: "My creativity is more important than women's lives" is what they are saying.

How can any human being be so devoid of basic ethics as to think this way? Why does society allow individuals who are so pathologically self-absorbed to control culture? It's unbelievable. The causing of human death is still a criminal act. Or does society think that fashion stands above that?

I can't understand how this industry is allowed to continue to operate without any regulation. How is this any different from the production of foodstuffs laced with e-coli bacteria, or children's toys covered in fatal lead paint? The end result is the same.

How many must die before someone recognizes this crisis?

The trouble is, everyone keeps conceiving of "the industry" as some sort of depersonalized entity, like a corportation, leaving individual operatives insulated. But the blame for the continuation of this lethal standard must apply to every single specific designer, specific editor, specific photographer, and every other individual who is in a position to decide models' sizes. Not a one should be allowed to continue mandating what is obviously a danger to human life.

And besides, if these designers lack the "creativity" to design for actual human figures rather than for wire hangers, they should get out of the business and make room for designers whose "creativity" isn't so limited.
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Old 25th November 2007   #3
dbround
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Join Date: September 2007
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Default Re: ANOTHER model starves to death

My sentiments exactly.

These "designers" and their lot actually lack creativity. They keep producing the same tired looks over and over again. Instead of using skeletal women, they should use those actual skeletons you see in biology classes. Just have a row of them parading ugly clothes on a conveyor belt.

What they possess instead is extreme narcissism disguised as creativity. What they fail to understand is that they may be losing business and customers in droves. The current fashion system is really in need of an overhaul.
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Old 1st December 2007   #4
M. Lopez
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Default Re: ANOTHER model starves to death

I've been beside myself with rage every since I heard about this. The inaction on the part of the fashion industry IS criminal - or should be, since it's been well established that none of fashion's power elites will do anything meaningful to stop the deaths.

Do these people live in a vacuum? Aren't they aware how many young women are dying of anorexia - now even models within the fashion industry, let alone the hundreds of thousands of women who are influenced by it?

That's a rhetorical question. Of course they're aware. They just don't care, and probably sneer about it.

The photographer mentioned in the article is leading a noble crusade, but it sounds like he's alone. Laws urgently need to be passed in the U.S. to compel this industry to stop destroying (and ending) young women's lives.
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Old 31st December 2007   #5
HSG
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Default Re: ANOTHER model starves to death

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily
This has to be the most disgusting excuse the fashion industry could use to keep excluding naturally-proportioned womanly beauty, and to maintain its poisonous emaciated standard. The thinking is utterly sociopathic: "My creativity is more important than women's lives" is what they are saying.

How can any human being be so devoid of basic ethics as to think this way? Why does society allow individuals who are so pathologically self-absorbed to control culture? It's unbelievable. The causing of human death is still a criminal act. Or does society think that fashion stands above that?

There is no other industry--none--that has such exorbitant control over people's lives, causes such widespread suffering (and even death), and is completely free of any accountability. To read of this model's illness, to see the picture of her looking like a living corpse, and to know that her short life was marked by such misery--caused by the industry for which she slaved--is heartbreaking.

This photographer's efforts are indeed noble, but he is practically fighting a one-man war. No one is supporting him, no one is following his lead, and apart from a few toothless guidelines in a few countries, nothing at all is being done to prevent more models from dying--let alone to stop the epidemic of eating-disorder-related deaths among young women worldwide, especially in the West.

What would these designers say if it was their own daughter, or their own sister, who succumbed to the inhuman standards that they impose? In all likelihood, they still wouldn't care. As Emily notes, their self-absorption is practically sociopathic. How else to categorize an insistence on one's own creative vision at the expense of millions of women's happiness--indeed, their very lives?

Worst of all, what these cultural arbiters create isn't even anything noble or significant. It contributes nothing to human history. A few weird cuts of fabric, designs that are "in" one day, and "out" the next--and they are killing women for this? For this? A more futile waste of human life is impossible to conceive.

Thank goodness that some models have circumvented the regime of thinness, and either avoided the starvation prison to begin with, or escaped once they realized that it could only lead them to a fate as tragic as Hila Elmalich's.

Kate Dillon being pampered in Mode--Kate, the model who DIDN'T starve to death, but blossomed into a size-16 beauty, indulging herself freely, and living the good life that only plus-size goddesses can lead.

Compare this image of the well-fed, ebullient Ms. Dillon to that of the emaciated Hila Elmalich, above, and ask yourself--which is the life that you would rather lead?
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