High Fashion Runway Modeling
Many young girls aspire to become high fashion models because of the
prospect of fame and fortune. Although they may not realize the hidden
dangers in the fashion industry could potentially hurt them. In
modeling industry only about one in 250,000 people trying will ever
big in the high fashion model category (ONeil). Along with that the
average U.S. woman is 54 and weighs 140 pounds. In contrast, the
U.S. model is 511 and weighs 117 pounds. A study found twenty years
that the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman.
she weighs 23% less. While the average model weighs 23% less then an
woman. Kate Moss is 5'7" and weighs only 95 pounds. That is 30% below
body weight Media Influence on Eating Disorders. While some view
fashion runway modeling as a glamorous career, this occupation is far
demanding than people realize: because one faces health issues,
being the best and emotional torture.
In the modeling industry a models diet is very important (Geri).
Unfortunately, many models choose the unhealthy diets to stay thin. In
to stay thin, some models take it to extreme. Here are some tips to
thin found on the Internet:
Don't swallow. Models and other successful bodies known for are taking
forbidden bite, chewing and spitting it out. Make sure to make your
freezing at night so you expend calories by shivering to keep warm.
you get a craving for chocolate, take a whiff of strong perfume. Put
on a hanky and put it up to your nose when you pass a bakery. If you
really hungry suck on a fruit pit for 15
minutes after you're done eating the fruit because, it keeps the flavor
your mouth, and makes you think I'm still enjoying the fruit.
The Department of Agriculture and Health and Human services say Grain
products, vegetables, fruits, milk products and meat products. Are the
groups that you need to eat each day to live long and be healthy
186). Kristen Johnson a professional model and makeup artist says, in
modeling industry most girls were lucky to even eat a piece of bread
the day (Johnson). Although most models in the industry dont eat very
Tyra Banks seems to be the exception There was this one time when I
eating bacon, eggs, and waffles with extra syrup and butter, while the
people ordered juice and a apple. From the strange looks Id get. I
people were thinking. How can she eat like that and stay in shape?
83). I tell everyone you can eat what you want as long as it is in
moderation with a good amount of exercise (Banks 85).
Along with dieting and being unhappy with the results, models,
unfortunately, often turn to having anorexia nervosa and bulimia
The health issues that are most common in the high fashion modeling
category are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa (Patton).
We all hear stories about models going to an extreme to lose or
their weight. And I wish I could say that eating disorders havent
infiltrated the modeling industry, but I have to admit that thats
not the case. I met a young model a
few years ago that really had me worried. She didnt feel good about
body and told me that she didnt want to have hips and breasts. She
call her developing breasts fat, and bind them with gauze for a flat-
chested appearance. She said the new
waif look was in, and she was losing out on jobs because of her curves.
later proceeded to eat less and less, until she fainted. Thankfully,
family recognized the problem and got her some help. (Banks 85)
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation and excessive
loss. Some of the symptoms are: refusal to maintain body weight at or
a minimally normal weight for height, body type, age, and activity
intense fear of weight gain or being "fat", feeling "fat" or overweight
despite dramatic weight loss, with loss of menstrual periods and
concern with body weight and shape. Eating Disorders
Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating
followed by purging. Bulimia includes eating large amounts of
than most people would eat in one meal--in short periods of time, then
getting rid of the food and calories through vomiting, laxative abuse,
over-exercising. The symptoms of bulimia are, repeated episodes of
and purging, feeling out of control during a binge and eating beyond
point of comfortable fullness, purging after a binge, (typically by
self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, diet pills and/or diuretics,
excessive exercise, or fasting, diets very often, more than normal and
extreme concern with body weight and shape.) (Eating Disorders)
When she hit the 100-pound mark that her agent requested it wasn't
enough. Every time she weighed herself she felt she had to eat less so
could be thinner than whatever she currently weighed (Halperin).
The women and men in high fashion modeling have anorexia nervosa and
nervosa in order to meet the high demands of the industry. In this day
age, tall and thin is in for the fashion model. Fashion models must
constantly maintain weight that allows clothes to drape their bodies to
competitive in fashion. The designers create these size restraints
(ONeil). Not only is it in but also it is demanded of them to be a
in the high fashion category. Sophie Nolet a major model stated in the
beginning of her career. My agent kept telling me to lose more weight
because it seemed that the skinnier I got the fatter my paycheck
(Halperin). This quote has proven to be very true in over the years in
models. Not only do the girls attain these diseases, in some cases it
encouraged to have an eating disorder. Fashion scout Vincent Lopiccola
admits he has been instructed by his bosses to knowingly recruit girls
eating disorders. Lopiccola says that he has never seen an agent or
editor turn down models because they looked too emaciated (Halperin).
It is by no means uncommon for teenage girls already suffering from
disorders to be approached in the street by model agency scouts.
Lucy Cope, 15, says that she was approached by two top model agencies.
time, Cope was anorexic, weighed 90 pounds and was a patient at a
eating disorders. Another British model, Lucy Stanley, 5'8" and 125
couldn't find an agent because she was told she was too heavy. At the
was suffering from anorexia and bulimia. At one agency I was told,
that size you won't get anywhere'. Another said my hips were way too
several pounds and I looked like a maniac. My cheeks were hollow, my
sunk into my face and my skin was terrible. (Halperin)
With the pressure of being thin, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
the most common mental eating issues. Heroin and cocaine is the most
abused drug in the fashion industry. The most sordid exploitation of
connection between eating disorders and substance abuse is found in the
fashion industry. Drug use, especially heroin and cocaine, is not
And for many models it is the chosen route to wafer thinness
Heroin first synthesized from morphine in 1874, was not extensively
medicine until the beginning of this century. Commercial production of
new pain remedy was first started in 1898. While it received widespread
acceptance from the medical profession, physicians remained unaware of
potential for addiction for years. Heroin, is now an illegal opiate
known on the street as smack, junk, brown sugar, dope, horse, skunk and
other names is derived from the resin of the poppy plant which grows
predominantly in southeast and southwest Asia, Mexico and now in
It is now taken in the fashion industry as a method of therapy for
Heroin makes people feel like all their problems have gone away. The
help cope with the overwhelming pressures that the models face; for
instance: staying thin, always having a good attitude, maintaining a
completion and the simple awareness that you are not always being
criticized. People find heroin very pleasurable; this means that
they are most likely to use it again and again. This can lead to
in a few weeks Heroin What You Need to Know
Cocaine is also a highly used drug in the industry. Cocaine is a
occurring substance derived from the leaves of erythroxylon plants
indigenous to South America. Pharmacologically, cocaine has two
actions: One it is a potent anesthetic; and two it is a powerful
The final form of cocaine dictates how the drug can be administered
cocaine can be injected, insufflated (snorted), or ingested, while
cocaine can only be smoked. (Cocaine)
It was certainly almost encouraged for the girls to hit the clubs
night. That drugs were a way of staying awake during your five AM call
next day; where all the models were doing coke (When Supermodels Ruled
Besides drug use mental and verbal abuse is a vastly common trait in
fashion industry 'I need to be thinner. I'm too fat.' I saw her break
and cry many times. Whenever I tried to persuade her to eat, she either
refused, or would break down and cry while she struggled to force the
down to please me (Halperin). This happens all too often in the
since to models it never seems that how much they weigh or how they
ever good enough for everyone else. The girls abuse them self mentally
telling them self Im too fat, my butt is too big, why cant I look
or Im not hungry, Im not hungry, Im not hungry. They have become so
overwhelmed with meeting the high demands of the industry they are
abusing themselves, to try to look a certain way (Johnson).
Not only is mental abuse a common feature, verbal abuse from other
more or less their agents happens all too often. My agent kept telling
to lose more
weight, youre fat. You need to be skinnier if you want me to be your
agent! (Halperin). It can be hard mentally, if youre not strong
it can be very hard. Youre being judged all the time just by physical
appearance and personality (When Supermodels Ruled the World).
The unbarring stress in the fashion industry is often too much for the
models to endure. As a model you must be perfect: perfect hair, skin,
attitude and body. If that model cannot be exactly what the agent
there is always another girl that is prettier, skinnier and willing to
up with more then you will (Johnson). With an unbelievable amount
stress on my shoulders my agent supplied me with large quantities of
because he knew it would keep my weight down. He made me feel guilty if
was hungry. He often told me, 'in this business you have to famine to
sure your career feasts. If you're not thinner than the next girl, you
get work(Halperin). As a model you know that the industries view on
is in. Changes constantly you must make your body look a certain way
there are severe consequences(Johnson).
Unfortunately, for some
girls in the industry, they just cant handle the stress, even though
modeling has been something they have dreamed about for all their
She was absolutely gorgeous, drop-dead, but didn't have the mental
to deal with it, so it's not just about the looks. I mean, she had
the body, and everything else. But she had no discipline, no sense of
she wanted to get out of it, and she just got eaten up alive. She just
couldn't handle it. I mean, maybe it's obvious, but it's not just the
and the body. You have to be willing to put up
with a lot of bullshit to make it, you know? And that's a lot. And you
get kind of crazy. It's your job to be pretty. And you get used to
commenting about your looks. You get critiqued on all of your physical
attributes in this very harsh, very objective and cold and sometimes
way. And it has nothing to do with who you really are. (Wacht)
doubt that the trend to use spaced out and unhealthily thin models has
died down, says well-known South Beach fashion photographer William
Daley. I have a scale in my studio and every model that I photograph
weighed before a photo session. If the model is even a pound over the
their agent pro-missed I'm forced to send them home. (Halperin).
The girls often feel overwhelming stress and have symptoms like; heart
pounding, headaches, sweaty palms, indigestion, skin breaks out,
of breath, forgetfulness, loss of concentration, poor judgment,
disorganized, fuzzy perception and confused Symptoms of Stress and
Anxiety. Unfortunately, many models begin to think poorly of
go to the extremes to feel better. Some of the extremes that the models
to are anorexia, bulimia and drug use.
High fashion runway modeling is a very glamorous but dangerous career
is not aware of the health issues, emotional torture, and the pressures
being the best. In a recent interview with Sophie Nolet, a long time
By Ian Halperin found some shocking information about the modeling
I advise any young girl to stay in school and not to do what I did. I
There's so much pressure on models today to be thin. I know several who
as lucky as me and didn't survive. It's unfair that models are forced
certain way. Everybody starts to look the same. There are many
who aren't skinny who should be on the covers of Vogue and Elle instead
pencil-thin girls we've become accustomed to seeing. (Halperin)
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November 17, 2003. Available:
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Geri, Craig. Free Insider Report on the Modeling Industry. Model
November 3, 2003. Available:
Halperin, Ian. Shut Up and Starve. Fashion 411. November 20, 2003.
Heroin. Hoffman Estates. November 17, 2003. Available:
Heroin What You Need to Know. Shrop Shire Online. November 17, 2003.
Johnson, Kristen. Personal Interview. November 22, 2003.
Media Influence on Eating Disorders. Rader Programs. November 12,
ONeil, Julie. High Fashion. Manikins. October 30, 2003. Available:
Patton, Rebecca. The Desired Look: Nothing But Bones. RSCC. November
Rinzler, Carol. Nutrition for Dummies. Foster City: CA, 1997.
Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety. University of Minnesota Health
November 23, 2003. Available:
Wacht, Lauren. Model. Motel sign. November 1, 2003. Available:
When Supermodels Ruled the World. VH1. November 20,2003.
What a job!
I just love taking pictures!