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Dangers of modeling
Kelly's Modeling Pictures

Here is my senior project essay.

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 
todays 
modeling industry only about one in 250,000 people trying will ever 
make it 
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 
average 
U.S. model is 511 and weighs 117 pounds. A study found twenty years 
ago 
that the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. 
Today 
she weighs 23% less. While the average model weighs 23% less then an 
average 
woman. Kate Moss is 5'7" and weighs only 95 pounds. That is 30% below 
ideal 
body weight Media Influence on Eating Disorders. While some view 
high 
fashion runway modeling as a glamorous career, this occupation is far 
more 
demanding than people realize: because one faces health issues, 
pressures of 
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 
order 
to stay thin, some models take it to extreme. Here are some tips to 
stay 
thin found on the Internet:
Don't swallow. Models and other successful bodies known for are taking 
a 
forbidden bite, chewing and spitting it out. Make sure to make your 
room 
freezing at night so you expend calories by shivering to keep warm. 
Also if 
you get a craving for chocolate, take a whiff of strong perfume. Put 
perfume 
on a hanky and put it up to your nose when you pass a bakery. If you 
get 
really hungry suck on a fruit pit for 15

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minutes after you're done eating the fruit because, it keeps the flavor 
in 
your mouth, and makes you think I'm still enjoying the fruit. 
(Creager)
The Department of Agriculture and Health and Human services say Grain 
products, vegetables, fruits, milk products and meat products. Are the 
food 
groups that you need to eat each day to live long and be healthy 
(Rinzler 
186). Kristen Johnson a professional model and makeup artist says, in 
the 
modeling industry most girls were lucky to even eat a piece of bread 
during 
the day (Johnson). Although most models in the industry dont eat very 
much 
Tyra Banks seems to be the exception There was this one time when I 
was 
eating bacon, eggs, and waffles with extra syrup and butter, while the 
other 
people ordered juice and a apple. From the strange looks Id get. I 
knew 
people were thinking. How can she eat like that and stay in shape? 
(Banks 
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 
nervosa. 
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 
maintain 
their weight. And I wish I could say that eating disorders havent 
infiltrated the modeling industry, but I have to admit that thats 
simply 
not the case. I met a young model a
few years ago that really had me worried. She didnt feel good about 
her 
body and told me that she didnt want to have hips and breasts. She 
would 
call her developing breasts fat, and bind them with gauze for a flat- 
chested appearance. She said the new
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waif look was in, and she was losing out on jobs because of her curves. 
She 
later proceeded to eat less and less, until she fainted. Thankfully, 
her 
family recognized the problem and got her some help. (Banks 85)
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation and excessive 
weight 
loss. Some of the symptoms are: refusal to maintain body weight at or 
above 
a minimally normal weight for height, body type, age, and activity 
level, 
intense fear of weight gain or being "fat", feeling "fat" or overweight 
despite dramatic weight loss, with loss of menstrual periods and 
extreme 
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 
food--more 
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, 
or 
over-exercising. The symptoms of bulimia are, repeated episodes of 
binging 
and purging, feeling out of control during a binge and eating beyond 
the 
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 
with 
extreme concern with body weight and shape.) (Eating Disorders)
When she hit the 100-pound mark that her agent requested it wasn't 
good 
enough. Every time she weighed herself she felt she had to eat less so 
she 
could be thinner than whatever she currently weighed (Halperin).

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The women and men in high fashion modeling have anorexia nervosa and 
bulimia 
nervosa in order to meet the high demands of the industry. In this day 
and 
age, tall and thin is in for the fashion model. Fashion models must 
constantly maintain weight that allows clothes to drape their bodies to 
stay 
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 
model 
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 
became 
(Halperin). This quote has proven to be very true in over the years in 
all 
models. Not only do the girls attain these diseases, in some cases it 
is 
encouraged to have an eating disorder. Fashion scout Vincent Lopiccola 
admits he has been instructed by his bosses to knowingly recruit girls 
with 
eating disorders. Lopiccola says that he has never seen an agent or 
magazine 
editor turn down models because they looked too emaciated (Halperin).
It is by no means uncommon for teenage girls already suffering from 
eating
disorders to be approached in the street by model agency scouts. 
British 
model
Lucy Cope, 15, says that she was approached by two top model agencies. 
At 
the
time, Cope was anorexic, weighed 90 pounds and was a patient at a 
hospital 
for
eating disorders. Another British model, Lucy Stanley, 5'8" and 125 
pounds,
couldn't find an agent because she was told she was too heavy. At the 
time 
she
was suffering from anorexia and bulimia. At one agency I was told, 
'with a 
bum
that size you won't get anywhere'. Another said my hips were way too 
fat. I 
lost
several pounds and I looked like a maniac. My cheeks were hollow, my 
eyes 
had
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sunk into my face and my skin was terrible. (Halperin)
	With the pressure of being thin, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa 
are 
the most common mental eating issues. Heroin and cocaine is the most 
common 
abused drug in the fashion industry. The most sordid exploitation of 
the 
connection between eating disorders and substance abuse is found in the 
fashion industry. Drug use, especially heroin and cocaine, is not 
uncommon. 
And for many models it is the chosen route to wafer thinness 
(DeLalla).
Heroin first synthesized from morphine in 1874, was not extensively 
used in 
medicine until the beginning of this century. Commercial production of 
the 
new pain remedy was first started in 1898. While it received widespread 
acceptance from the medical profession, physicians remained unaware of 
its 
potential for addiction for years. Heroin, is now an illegal opiate 
drug 
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 
Colombia. 
(Heroin)
It is now taken in the fashion industry as a method of therapy for 
models. 
Heroin makes people feel like all their problems have gone away. The 
drugs 
help cope with the overwhelming pressures that the models face; for 
instance: staying thin, always having a good attitude, maintaining a 
great 
completion and the simple awareness that you are not always being 
judged but 
criticized. People find heroin very pleasurable; this means that
they are most likely to use it again and again. This can lead to 
dependency 
in a few weeks Heroin What You Need to Know
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Cocaine is also a highly used drug in the industry. Cocaine is a 
naturally 
occurring substance derived from the leaves of erythroxylon plants 
indigenous to South America. Pharmacologically, cocaine has two 
prominent 
actions: One it is a potent anesthetic; and two it is a powerful 
stimulant. 
The final form of cocaine dictates how the drug can be administered 
powder 
cocaine can be injected, insufflated (snorted), or ingested, while 
crack 
cocaine can only be smoked. (Cocaine)
It was certainly almost encouraged for the girls to hit the clubs 
every 
night. That drugs were a way of staying awake during your five AM call 
the 
next day; where all the models were doing coke (When Supermodels Ruled 
the 
World).
Besides drug use mental and verbal abuse is a vastly common trait in 
the 
fashion industry  'I need to be thinner. I'm too fat.' I saw her break 
down 
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 
food 
down to please me (Halperin). This happens all too often in the 
industry 
since to models it never seems that how much they weigh or how they 
look is 
ever good enough for everyone else. The girls abuse them self mentally 
by 
telling them self Im too fat, my butt is too big, why cant I look 
like her 
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 
mentally 
abusing themselves, to try to look a certain way (Johnson).
Not only is mental abuse a common feature, verbal abuse from other 
peoples 
more or less their agents happens all too often. My agent kept telling 
me 
to lose more
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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 
mentally 
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 
young 
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 
wants, 
there is always another girl that is prettier, skinnier and willing to 
put 
up with more then you will (Johnson).			With an unbelievable amount 
of 
stress on my shoulders my agent supplied me with large quantities of 
drugs 
because he knew it would keep my weight down. He made me feel guilty if 
I 
was hungry. He often told me, 'in this business you have to famine to 
make 
sure your career feasts. If you're not thinner than the next girl, you 
won't 
get work(Halperin). As a model you know that the industries view on 
what 
is in. Changes constantly you must make your body look a certain way 
or 
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 
lives.
She was absolutely gorgeous, drop-dead, but didn't have the mental 
fortitude 
to deal with it, so it's not just about the looks. I mean, she had 
that, and 
the body, and everything else. But she had no discipline, no sense of 
what 
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 
looks 
and the body. You have to be willing to put up
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with a lot of bullshit to make it, you know?  And that's a lot. And you 
can 
get kind of crazy. It's your job to be pretty. And you get used to 
people 
commenting about your looks. You get critiqued on all of your physical 
attributes in this very harsh, very objective and cold and sometimes 
mean 
way. And it has nothing to do with who you really are. (Wacht)               
                                                               There's 
no 
doubt that the trend to use spaced out and unhealthily thin models has 
not 
died down, says well-known South Beach fashion photographer William
Daley. I have a scale in my studio and every model that I photograph 
is 
weighed before a photo session. If the model is even a pound over the 
weight 
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, 
shortness 
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 
themselves and 
go to the extremes to feel better. Some of the extremes that the models 
go 
to are anorexia, bulimia and drug use.
High fashion runway modeling is a very glamorous but dangerous career 
if one 
is not aware of the health issues, emotional torture, and the pressures 
of 
being the best. In a recent interview with Sophie Nolet, a long time 
model. 
By Ian Halperin found some shocking information about the modeling 
industry. 
Sophie states,
I advise any young girl to stay in school and not to do what I did. I 
almost 
died.
There's so much pressure on models today to be thin. I know several who 
weren't
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as lucky as me and didn't survive. It's unfair that models are forced 
to 
look a
certain way. Everybody starts to look the same. There are many 
beautiful 
girls
who aren't skinny who should be on the covers of Vogue and Elle instead 
of 
the
pencil-thin girls we've become accustomed to seeing. (Halperin)




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Works Cited
Banks, Tyra. Tyras Beauty Inside and Out. New York: New York, 1998.
Cocaine  Hoffman Estates. November 22, 2003. Available:
http://www.hoffmanestates.com/police/Drugs/Police_cocaine_facts.htm
Creager, Ellen. It Takes Effort -- and Maybe Anorexia -- to be 
Model-Thin. 
Detroit
Free  Press Online. July 21, 1998. Available: 
http://www.freep.com/news/health/qstar21.htm.
DeLalla, Ellen. Double Whammy Of Drugs & Eating Disorders. E Diets.
November 17, 2003. Available: 
http://www.ediets.com/news/article.cfm/article_id,4692
Eating Disorders. Safe Place. November 12, 2003. Available:
http://www.safeplaceservices.org/teentopics/eating.shtml
Geri, Craig. Free Insider Report on the Modeling Industry. Model 
News.
November 3, 2003. Available: 
http://www.modelnews.com/pages/insiderreport.cfm
Halperin, Ian. Shut Up and Starve. Fashion 411. November 20, 2003. 
Available:
http://www.montrealmirror.com/ARCHIVES/2000/033000/fash4.htmlhttp://www.shropshireonline.gov.uk/substancemisuse.nsf/open/F0FEB889D5DD6
Heroin.  Hoffman Estates. November 17, 2003. Available:
http://www.hoffmanestates.com/police/Drugs/Police_heroin.htm
Heroin What You Need to Know.  Shrop Shire Online. November 17, 2003. 
Available:

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http://www.shropshireonline.gov.uk/substancemisuse.nsf/open/F0FEB889D5DD65FA80256D890050142F/$file/Drugs%20leaflet.pdf
Johnson, Kristen. Personal Interview. November 22, 2003.
Media Influence on Eating Disorders. Rader Programs. November 12, 
2003.
Available: http://www.raderprograms.com/media.htm
ONeil, Julie. High Fashion. Manikins. October 30, 2003. Available:
http://www.manikins.net/fashion.htm
Patton, Rebecca. The Desired Look: Nothing But Bones. RSCC. November 
12, 
2003.
Available: 
http://www.rscc.cc.tn.us/owl&writingcenter/OWL/NothingButBones.html.
Rinzler, Carol. Nutrition for Dummies. Foster City: CA, 1997.
Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety. University of Minnesota Health 
Services.
November 23, 2003. Available:
http://www.d.umn.edu/hlthserv/counseling/stress_symptoms.html
Wacht, Lauren. Model. Motel sign. November 1, 2003. Available:
	http://www.motelsign.com/workstories/model
When Supermodels Ruled the World. VH1.  November 20,2003.

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