Dyng to be thin

This is a year-old story, but it bears repeating:

Isabelle Caro dies; mother commits suicide

“This [Fashion] is an industry that needs to be regulated in the same way that other occupations that carry inherent risks are. Should we really be allowing anyone in the workplace to be encouraging their employees to engage in an activity that leads to death or illness?”
— Harry Brandt, director of the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore

Harry gets it. Body mass index limits are important as a means to monitor health in an industry that distorts our perspective on beauty, leading to deadly disorders. Anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders are treatable, and they need to be stopped at the pressure points first: that is, the motivation to be rail thin. As long as the body “norm” is so abnormal, women will torture themselves to fit into those threads. As long as we give up our powerful health to artists who clothe our women and feature them in mass media and entertainment, women will squeeze themselves into improbable molds, and suffer the physical consequences in the name of fashion. Look what stilettos do to our bodies over time: deformed feet; overdeveloped, too taught calves; chronic lower back pain. Imagine what purposeful starvation does to the mind as well as the body. Denying one’s own sustenance, around you in abundance, is supreme self-torture, as well as ultimate control and will power — a dangerous combination for the psyche.

I teach a beautiful, tall, lithe teenage girl who wants to be a model. She has already worked in the industry and has an agent. When we were talking about the stresses she is facing these days, she mentioned — through her tears — that she needed to lose five pounds because she is overweight by modeling agency standards. There is no place on this girl’s body that could shed five pounds. To insist on it should be criminal.

I encourage the boycotting and petitioning of the American fashion industry that won’t self-regulate for the health of its employees, and consequently — due to the influence it holds over what we wear — for the health of all women. Follow Milan and Madrid’s model of barring underweight models, and take it a step further: 18.5 BMI is thin enough.

Psst, pass it on.

Isabelle Caro before she got mortally thin with Anorexia:

To see “after” pictures, search for her on Google Image. They are too frightening for me to post here.


5 thoughts on “Dyng to be thin

  1. Yes, good for you – and isn’t this connected to “Who seeks beauty” in the sense that this is about expanding our view of what beauty is, that if we are open to seeing the beauty in front of us that it exists in all kinds of bodies? I still remember a time 20 years ago when I suggested to a friend that everyone is interesting, and if we don’t experience them that way it’s as much about our limitation as theirs. How can we help our society, our girls, our boys, our men, our women, open up to the beauty inherent in all bodies (insert a little Walt Whitman here).

  2. Amen, sister! I loved that Dove campaign that featured all sorts of women..what happened to that? I liked where it is going.

    What a great reason to buy garments made by local people, eh?

  3. scary. scary. scary. my boy already asked me if he is fat. I was shocked. I explained that children need fat to be healthy and grow.
    dont buy fashion magazines. what can I do?


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