Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Make Me a Supermodel

Articles from newspapers in 2006

An excerpt from an article stating that Lily Cole, who was 18 at the time, insisted that she was not underweight, “I don’t know where this has all come from. I am not too thin, I am a model.” The article described Lily has being 5ft 10in tall and weighing a fraction over eight stone...

“A cross-party alliance of women MPs and TV presenter Gail Porter – who has battled anorexia – criticised the use of models such as Cole and Erin O-Connor. Porter, 35, said: ‘Having struggled with the disease so much the image that we’re portraying to our children scares me. I don’t want my daughter to look at the catwalks or magazines and think this is the way she is supposed to be. To be sucked into the world of drugs or eating disorders is soul destroying.’ Eleanor Laing, the Tory women’s spokeswoman, added: ‘There is no doubt that many, many young girls look at the skinny supermodels and try to make themselves look like that.’” (‘Lily: Why do they all say I’m too thin?’ by Katie Hind, London Lite, 20 September 2006, p.5).

The vivacious TB presenter Gail Porter who lost her hair as a result of Alopecia Totalis in 2010

Beneath the article 14-year-old American model, Aleksandra Vasic, was cited as being the “youngest ever model to strut the catwalk” having been signed up by British designer Zandra Rhodes. Apparently, she had been training to be a model since the age of 10. Rhodes believed the she could be the next Twiggy or Kate Moss since, besides being pretty, she also happened to be stick-thin.

Another article, titled ‘TV wannabe ‘a skeleton,’ explained, “In recent weeks a debate has raged over what is seen as the pressure the fashion industry puts on models to be ‘waif-like.’” However, a spokesman for the television channel insisted that their show was “all about taking 12 boys and girls of all shapes and sizes and transforming them into potential supermodels. We absolutely do not encourage and have never asked our models to lose weight. In our last broadcast episode we gave advice on nutritional healthy eating and exercise to stay in shape.” (The London Paper, 18 October 2006, p.8).

Eugene Henderson wrote: “Five was at the centre of a health row today after the television channel was accused of encouraging wannabe models to be ‘super-skinny.’ Bosses defended themselves against the claims, which were sparked by the skeletal appearance of one of the contestants in its show Make Me a Supermodel. Catwalk hopeful Marianne, 20, stunned passersby when she strode along London’s Millennium Bridge in a gold swimsuit revealing her bony figure.” (Ibid).

Nobody appears to have been concerned that any of the contestants were overweight. The reason being, I expect, the media frenzy surrounding this issue. The media, of course, being owned by the Global Elite, lock, stock and barrel.

Reader’s Letters, London Lite, 18 September 2006, p.12.

“Lily Cole just looks amazing. The fact that she did so well academically shows she’s no fool either. She doesn’t need to be told what to eat and banning her from catwalks would be wrong. Lily just happens to be a very striking girl and nobody can say she has had to diet to look that way. I think women are intelligent enough to understand that models are the exception and not the rule. They are there to show off fashions that most people don’t wear. The designs always become more normal by the time they hit the catwalk. We should admire Lily for what she is, an exceptional-looking model, and stop treating girls as idiots who blindly follow what they read in magazines.” – Jane, London.

“That’s not entirely fair. You can’t go about banning people from legal forms of employment – that’s called discrimination. Can I elect not to have an obese person as my accounts manager? Discrimination should be discouraged, not encouraged. Now I’m well aware that, for most people, being a size zero probably means massive medical problems but I’m sure that’s not the case for everyone.” – Carroll, London.

“Parents have to be seriously concerned by the latest fashion trend of size zero models. Young women are under terrible pressure to meet entirely unobtainable goals already. When you remember heroin chic was once the cause celèbre of the fashion world you have to be concerned about the messages sent to girls. It is very cynical that fashion can embrace campaigns like breast cancer awareness but feign innocence when it comes to a clear influence on the number of women suffering anorexia. I really feel for girls my daughter’s age who think they have to be size zero to be attractive and valued.” – Thelma, UK.

And a biased yet grounded voice from the other side of the Establishment...

Lily Cole in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (directed by Terry Gilliam)

Stick-thin obsession must end

By Dr Michelle Tempest, Psychiatrist

The London Paper, 18 September 2006, p.18.

To celebrate London Fashion Week, try the following exercise. Count the number of times your brain registers an image of a thin woman between getting up and going to work. Check your cereal box, your newspaper, your morning TV, posters on the Tube. When I did this recently, I was staggered to count 63 models who appeared underweight in less than an hour. Almost every minute, my brain was being subjected to an unhealthy image.

Society now seems to accept that junk food is an unhealthy input into our mouths, yet it still seems unconcerned that junk information is unhealthy food for the brain. We get a choice of different foods on offer, so why don’t we have a choice of what stimuli our brains are bombarded with?

Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, affect a staggering 12 per cent of the population with milder forms being more prevalent. The common factor among all eating disorders is dissatisfaction with body shape and consequent dietary restrictions. Although these disorders are multifactorial, few would dispute the social pressure to be thin, especially for women.

The sad fact for anorexia nervosa sufferers is that as many as 20 per cent may die – some during their quest to imitate underweight role models. What must be done?

Few people would argue with the general proposition that weight in itself is a matter of personal choice. Further, that press freedom is crucial to a democratic society. However, with freedom comes responsibility and this is where the problem lies. By turning a blind eye to the effects it is having on society, the media is simply abusing its freedom at the expense of us all.

One solution may be to add provisions into the constitutions of the media’s regulatory bodies, such as the Press Complaints Commission, to try to avoid portraying the symptoms of eating disorders as glamorous. Or, as we celebrate the start of London Fashion Week, a lead might be taken from a recent show in Madrid to ban models with a Body Mass Index below 18 and urge them to go see a doctor rather than go down a catwalk.

[Yes, and heap yet more political correctness on society in the process. Anyway, someone who approves of modern psychiatric practises and not slim models.]

Lily is swell

By Widiane Moussa

The London Paper, 2 October 2006, p.17.

She is worth £10 million but, like all teenagers, supermodel Lily Cole still needs her mum to stand up for her.

Cole’s mother sprung to her defence today after her daughter was criticised during London Fashion Week for being too skinny. Cole became the focus of the skinny model debate.

Patience Owen, 47, said her daughter’s long legs and slender waist ran in the family. “Lily is a healthy young woman and she does not suffer any eating disorders,” Mrs Owen said. “She eats well and has a sensible and mature outlook on life. Aside from her legs and waist, she is actually quite curvaceous. Diet-wise she is just like any other normal teenage girl. No girl should starve themselves to be fashionable or for any other reason. Lily knows that.”

Cole, 18, who is studying Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge, is reportedly dating Keira Knightley’s ex, Jamie Dornan, 23.

M&S chief Rose defends the Size Zero girls

“If they eat well, then that’s fine”

By Joe Murphy and Katharine Barney

 The London Paper (or London Lite), 2006.

The head of Marks & Spencer today defied mounting calls to denounce the use of stick-thin models on the catwalk.

Stuart Rose rejected calls to ban the size zero girls despite claims that they encourage youngsters to risk their health by adopting severe diets.

M&S is one of the main backers of London Fashion Week and its chief executive insisted: “It’s not about size, it’s about health. If the girl eats well, exercises and looks good, then their BMI has nothing to do with it.”

Fashion Week, which started yesterday, is under pressure to copy last week’s ban on models like Lily Cole with a Body Mass Index below 18 at Madrid’s fashion week. BMI is a ratio of height to weight and anything below 18.5 is classified as underweight by the World Health Organisation.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell today joined calls for designers to avoid using girls whose appearance is unhealthily underweight. “This is an issue whose time has come,” she said. “If the designers think these images will not sell and the public show their own preference against it, things may change.

Ms Jowell said severe dieting by girls trying to emulate fashion photos was as dangerous to health as clinical obesity. “There’s all the difference between a healthy body weight that is slim and an emaciated body,” she said. “Research shows that it is healthier to be slightly bigger and take regular exercise than it is to be underweight but not take exercise. “We’re not talking about slim models but girls who daren’t put on a pound in case it is the end of their careers. That is a bad example.”

Fashion figures joined the debate. M&S advertising model Erin O’Connor who, at 6ft 1in and 9st 4lb could be banned by Madrid, said: “It’s a debate that will happen in time and all opinions are welcome.”

Celebrity stylist Zoe Lam described the use of underweight models as “very scary and it could get worse.” She said:”The fashion world has something to answer for in terms of teen eating disorders.”

Silvia Rogar, the fashion feature editor from Brazilian Vogue, said: “Having worked with models I know how many of them are seriously suffering from eating disorders.”

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

No comments:

Post a Comment