Fashionably unwell?

Whilst spending time polishing my pinkies in the local nail salon, I was unfortunate enough to come across a channel known as ‘fashion TV.’

I love clothes, I adore shoes and I dream of owning a Chanel handbag that wasn’t purchased in the back streets of Karama. Victoria Beckham and Stella Macartney are my fashion idols and Carrie Bradshaw rocked her ensembles in Sex and the City (though my favourite was always Charlotte.) Therefore I should love everything about a whole television channel dedicated to fashionistas and catwalks.

Yet when watching run way after run way I was shocked at just how thin the models had become. It is arguable that clothes may hang well for fashion purposes from a long, leaner figure or that models have always been thin since the time modelling began..but the ladies walking yesterday down the catwalk yesterday appeared nothing but unwell.

Their tiny but tall frames showed evidence of muscle wastage – muscles being broken down to provide enough nutrition to stay alive, secondary only to starvation. Admittedly I do not know the models I saw yesterday and I appreciate some may be naturally slim but should we be encouraging such low BMI’s in the fashion world, and even selecting only women with BMIs within the medical category of ‘dangerously underweight’ to model high fashion?

When looking at the women walking down the catwalk, I do not see fashion. I see young women, starving to be accepted by their industry. Women who watch their friends eating – desperate yet terrified to take a bite. Women too exhausted, too cold to go out and exercise and women harbouring internal anxiety and pain. It would be wrong to suggest all models are suffering with an eating disorder or with other mental health co-morbidities, but i will bet a large number of men and women are.

With the governments putting further and further stipulations on health and attempting to manage our well being (‘sugar free Calpol, diabetic friendly, fortified with iron, 2-3 units of alcohol only a day..’) shouldn’t we push for a minimum, safe, BMI for models around the world?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *