The fashion industry was rocked last year by Spain and U.K’s decision to ban underweight models from Madrid, Barcelona and London fashion weeks in an effort to promote healthy body weights and as a positive attempt to stem the rise in eating disorders. This has even percolated into the fashion shows in India. Over 30 percent of the models who appeared in Madrid shows last season were disqualified under the new guidelines that will likely prevent the participation of many top super-models. The Indian fashion industry has reacted to this and is also under the process of enforcing laws that will ban models below a particular weight.
It is high time we ask for some responsibility from within the industry for the impact fashion has on potentially life-threatening eating disorders. Take for instance – Brazilian supermodel Ana Carolina Reston who died last year .At the time of her death Reston weighed only 40 kilograms, measured 172 cm (5 feet 8 inches), and had been hospitalized since October 25 for kidney malfunction due to anorexia and bulimia nervosa, which included a diet consisting only of apples and tomatoes. She had a body mass index (BMI) of about 13.4, below the index value of 16 which the World Health Organization considers to be starvation. Her condition became more serious and deteriorated into generalized infection that led to her death at the age of 2 . Also Luisel Ramos, a 22-year-old Uruguayan model, suffered a heart attack in August after living on lettuce leaves and Diet Coke for three months! The worst part is that the images being portrayed in popular culture are completely unrealistic, airbrushed, manipulated . . . while putting a lot of pressure on young people to look a certain way. For many young girls, the pursuit of this “perfect body” ultimately ends up in a serious medical problem. Simply put, this is dangerous and hopefully with the ban on “thinspirational” fashion models things are going to improve.
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