We have just learned that Israeli model Hila Elmalich passed away as a result of anorexia. She died on November 14th, almost exactly one year after Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston lost her battle with the same eating disorder. Reston's death prompted us to launch our 5 Resolutions to Transform the Fashion and Beauty Industries. Today we got another sobering reminder that this work must continue. And we take comfort in the knowledge that we are not alone.
Elmalich's friend, fashion photographer and agent Adi Barkan (pictured at right, with a hospitalized Elmalich over two years ago), is raising awareness among Israeli fashion agencies. Over 30 Israeli CEOs have agreed to hire models for their advertisements only after they pass a health exam. [Israel 21C]
We have also called for health exams, and our own survey showed that both medical professionals and fashion industry professionals agree that of all the proposed recommendations, exams would be the most effective way to protect the health of models. But despite support for the idea, in the U.S. it's still just that--an idea. Other industries have figured it out. There's no reason why the fashion industry can't, too.
Barkan put it best when he said, "They say a lot but they did nothing yet, so let's do it! Because from talking nothing will move." Ready to start taking some action?