Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ana Carolina Reston: Died of Anorexia, November 15, 2006 | Hila Elmalich: Died of Anorexia, November 14, 2007

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?


T.S.T. said...

I am, naturally, saddened & angered by Hila Elmalich's death.

In the words of Chris Kraatz, in the preface of his book "Radical Recovery":

To the extent that we demand appropriate respect for ourselves we restore a measure of dignity to those who didn't survive their disordered eating. Remember, those who have died from disordered eating are OUR dead, we are them and they are us.

Sharon said...

We need to embrace a more healthy body type for models, or else these deaths are going to continue - not only among models themselves but in the masses of teens who would hope to emulate them.

CynthiaC said...

What exactly is everyone's definition of a "healthy body type" anyway? Some people will say that Eva Longoria is "too skinny" while other people will say she's okay. Some people will freak out at the sound of size 0, even if said size 0 person is on the short side. Why?

Claire said...

I think every person has their own "healthy body type," which is achieved when you're eating well (not restricting or bingeing) and staying active (not overexercising). Some people are thin and healthy and some people are fat and healthy. I don't have a problem with tiny sizes per se, but I do have a problem with the way they are idealized in our culture.