Making Peace With Your Body – a Model’s Story


Thin, Skinny, Sexy? Up to what degree do you think this ‘super-model body mentality’ overruns the society, especially the young ladies?

Reflect on these model tips on being super skinny for the runway and ask yourself, “Did any of this models’ thoughts resonate with me?”

Originally published in Marie Claire, this is an account of the modelling industry and its culture through the eyes of a former model.

Scornful, fanciful and real, here are some highlights of a former model’s deliberation:

* I was deep into a green-grape diet (three for breakfast, two for snacks, six for binges).
* Last year both a Uruguayan and Brazilian model died of anorexia-related complications, asking the question: have we gone too far in the pursuit of thinness?
* Extra pounds are still grossly “off-trend.”
* I was discovered at 17 in Paris on a study tour in the late ’80s. Soon enough, I was in the hands of a team of bookers whose job it was to turn me into a robotic goddess, onto which fashion fantasies could be projected.
* My dilemma: those pesky Celtic warrior genes that kept me from looking “Park Avenue fragile.
* Some girls are meant to be slim-hipped and tiny. I’d watch them wolf down burgers and mud cake without gaining a gram. It’s being unhealthily thin that’s the bitch. At the beginning, I thought cutting out the crème caramels for life would be enough. Dream on.
* You become emotionally invested in the constant appraisal. As for the designers, they withdrew validation with one hand, while offering temporary superpowers with the other.
* The attention, the flattery, the heart-surgeon money, the city-hopping, the all-access social pass–the job is a hoot, and a parallel universe that constantly reaffirms the normalcy of weighing as little as possible.
* There were always more Marlboro reds and rancid champagne backstage than food, and we were all dieting together. Food deprivation was a badge of honor.
* My body became a battlefield where willpower and genetic destiny duked it out. Once I fixated on the goal weight, starving down was easy, especially when I discovered diuretics, which rid you of fluid, the lifeblood of the body.
* The more I punished myself, the more fashion rewarded me.
* Toward the mid-’90s, I was ready, even excited, to move on to other careers. But, my uphill battle with food wasn’t over. Once relieved of trying to be an impossible size, my policy became, “Say yes to everything.”
* After all those years of deprivation, my body threw its own Mardi Gras: instead of being thinner than everybody else, I went bigger. Not that I enjoyed it, I just tossed it all down.
* There is such a thing as a healthy model, a girl who got dealt the thin card. But, as sunken-cheeked chic creates an undertow that drags regular-shaped women into a losing battle only models used to have to fight.
* Once you make peace with who you naturally are, life is an incredible feast.

The model in question has since settled into what she describes as a “natural size 12.”

Come to think of it, this frenzy has take flight not only to the modelling world, but to the mainstream culture as well. It’s so sad to see ladies who are abusing themselves and their bodies just to achieve the ‘glamorous’, the ‘in’, the ‘accepted’ runway look.

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