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Anorexia nervosa is a
medical condition in which an
individual reaches fifteen percent under
their expected body weight. The average
model is twenty- three percent below
their expected body weight”
(Thompson). The fashion industry today
is filled with women wearing sizes zero
and two. Young girls aspire to be just
like these women, a feat that is
unattainable while maintaining a healthy
lifestyle. Anorexia is on the rise and the
fashion industry needs to step up and
show girls how to be healthy and
People with anorexia have an
unexplainable loss of appetite. The main
cause of anorexia is a diet that spirals dangerously out of control. Anorexics
usually attempt to limit their calorie intake to 200 or 400 calories per day.
This is considerably low since the average person requires two-thousand
calories per day to maintain a healthy lifestyle (Cotter 10). The effects of
anorexia are alarming. One in
ten people who suffer from
anorexia die, due to starvation,
cardiac arrest, or suicide
“Eating disorders have more
than doubled since the
1960s”(Terzieff). According to
a Philadelphia-based Renfrew
Center Foundation survey, 47
percent of U.S. females
between fifth and twelfth grade
say they wish they could lose
weight. Also 60 percent of the
same group say that magazines
influence what they think of the
perfect body type (Terzieff).
Everyday young girls are bombarded with new diet ads, ensuring them if
they lose weight they can be happy. While they flip through their favorite
magazine, size zero and size two appear on every page. Young girls believe
this is normal and that everyone should be able to achieve the “media’s
perfect body image.” The media is shaping the minds of young girls around
the world.

Tyra Banks often

talks openly about the
pressures to be thin that
she faced while in the
modeling industry. She
says that “she’s happy
that she doesn’t have to
live up to that model
standard anymore.”
Natalia Vodianova (a
former super model) also
says that “After I started
modeling I began to hate
my body- no matter how
thin I got.” These are
perfect examples of how
the fashion industry
forces young girls to be
to thin (“Skinny
Scandal” 149). This is
not healthy for the models, or for the young girls looking up to them.
The fashion industry constantly refuses that they are at fault for any health
related issues. Yet, Janice Dickinson (a former super model and now an
agency owner) said “I’m dying to find kids who are too thin. I’ve got 42
models in my agency, and I’m trying to get them to lose weight. In fact, I
wish they’d come down with some anorexia” (“Skinny Scandal” 149). The
industry is constantly pressuring young girls to lose weight. Usually a
healthy diet just does not show the results the models need so they resort to
not eating at all.
The fashion industry also claims that there is no evidence that correlates
them with anorexia, yet many young models have died of anorexia related

Ana Carolina Reston

is a young model that passed
from this terrible eating disorder.
The size six model started
modeling in Sao Paulo, Brazil
where she was told she was too
fat. She was determined to make
it, so she secretly stopped eating.
On November 14th of last year,
she finally got her big break. She
was on the cover of magazines
all across Brazil and the world.
“Soon she made headlines across
the globe, not for her modeling
but for dying of anorexic related
problems.” Reston went from a
size six to a size two and the
change was blatantly obvious.
She began to feel pain in her
kidneys around October. Later
the doctors found out she was
living off tomatoes and fruit
juice. She was admitted to the
hospital on October 25. She
spent her last 21 days in an intensive care unit. Her death certificate reads
cause of death as “multiple organ failure, septicemia, and urinary infection”
(“Everyone Knew she was Ill”).

Reston was not the only model to die from an eating disorder. Weeks before
her death Luisel Ramos “suffered a heart attack thought to be the result of
anorexia.” The model was a size 00, or the typical waist size of a seven-year
old (“Everyone Knew she was Ill”). Also in the same year, three South
African models died due to anorexia-related problems (“Skinny Scandal”).
Not only models are dieing from anorexia, employees at the Cygnet Hospital
Eating Disorder Unit see deaths and hardships everyday. These people
strongly believe that the fashion industry is a huge component in the
continuing increases in cases of anorexia. One patient said “You look at
them and think, God, I wish I looked like that.” An employee commented
“Seeing waif-like models didn’t cause their disorders, but they certainly
exacerbated the process.” Also, Bryan Lask, one of Britain’s leading
authorities on eating disorders was quoted “The massive increase in eating
disorders in the last twenty years has to be attributed to the pressure to be
thin” (Henry).

The fashion industry should follow several examples that some institutes
have made. On September 13, 2006, Madrid Fashion Week set a ban on
underweight models. This was the first time a large-scale fashion show set a
weight limit in a healthy direction. In order for models to be in the 2006
Madrid Fashion Show, they needed to be in alliance with the “World Health
Organization guidelines for healthy height-to weight rations used to
calculate a person’s body mass index, which estimates the portion of fat in
the body” (Terzieff). Organizers of the Madrid fashion week wanted to
“project an image of beauty and heath, rather than a heroin chic look.” The
Madrid’s regional government placed the rule that stated no models under a
BMI (body mass index) of eighteen would be allowed to participate in the
Madrid Fashion Show (“Skinny Models Banned”).
The decision by the Madrid government turned controversial quickly. Thirty
percent of the models who formerly participated in the show were
disqualified under the new rule. The fashion industry immediately split into
two groups, those for the new rule and those against. Cathy Gould, New
York Agency Director, stated “The ban was outrageous and discriminatory
to naturally slim models.” Even though the ban didn’t change everyone in
the fashion industry mind on what is healthy, Milan, Edinburgh, and India,
hosts of premiere fashion shows jumped on the band wagon. They placed the
18 BMI rule in their shows immediately after the Madrid incident (Terzieff).
Madrid Fashion Week made a positive impact on the fashion industry and
encouraged good health around the world.
The fashion industry should follow the examples of the shows that require a
healthy living rule. The industry is setting an unattainable ideal for young
girls around the globe, causing them to fall into a trap of low self esteem and
self doubt. Lynn Grefe, the executive officer of the Seattle-based Nation
Eating Disorders Association, says it best “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”
Kazakh model Ruslana Korshunova
jumped to her death from her Manhattan
apartment in an apparent suicide Saturday. The
20-year-old had been featured on the cover of
Vogue and walked for Marc Jacobs, Nina Ricci
and DKNY.

Friends say Korshunova had been suffering

from health problems and personal stress.
In the '90s, Gitanjali Nagpal sashayed
down the catwalks of Delhi with the likes of
Sushmita Sen. A Navy officer's daughter who
went to Lady Shri Ram College, she seemed set
for a flashbulb career in fashion.

On Sunday, they found her living off the streets

and spending her nights in parks and temples.
And by Monday, she was being hounded by TV
cameramen, reporters and do-gooders.
Gitanjali's sad story had just taken yet another
weird turn.

It's a horrifying story of the dark side of glamour: how one false move can
send a promising career to a downward spiral of drugs and self-destruction.
By her own admission, the ex-Mount Carmel student worked as a maid,
spent her nights with men for money to quell her craving for drugs and
alcohol and was in the end reduced to a life on the footpath.

Gitanjali's estranged husband lives in Germany with her child. And,

touchingly, he still waits for her. When Metro Now , TOI's sister newspaper,
first spotted her in South Delhi's Hauz Khas village and started taking her
photographs, Gitanjali slid the T-shirt down her shoulders like a seasoned
model and posed in style. She promised to model even better for a reward: a
swim in a five-star hotel.

But after the story was published on Monday, Gitanjali was back among the
flashbulbs. In an ironical twist, she was chased by TV reporters, shepherded
by Delhi Commission for Women and taken in a Qualis first to a police
station and then to Vimhans, a hospital that deals with mental health.

Gitanjali, still striking with her matted dreadlocks and wearing a black
corsette and long skirt that seemed to have all the colours of rainbow, didn't
get down from the car. Rather, she abused people who approached her.
Three psychiatrists talked to her in the car. They later said she had poor
hygiene, had rashes all over and was irritable.
Although the lives of all actors can be difficult, there are particular
challenges faced by child actors. The pressures of fame and success can be
far more difficult on minors than on adults, especially when they are so
young, they don't even understand why they are so famous or people are
interested in them. This tends to warp the children's understanding of reality
in a way that causes them distress over the course of their lives.
There are many tragic stories of child actors who, faced with fame and
money, crashed and burned at a young age. Drug and alcohol addiction is
common - largely because these actors are traveling in circles the average
child would never have access to. Many people tend to think of them as
"small adults." One of the more legendary stories (that thankfully, does have
a happy ending) is Drew Barrymore, who by the time she was a teenager,
was addicted to drugs and in rehabilitation. The star of "E.T." suffered for
the "little adult" syndrome and while she is a successful and beloved adult
actor, many are not as lucky as she was.
Recently, new laws have been put in place that prevent parents and
guardians from accessing too much of the money that child actors earn.
However, in the past, it was common for a child actor to reach the age of
majority and discover that he or she had no money whatsoever because his
or her parents spent it all. Gary Coleman was one such unfortunate child,
and he has fought hard to advocate for the rights of children who act. Many
people forget that acting is work - with long hours and stressful conditions.
There are additional pressures to look good, keep a fit body, be healthy, and
other things that do not affect the average child. As such, the stress can be
too much sometimes, and when a person realizes they gave up their
childhood to work only to have nothing to show for it, a meltdown can
Living in suburbs is not an easy task for many women especially if she
professionally belongs to the glamour world.
Young, independent, single and glamorous is a description that fits model
and TV anchor Shamita
Singha and many other young
professionals like her living alone in
Mumbai's western suburbs.
Irregular hours, bold clothes and a
flashy lifestyle - all side effects of
the profession, but they're now
becoming the cause of conflict
between other residents of the
suburbs and Shamita and her
industry colleagues.
“They eye us with so much
suspicion. They feel that just
because we are from the glamour
world, there will be people coming
to meet us all the time and some
hanky panky business is likely to be
going on,” says Shamita Singha.
This is an insecurity that has been
heightened by recent murder cases, all involving single professionals from
the entertainment industry and all located in the city's western suburbs.
Television producer Neeraj Grover was allegedly murdered by Kannada
actress and TV aspirant Maria Susairaj and her boyfriend in Maria's Malad
In December 2007, starlet Moon Das' boyfriend from Orissa killed her
mother and uncle in her Oshiwara apartment before committing suicide

It is little wonder then that building societies in the suburbs are becoming
extremely cautious about the profile of people staying in their buildings.
Any linkage with the glamour world would mean lesser chances of buying
or renting a flat.

“We're not saying that they're all bad but it is a matter of the safety and
security of people in the society. No one wants to take any risk,” says
secretary, Om Jogeshwar Housing society, BC Sanghvi.

Strict rules for tenant verification by the Mumbai police are also making life
tough for single men and women from the entertainment industry. Both
landlords and tenants now need to give intimation to the police, followed by
an inspection of the flat by the local police station.
“Keeping a tab on their places of stay will help deter such crimes,” says
Ashutosh Dumbre, DCP Operations

Meanwhile, as most cities grapple with the problem of the safety of their
women, from Bandra to Borivali, young single women are increasingly
being eyed as the cause of the trouble rather than the victims.
For many who entered into the world of glitz and glamour of the fashion
industry hoping to make a mark, not everything is a smooth sail.
Promising ramp model of the 1990's Gitanjali
Nagpal learnt this the hard way and has now
been reduced to begging on the streets of Delhi
just to get one meal a day.

High levels of stress, excessive alcohol and drug

abuse have made way into a new life of begging
and slavery for the former model who once
walked the ramp with
the likes of
Sushmita Sen. The shocked fashion
industry blames a stressful lifestyle and
unrealistic expectations for Nagpal's present
condition but are also firm that taking to drugs to
combat the pressure is a personal decision which
can happen in any profession.

Designer Puja Nayar said: "The case is appalling

to say the least but I don't know whether to feel
sorry for the girl. Fashion and films are a glamour industry and involve
extremely high level of stress but that doesn't mean that one starts abusing
substances to such an extreme. Drugs and alcohol abuse are generally
associated with our industry but to say that everyone of us suffers from such
complexities is to generalise. Maybe Geetanjali's circumstances forced her
into such a situation but her's is an exceptional case."

Designer JJ Vallya, who recalled meeting Nagpal while looking at her

portfolio in the 90s, said she looked like a very promising model but
unexpectedly vanished from the scene suddenly. "She did not get into
mainstream modelling and left the fashion industry very abruptly. We only
met the models who showed any promise and Nagpal appeared to have a
very photogenic structure," he said.

Added Vallya: "All creative fields have a lot of pressure on people. In the
fashion industry, thousands come and try to make a mark but very select few
make it. And even after you've made it, you have to deal with pressures like
extended work hours, multiple assignments and the pressure of having to
look good as long as possible. Modelling is a time-bound career and the
level of stress is very high."

Industry sources, however, insisted that every field had its own share of
advantages as well as disadvantages but one learned to cope with all the
in time. "There is a struggle in every profession but generally ones in the
limelight like cinema or fashion are worse. The quality of stress in the
glamour world is different especially for models. They are constantly under
pressure to look good and maintain themselves and sometimes it gets too
much," said noted fashion designer Aparna Chandra.
The media plays a big role in our stressful life, making us
stressful, every single day.

Why is that? There are many explanations, but my concern is that we live in
the really stressful western world and do not need media related stress. We
want to reduce our stress, not to increase it.

For many of the media, the only a good news is bad news. Have you ever
seen on TV any "good breaking news "? If it is good news, it is not
"breaking news".

When you feel fearful and anxious watching all these

catastrophes, you will want to learn more of the details. This is all about
control! The media needs our attention, making us desperately stressed-out
and depressed. The media bosses are always looking for "a critical mass of
catastrophes " to keep us occupied.

Have a look at the lead story headlines. What you see or hear is only
disasters, only bad news and frustrations.

Why are at least 60% of all headlines about catastrophes? The answer is very
simple; people like to read about tragedies! I am surprised! I have asked
myself, why do people want to see or hear about bad news? Why do they
want to know about someone they don't know? Do they believe they are
helping the people who are in trouble?

The media understands the meaning of control, and how to use it to control

In our body we have so called "control buttons" .These "buttons" will help
us, keeping our stress under control. But, if we have no control, or if we
have little control, the stress will get to us. By watching all these adversities
we have no control at all.
Because we have no control, we experience fear, stress and

That is the reality of human nature.

The media understands human physiology. Their motto is: "If you like to see
disasters, we will provide you with disasters."
The media doesn't care about people's stress. They care only about profit.
Profit from us, imperfect human beings.

Instead of spending your time watching disasters, spend your time searching
for more productive, positive stories.

We need to teach people that life is about happiness, too, not just about
disasters. We need to teach people how to make life more joyful, more
useful, not more stressful.



Submitted By:-

Bharatt Varma [ A0106406080 B-16]

Noopur Arora [ A0106406186 B-33]
3rd Yr, BBA.

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