Death In The Name Of Beauty

By: Zuske Sagara


The fashion world was recently saddened by the tragic demise of Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston, only a few months after the death of Uruguayan model, Luisel Ramos. According to news reports, the 21-year-old model died of kidney malfunction and generalized infection that was caused by anorexia nervosa. In one television show where Ana Carolina's mother was interviewed, Mrs. Macan (Macan being the real surname of Ana Carolina) reported that her daughter was pressured to refuse eating because some of her fellow models in Asia commented that she was still too fat. Thus, Ana Carolina was forced to undergo a deadly diet of only apples and tomatoes for several weeks. She was obsessed to lose weight because of her fear of not being hired for modeling engagements if she was not thin enough. After her death, the fashion industry implemented precautionary measures in response to the incident. Fashion show organizers in Madrid, London, and Milan refused to hire ultra-thin models and also required a specific body mass index among those that will be featured in the runway. According to these organizers, they want to exemplify an image of health and beauty among the viewers of the show who are mostly women, especially the young ones.

In contrast to this, an article in crosswalk.com mentioned that there has been a recent proliferation of pro-anorexia websites in the Internet which can easily be accessed by users. In these sites, anorexic lifestyles and an anorexic way of losing weight are promoted as well as convincing women that being thin, even to extremes, is what is beautiful. Together with frequent images of thin celebrities and models shown on television and magazines, websites like those mentioned earlier are factors highly influential in an increased rate of eating disorders among teenage and adult women. This is because the media can affect the outlook of most people to a great extent. Unsuspecting women who easily believe what they see fail to realize the dangers they involve themselves in when refusing or avoiding to eat. They are the ones more than willing to undergo the detrimental consequences of anorexia, all in the name of beauty.

Anorexia is a disorder where a person feels obsessed to be thin and is terrified of gaining weight. People with this condition always view themselves as fat and often refuse to eat. Because of not eating, nutrients in their body are reduced or diminished. The lack of nutrients that are needed by the body, therefore, makes a person prone to diseases and infections. The skin begins to look unhealthy and one will easily feel tired or fatigue even with minimal movement. Psychologically, people with anorexia may proceed to having anxiety disorders and depression. Their depressive states can make them prone to substance abuse as well. A lot of people with anorexia are said to have become alcoholics and drug-dependents, especially when compounded with conditions such as depression.

At present, a lot of famous celebrities and those in the fashion industry have made an effort in promoting to people, especially women, an increased awareness about anorexia. One of those well-known fashion icons is Tyra Banks. Tyra, because of her recent weight-gain, had received numerous negative remarks from her critics. In one of her shows, she discussed the issue of anorexia among models and its effects to ordinary viewers and the female population, in general. It was in the same show that the former supermodel encouraged women to feel confident about themselves no matter what body-size they have. Furthermore, Tyra recently launched her “So what?” campaign to promote self-confidence among women despite their being fat. People like Tyra, movements like “So what?” campaign, and incidents of deaths due to anorexia should constantly serve as reminders for women before they decide to take the deadly road towards beauty.

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