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As Fashion Week Kicks Off, All Eyes On Thin Models

Did you know that the median onset of anorexia for girls is between the ages of 11 and 13, but the disease has been noted even in elementary school children?

As today marks the kick off of Fashion Week in New York and all eyes are on the shows for the fashions (of course) but also to see if the models will be less thin than in previous shows. This change (hopefully) comes after the fashion industry has been scrutinized after two models recently starved themselves to death. Models this year are supposed to have a BMI of 18.5 or above to be allowed to participate in the shows, so we'll see how that pans out.

Eating disorders are not to be ignored and while some, like Gisele, point fingers at families, experts believe that there is a lot more to it than just parenting. So to keep an eye out and help anyone that may have an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorder Association has outlined several eating disorder warning signs to look out for:

  • Dramatic loss of weight
  • Preoccupation with calorie-counting
  • Frequent use of a weight scale
  • Obsession with exercise
  • Binge eating and/or purging
  • Food "rituals" -- taking tiny bites, ignoring certain food groups, rearranging food on the plate
  • Eating alone, or avoiding meals altogether
  • Use of laxatives/diuretics
  • Smoking aimed at suppressing appetite
  • Frequent criticism of self as "fat," which increases despite weight loss

Love the fashions and can't wait to see the fall clothes, then be sure to check out Fab's coverage of Fashion Week!

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Join The Conversation
teacher teacher 9 years
One of the other problems is that most women are well over an 18.5 BMI. I am tired of the designers using the excuse "Well, the clothes look best on the thin models so we use them." Design for real women then, dummies!
mmmmmm mmmmmm 9 years
I have a BMI of 15.4 and I am very healthy so the idea of 18.5 is almost unreal as a way to assess good health. The industry can tell who is healthy and who isn't the girls who are starving themselves really don't get that much work and it isn't a very good representation of the profession as a whole but more of an exception. They should be able to assess the health of models more accurately in another way; hell they could just look at their hair and tell...this regulation seems to mean well but it really isn't the answer.
puddinpie puddinpie 9 years
I agree that the 18.5 BMI is unfair (and kind of high for modelling). There are some girls who are naturally thinner, although I think we can agree that most runway models nowadays look unnaturally thin (e.g. 110 or less, and 5'10 or taller). At least this is a step in the right direction.
SaraSmile SaraSmile 9 years
Maybe I am wrong about this, but it seems that a lot of the blame and responsibility is being placed on the models (ahem, Gisele!) instead of challenging the fashion industry and society's standard of beauty. I watched a Dr. Phil show about this once and the representative for the fashion industry (I don't know where they found this guy!) referred to models as walking hangers. Ouch. Problem is, I don't know what the solution is. I hope the industry can come to a conclusion that insures the health of the models and of little girls (and boys!) who see this.
blueberry07 blueberry07 9 years
I completely support efforts to discourage models and others from developing and sustaining eating disorders, but I wonder whether BMI is really the most useful criterion. My BMI is below 18.5 (and, in fact, below 17.5), but I'm not considered painfully thin or terribly underweight by any means. I suppose I have a small frame, and my muscle mass isn't substantial, for better or for worse. I know it must be difficult to identify standard criteria for judging who's too thin, but BMI has significant drawbacks.
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