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Fab Flash: Anorexic Woman Used in Italian Fashion Ad

A photograph of a naked anorexic woman is making waves in Italy, where it appeared Monday in newspapers and on billboards to highlight the effects of anorexia during Milan fashion week. The photo is also meant to advertise the Italian clothing brand Nolita to young women.

Shot by Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, who is well-known for his controversial Benetton campaigns, the aim of the photo was "to use that naked body to show everyone the reality of this illness, caused in most cases by the stereotypes imposed by the world of fashion."

Isabelle Caro, the French model who appears in the photo, has been anorexic for 15 years and suffers from the skin disease psoriasis. The reason for agreeing to do the campaign? "I hid myself and covered myself up for too long. Now I want to show myself without fear even though I know my body is repugnant."

The campaign has received support from Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and the Italian Health Minister, but Fabiola De Clercq, head of the Italian Association for the Study of Anorexia, said that it was "pointless and damaging" to show such a "crude and exaggerated image." What do you think?


Join The Conversation
EmilyCo23 EmilyCo23 9 years
I think maybe a better way of going about this ad was to have used a plus sized model in the ads... that way it won't be so graphic that it will offend people and it will propagate a healthier body image!
paradisee paradisee 9 years
i think Isabelle is really bold 4 doing this and i do hope that this ads would send out a right msg.
rlveronica rlveronica 10 years
That's terrible! I've been called anorexic a while back, but I can't imagine what real anorexics go through. :( This is sad.
BeautifyMyLife BeautifyMyLife 10 years
Will there be anorexics who want to look like her? Yes. But they're already sick, this won't make them worse. The potential power is in the 15 year old girl who's starting to get self conscious and occasionally skipping meals. Hopefully that girl can look at an ad like this and see the road that she's headed down. I have a cousin who nearly died from anorexia - she was 5'9" and weighed 90 lbs. Thank god, she is much healthier now and has a beautiful baby girl who has changed her life, although she will never be "normal" about food. There is hope, even for the sickest people.
cosmogirl cosmogirl 10 years
Does this girl want help?!
cosmogirl cosmogirl 10 years
i saw this on television as well. And why would anyone want to look like this?
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 10 years
I think that this was a very smart idea. People should be disturbed by it - it's reality. This is what happens when the media and designer want thin and it also attacks the rest of society. Maybe this can show people that a healthy body is gorgeous, not bones.
Chalii911 Chalii911 10 years
I support it all the way. Girls just don't seem to be getting how serious anorexia is. I also think that it is very brave of that French model to pose for this advertisement.
demeter demeter 10 years
Why couldn't this be thought of years ago?! Brilliant, though disgusting.
almostloli almostloli 10 years
i'm afraid that it will deliver some wrong messages
EBerger EBerger 10 years
I love it. Absolutely what the fashion world needs at this point. Its getting to be a disgusting field, with models dying because they might not get a job because they dont fit in the clothes. As sick and perverse as it may be, its absolutely fantastic
nlw nlw 10 years
tigerbunny27, i was just thinking that too. she has psoriasis there??
iMpErFeCtIoNs iMpErFeCtIoNs 10 years
Wow. I feel really sorry for her but if she's already been anorexic for 15 years now, it's probably really hard to change her habits. But I agree with anyone who said that this is a distasteful ad for a clothing line because really, it's being hycrotical, plain and simple. I'm also doubtful about how much this helps because anorexics and aspiring anorexics are all in denial. It's a sick disease and I don't think it'll go away anytime soon.
madhatter madhatter 10 years
In my city, we have some really grotesque anti-meth ads that made me nearly nauseous (and almost hit someone) the first time I saw one on a billboard. It's graphic, it's disturbing, it's nasty, and it's more than enough to convince me that meth is no good.
tralalala tralalala 10 years that's her portfolio... terrifying. The thing that makes it even more tragic? she's listed on there as a comedian.
tigerbunny27 tigerbunny27 10 years
whats up with her butt? whats the strange path of skin there? I do think that this make people want to look like her.. but it is very clear that this will scare some people away from anerexia...
tabloidprincess tabloidprincess 10 years
I saw this on tv. Terrible!
NYShuls718 NYShuls718 10 years
This is the horrible reality. It makes me sick to see it, but people need to know the truth.
kerish kerish 10 years
Well I think this will reach the desired audience so many ppl look to models advertising Brand but who really looks at a an ad that starts with " camapaign against...."
ImJessica ImJessica 10 years
I think it's brilliant - so many young girls think anorexia = Nicole Ritchie. A more realistic picture of anorexia is a good thing.
kelleylocke kelleylocke 10 years
I hope they paid for her treatment.
Mally333 Mally333 10 years
My mouth dropped open when I saw this. I would have found this inspirational about a decade ago. That's the most disturbing thing about it.
Hootie Hootie 10 years
I say, "unless they are in recovery" because you are never fully recoved from Anorexia. It's a healing process and something you deal with the rest of your life. I hope I don't offend anyone.
PinkPanda106 PinkPanda106 10 years
Although this ad has a strong image and certainly makes a point, I dont think it gets to the heart of the problem. I think it would be far more constructive to address WHY anorexia is so prevalent---ie societal pressure and standards for women. To simply say "Stop being anorexic" without addressing the underlying issues is problematic, i think.
Hootie Hootie 10 years
I'm torn. I think the shock value is good. Anorexic (basically dying) models should not be hired. (Unless they are in recovery) Sadly girls/women that are in a distorted state of mind will find this inspiring... What a horrible disease.... :(
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