Blog: BUNNYpants and SIPPYcup - Eclectic Menagerie by Aharleygyrl
Naked Anorexia Billboard
Date: 9/30/2007 6:22:16 AM ( 13 y ) ... viewed 12597 times
With piercing eyes and jutting shoulder
bones, an emaciated, naked young woman stares down from a billboard just erected
in the center of Milan, Italy. The woman, a French actress, says she's been
anorexic for 15 years and weighs a startling 64 pounds. She's posing naked for
Italian fashion label NOLITA to help raise awareness about the deadly eating
disorder during the city's world-famous Fashion Week.
in Milan Wednesday September 26, 2007 The
The size zero debate is once again
dominating Milan fashion week. But this time the emaciated frame causing the
furore is not on the catwalks, but on a billboard.
A disturbing photograph of a naked
anorexic woman, blown up to traffic-stopping scale, has been drawing shocked
gasps from passing Milanese.
The photograph of 27-year-old Frenchwoman
Isabelle Caro, who weighs 31kg (4st 12lb), bears the legend "No Anorexia" and
the slogan of the Italian womenswear brand Nolita, for which it is an
The Nolita campaign has been given the blessing of the Italian ministry
of health, with health minister Livia Turco saying the image promotes
responsibility towards the problem of anorexia.
The man behind the image is fashion
photographer Oliviero Toscani, who was responsible for the controversial
Benetton advertising campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s, including his 1992
portrait of dying Aids patient David Kirby.
Flash & Partners, owners of Nolita,
have said that the image aims to raise awareness of an illness "caused in most
cases by the stereotypes imposed by the world of fashion".
The billboards, launched during Milan
fashion week, have met with a distinct froideur from many in the fashion
industry, who dispute the theory that blame for anorexia can be laid wholly at
their door. Caro, they point out, is not a model, but says that she has suffered
from anorexia since she was 13 because of a "difficult childhood".
Designer Giorgio Armani queried the link
between fashion and anorexia, commenting that "even people who take no notice of
fashion get anorexic", while designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana
described anorexia as a psychiatric problem with "nothing to do with fashion".
Isabelle Caro, author of a blog about her
battle with anorexia, said she had appeared in the campaign "to show young
people how dangerous this illness is".
(CBS) In the midst of Milan's all-important Fashion Week, the
picture that is turning heads in Italy is a shocking one.
It shows what
anorexia looks like stripped bare. And, it is re-igniting the debate in the
fashion industry over whether designers should make sure that the models who
appear on their catwalks are really healthy.
Sheila MacVicar reported on
the controversy for CBS News' The Early Show.
On huge billboards
above Italian city streets, the emaciated frame of Isabelle Caro, age 27, is
She weighs less than 70 pounds.
Caro is not a
model, but a French comedienne. She has suffered from anorexia since she was 13
"When I see myself now,
I say, 'what a horror,'" Caro told a French TV interviewer. "I'm trying to get
out of it, and I want young women to know that is possible."
photographer, Oliviero Toscani, is no stranger to controversy. His past work
includes highly provocative pictures for advertising campaigns by the Italian
chain Benetton, including an image of a dying AIDS victim.
this time, he says, is to focus debate in the fashion industry by showing
graphically where the pressure to be thin and thinner is leading some young
women; not just young women in the fashion business but those who go on extreme
diets in hopes of looking and dressing just like them. "In the end," Toscani
says, "that is how you look; if you take off the dress, that is how you look."
In the last two years, at least two models under pressure to get even
thinner became anorexic and died. As a result, fashion industry professionals in
Madrid and Milan banned super-skinny models from their runways, and are
demanding that models hand over doctors' certificates proving their good health.
And earlier this month, during London Fashion Week, at least one model
who has acknowledged battling eating disorders was sent home for being too thin
to appear on the runway.
British model Charlotte Carter says she thought
she was on the verge of recovery from her eating disorder. "However, I wasn't,"
she acknowledges, "and they basically told me to go home and rest up. They
thought I was beautiful but I needed to take care of myself."
most famous fashion designer, Giorgio Armani, calls the billboard campaign
"crude but appropriate."
Armani, who showed his latest collection
earlier this week, says "it's not just the fashion world. It's the whole
system." He's ready for change. "Skin and bones," he says. "It gives me the
Backstage at her show, another leading designer, Rosita
Missoni, argued that the campaign was right. "It's not to be hidden," Missoni
says. "We have to talk about it and try to find a way to fight it."
doctors and specialists who treat anorexics argue these pictures are not
improving understanding, and may even damage those who are suffering.
"We need to change the way everybody thinks and talks about an eating
disorder," says Susan Ringwood, an expert on eating disorders. "It's not
trivial. It's not a fashion accessory. It's a serious mental illness and it's
not just about your weight and shape. These images reinforce those stereotypes
instead of challenging them."
One last message from Isabelle Caro: She
wants people to know that anorexia nearly killed her last year.
anti-anorexia campaign won approval from Italy's health minister, who reminded
people that anorexia is a serious mental illness, and that it's fatal in 20
percent of its sufferers. Health officials here say it's about opening a
"The Insider" looks at the deadly diet disorders
that threaten young girls.
As the world reacts to the controversial anti-anorexia
billboard erected in Milan, Italy, this week, "The Insider" looks at eating
disorders in the entertainment world.
Young Hollywood is speaking out about the startling
billboard images, designed to raise awareness about anorexia.
"I really hope girls see that and it shows them to
have a healthy body image," AMANDA BYNES told us, while "Hannah
Montana" star MILEY CYRUS added: "It's gross. I think the
skinny fad needs to be over."
EMMY ROSSUM remarked that "people
really need to feel good about themselves and their bodies," while LAUREN CONRAD pointed out that "it's a really big problem in
Hollywood and one that needs to be addressed." It's no secret a number of stars
have suffered from the disease, both privately and publicly -- from PORTIA de ROSSI to BRITTANY SNOW and MARY-KATE OLSEN, we have the latest on stars that have fallen
victim to past eating disorders.
Most recently, the young and talented Brittany Snow
opened up to MTVU.com about her past issues
with eating disorders, saying they began at 12-years-old when she joined the
cast of "Guiding Light."
"I remember looking around at all these women who
were on the soap opera who were working out and dieting," she says, and soon
jumped on the bandwagon.
"It kind of progressed into this thing where I
needed to always be dieting and losing weight and more weight," she reveals. "It
became my life and I didn't have any friends and this was definitely my best
friend and I held on to it really tight."
Portia de Rosse admitted in Vogue that she
suffered from a past eating disorder, and other TV stars like "Reba"'s SCARLETT POMERS and "The Sopranos" actress JAMIE-LYNN
SIGLER have also come forward to discuss their own struggles with food
and how they're doing in their recoveries.
Pomers is now well on the road to recovery after
suffering from anorexia for over a year and reaching a shocking 73 pounds. "What
my life is now is so much happier and better," she says.
Mini-mogul Mary-Kate Olsen made headlines when she
fell ill and entered a facility to address her disorder in 2005. She emerged
from treatment weighing 90 pounds -- 10 more than she had entered with.
"Growing Pains" actress TRACEY GOLD
was one of the first actresses to come forward with her eating disorder,
withering down to a life-threatening 80 pounds 15 years ago. "I didn't eat," she
has said. "I looked in the mirror and I was like, 'God I look awful.'"
But Tracey eventually bounced back and today she is
a healthy mother of three and is still close with her TV family.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who made a name for herself as
mob daughter Meadow Soprano on the HBO hit "The Sopranos," admits that she also
suffered from anorexia, once weighing only 90 pounds. "It's a tough thing to
talk about, but it's actually therapeutic for me," she says. She went on to
become a spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association.
"I'm not completely over it, and I'm in a business
where you have to be pretty conscious of the way you look," she says, "but I'm
not going to compromise my health and happiness for it."