As an ex model(Vogue UK cover June 1986),I am following this whole skinny models/anorexia debate with a mixture of bewilderment and amusement. Not that I think any of it is funny, because it isn't.It is, in fact, beyond tragic.
Modelling is not for the faint hearted.Girls are thrown into a business of adults(And I use that term loosely) when they should be in Grade 9 or 10, discovering who they are.The hardest part of being a model is to distinguish between the professional and the personal rejection. Not something that a typical 15 year old is able to do easily..
Clients want a certain look, and sometimes a model doesn't fit into what they are looking for, whether it is the color of the models eyes, hair color, hair length etc. Self esteem and body image is constantly taking a beating.. For me, the hardest part was the constant travelling and being away from my family and friends. I was never miserable,and to this day I prefer modelling to an office job.I knew it was a short lived career from the beginning and I luckily had the smarts to manage myself.(Thanks mom and dad!!)Was it easy..no, but nobody was forcing me to be a model.
Maybe the new generation of models from emerging nations (where the minimum wage is a mere pittance)are more willing to put up and shut up, because they are obliged to support their families back home.That was one of the questions in regards to the Braziian model who died in November 2006( I was in Brazil at the time and saw the whole soap opera)
This whole debate about using skeletal models has a solution. Consumers should simply stop buying products from designers that insist on using overly skinny models and actresses. When their multi million dollar empires start feeling the pinch,then maybe they will change their tune and start using the healthy looking girls like they used to back in the 80s. I applaud the Canadian apparel company La Maison that pulled its catalogue after it was published because it showed skeletal models. Its a start...
Last but not least, I have yet to meet a real man who likes super skinny women.