Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How Many More?!?!

I don’t know if anyone remembers when this happened or even knew about it. These two sisters, both models, Luisel and Eliana Ramos died within six months of each other. Both deaths were as a result of malnutrition.

Luisel,22, suffered a fatal heart attack during a catwalk show in August 2006, having reportedly eaten nothing but lettuce leaves for three months. Eliana,18, was found dead in her bedroom in February 2007, also had a heart attack and her death was linked to her having an eating disorder, anorexia.

Another model from Brazil, Ana Carolina Reston, 21, died as a result of anorexia and lived on apples and tomatoes prior to her death. Ana weighed 84 lbs (6 stone). She died on the eve of a Giorgio Armani photo shoot.

The agency that represented the Ramos sisters said that ‘clearly the death of the sisters had to be genetic and not their diet.’ They found it absurd that people could possibly think that the girls had eating disorders.

The models' deaths sparked an international debate about the ethics of using models who have "size zero" measurements — a 31.5in bust, a 23in waist and 34in hips. The average waist size of a British eight-year-old is 22in.

Madrid's fashion week (2007) did ban some models from the catwalk for being "excessively skinny". The British Fashion Council, the organiser of London Fashion Week, refused to ban size zero models but wrote to designers asking them only to use “healthy-looking girls.”

There is clearly the need for further decisive action and these deaths showed the grave seriousness of the issue. It was yet another WAKE UP call to the fashion industry. But how many wake-up calls does it need to have before it recognizes the seriousness of the situation it faces? How many more models, girls and women have to die before something is done with regards to the social responsibility of the fashion industry where girls, women and men are pressured to literally waste away to be the ‘perfect size’?