I have recently been talking to a girl in the US, Anne-Marie, who is receiving treatment for Anorexia.
When I first spoke to her, she was suicidal, but over a few weeks, her mood seems to have picked up.
She is 18 and has a feeding tube, because she is not eating properly and cheats all the medical checks, by filling her stomach with water, before she is weighed in hospital.
She described to me, a background of childhood abuse from her father.
Anne Marie and her siblings, are now living with adoptive parents.
She is a High School pupil, but is also signed with a modelling Agency.
I was talking to her sister recently, while Anne Marie was receiving treatment.
I was trying to find out, what triggered Anne Marie’s eating problems, initially.
Her sister described how in 7th grade they had both been bulimic, but that whilst she had chosen to stop ( as school had advised the students of how dangerous and unhealthy this was ), Anne-Marie had continued and her sister expressed to me her guilt, that she did not stop Anne-Marie at that time, as she feels, that had led to her now needing constant hospital treatment.
Her sister also told me, about Anne-Marie’s modelling and that whilst she had a lot of work previously, on the last occasion, a month or two ago, she was in the office of her model agents. Anne-Marie had expressed to her sister, how her employers were upset, as Anne-Marie appeared to have a bloated stomach and that this, would not be acceptable for modelling. They refused to give her any further work, until she had a flatter stomach.
So had this triggered Anne-Marie’s complete refusal to eat and was this now, the reason she was walking around with a feeding tube by the side of her nose and being constantly weighed.
Is this really an image we strive to look like? Is the image of this now sick girl, going to sell clothes, because she had been told, that her stomach had appeared bloated, a couple of months ago?
Maybe the clothing companies who demand such an unhealthy look from their models, should try and sell their clothes with these anorexic models wearing the feeding tube?