I found out the other day that Isabelle Caro has died. Though she actually died in November last year, her parents didn’t tell the press until recentl- allegedly to prevent being harassed by reporters. (Fair enough).
For anyone not familiar with the name, Isabelle was known as “the face of anorexia”. She was a model and actress suffering with the eating disorder, and in 2007 posed naked for a billboard to show its reality by exhibiting her emaciation. (This was soon after anorexic models Luisel Ramos (2006), Eliana Ramos (2007) and Ana Carolina Reston died (2006), sparking the “size zero debate”.)
Here’s the billboard:
Now, as a model I have mixed feelings when this subject gets discussed.
I often find the reaction to certain images fascinating. Spending a lot of time on trains, I hear some interesting conversations: for example when listening to two girls flicking through a magazine and yelling “skinny bitch” every two seconds, I didn’t know whether to laugh or be offended- especially when photoshop is now so advanced it’s almost impossible to tell what size anyone really is!
I also find it interesting how the modelling industry gets stereotyped for “encouraging eating disorders” yet there are so many other careers that require far more drastic changes to the body: I grew up in the same area as Paula Radcliffe and she was idolised by the sports department at my school. No-one mentioned her appearance.
And as for bodybuilding… (This is Mr Universe, apparently.)
Despite my mixed opinions on the above, I DO believe that it is irresponsible to hire someone while knowing that they have such a problem:
Isabelle Caro was still getting work as a model.
While searching for images and facts for this post, I noticed that anorexic Britain’s Next Top Model contestant Jade McSorley has now been signed by Models 1. They know she is anorexic- and I don’t mean “had a problem five years ago”- I mean “was in hospital just months before the show began“. How was this allowed??
I don’t know how an issue like this could be fixed without implementing a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy (which wouldn’t help) and as I sadly have no suggestions, don’t ask me! :-S
As I’m in the “waiting for new pictures” stage and it is so rare that I find people I admire this strongly (who aren’t characters in films and books), I thought I’d divert from my usual blogging and draw your attention to this very brave woman.