Thursday, November 16, 2006

How Many Young Women Have to Die?

How many young women and girls have to die, before society cares? I’m wondering this after reading the news that another young model has died from complications of anorexia. 21 year old Anna Reston died Tuesday in a Sao Paulo, Brazil hospital. You may remember the death in August of Uruguayan model, Luisel Ramos of heart failure during a fashion show in Montevidieo. Some people out there may be shrugging at these deaths, putting it down to the price of fame, and thinking it's a problem that only affects the modeling world , but after doing some research here on the web, I would urge anyone who cares about young women to take note, because these women are the role models your daughters and nieces etc. look to in deciding what constitutes female beauty and I can promise you that a lot of these kids are paying attention to the magazine covers and the fashion layouts and they’re learning younger and younger that skinny equates to beauty in our society. Sadly some of these children have decided at ages 8, 9, 10, that it’s better to be starving, sick or even dead than it is to be fat.

If you think I’m exaggerating with that last statement go right now and google pro anorexia sites and see for yourself. Search engines are fighting the good fight to try and keep these anorexia promoting sites off the web, but it’s a losing battle. One estimate I saw was that yahoo alone has over 70 websites at any given time that tout the positives of eating disorders. The kind of support offered to these sites visitors’ ranges from calorie counts for various low calorie, “safer” foods to glamorous photographs of skinny women. Many pro-an sites also offer community boards that feature postings from users seeking support for dieting and losing weight. Here are a few excerpts from some of these sites, which are mostly run by teenage to 20 some yr. old young women:

"This is a gathering point for sentient individuals who are working to cause changes to occur in body in conformity to will. There are no victims here, and maturity is measured in the acceptance of personal responsibility, not the number of birthdays survived."

One example of a post from the Anorexic Files is from a woman trying to get into modeling -- at 4'11" and 92 pounds; she feels that her weight is preventing her from getting modeling jobs. Another posting is from a 23-year-old mother of two whose family and friends "make her eat"; her posting seeks advice on how best to disguise her lack of intake.

I hope that this post will in some small way help to draw more attention to this problem and give everyone who reads it, especially parents some “food for thought”. We need to recognize that by allowing and even demanding that models and actresses in our society be super thin, we are setting up not only them but also our own children to lead lives of secret desperation, self-destruction and very possibly early death.


Blogger TOM said...

I lost my Girlfriend Mary to complications of this eating disorder coupled with drinking, she knew of her problems and suffered with them as did I. I remember her now as the sweet kind person she was.

11/17/2006 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Tom my condolences.

Great post! Good for you for talking about something that is widely not taken seriously enough. Eating disorders are mental health illnesses (not just silly girls who need to eat) and can be treated if help is sought. If anybody needs it here is a website on treatment and how to find it:

There is also a intresting documentary airing on HBO this month this month called "Thin...If it Takes Dying so be it."

11/17/2006 10:36 AM  
Blogger Leo said...

Tom, I'm very sorry to hear about your girlfriend. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Jenn I'm glad you liked this post. It is an important subject. Thanks for the comment and further info.

11/17/2006 2:33 PM  

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