Luckily the modeling industry has gone through many positive changes to protect models from developing eating disorders since I first wrote this piece three years ago.
First published September 20, 2013
Today I'm pretty mad. I saw a story on Good Morning America yesterday on a married couple whose job is to scout for potential supermodels. Do I care what these folks do for a living? Not really, it IS a free country after all. It's what happens after they find their supermodel progeny that makes my blood boil.
The story featured three teenage girls (ALL already painfully thin, I may add) who were "discovered" by this pair. The agents were proud to disclose their regimen for transforming the teens into supermodel material. First, they are put on a "bare bones diet" of "lettuce, carrots and egg whites". Then they are expected to "train like professional athletes", using the treadmill up to 10 miles per day. One of the teens was actually filmed pleading "Feed me!"
When asked whether or not the scouts were pushing the girls to an unhealthy weight, the wife (who is at a comfortably healthy weight, herself) responded in all seriousness: No, because we stress "You have to be healthy in this pursuit".
What, the pursuit to develop anorexia? When was the last time you saw a professional athlete eating only lettuce, carrots and egg whites? Michael Phelps eats a 12,000 calorie/day diet when training for the Olympics. When I think about all the teenage girls I see here in therapy wishing they looked like these supermodels, I get sick. We need to scream our outrage at practices like these. Please let me know what YOU think, but I'm pretty sure this is child abuse!
(Check out the full story here.)