The slimness ideal plays an important role in the sociocultural background of eating disorders. The risk of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is high among fashion models, because in the beauty industry the thin body is a professional requirement. The first author of the present self-case report had anorexia nervosa from her age of 15 years, between 2006 and 2013. However, she was employed as a fashion model between 2008 and 2013. The pressure to maintain the slimness was intensive; the contract included the breast-waist-hip circumference as well. The case report is illustrated by excerpts of the personal diary. Although a regulation was brought in by which models with a body mass index lower than 18 cannot be employed in the fashion industry, the agents pressed her to drink water to reach the necessary limit. The agents often criticized the models’ body in a rough manner and force them to be slim. This pressure is an everyday phenomenon in the fashion industry, and is harmful for the physical and mental health of the models. The impact of fashion industry representatives on models is can be regarded as a form of psychological abuse, although the models (and the parents, if the models are minors) accept this way of life. This is a subconscious collusion among the model agencies, the parents and the models. Because of the risk of psychological abuse, an international regulation is recommended in the employment of fashion models.
Nikolett Bogár and Ferenc Túry