Today is the turn of thin, skeleton-like bodies, models walking on the ramp looking like a starved cat, film actresses and many imitators, who chant the Size Zero mantra !!
Since the beginning of human kind, we have desired the perfect form. All human beings want to look their best. That means the right weight for your height and bones. From the beginning of time man has strived to attain these perfect forms. From the start man made many statues representing the perfect form of man and woman and some societies worshiped them.
The Romans were known to tickle their throats with feathers after each meal to induce vomiting, thus allowing them to return to gluttonous feasting . The Romans did so to enhance the enjoyment of a wider selection of palatable foods. Call it whatever you want, calorie restriction, bulimia, vanity, anorexia, it is the desire for perfection, for "size zero".
* Size 0 is a US measure, which is equivalent to the British size 4, indicating a 32”bust, 22” waist and 33-34” hips ( overwrite 36-24-36 from your memory )
* 22” waist size is that of an average eight-year-old child in Britain
* 18.4 body mass index (weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared) is that level below which you are underweight for your height according to the World Health Organisation .
* Compare this with 12.5 BMI of Ms. Ana Carolina Reston, the Brazilian model who died of anorexia in 2006. She was about 16 kg below the recommended minimum weight for her height .( Remember : 30 BMI over which you are classified as obese )
Anorexia is a an eating disorder characterized by extremely low body weight, distorted body image and an obsessive fear of gaining weight.
Several reports, including an ongoing study ..... have shown that calorie restriction can extend the life expectancy of primates, mice and fruit flies. Canto, a 25-year-old rhesus monkey ...., looks and acts like a monkey half his age thanks to being fed a diet that contains 30 percent fewer calories per day than the average rhesus monkey for the past 17 years.
A report on http://www.scientificpsychic.com/health/crondiet.html states " .....Calorie Restriction is an experimental procedure that should be implemented gradually. Reducing caloric intake quickly does not allow the metabolism to adjust to the caloric deficit. Sudden calorie restriction can create major health problems. In particular, persons who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 22 should be very cautious. Calories should be reduced by less than 5% (less than 100 calories) and maintained for at least four weeks before any additional reductions are made. Weight should be monitored daily, and nutrition should be tracked to make sure that the diet provides 100% of all vitamins and minerals, at least 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight, and sufficient amounts of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. You should not restrict calories further if your BMI is below 19. On the contrary, you may need to increase your caloric intake to maintain your BMI within the normal range (from 18.5 to 24.9). Do not exceed 16% CR since greater restriction can result in loss of structural tissue, including bones and muscles."
Eliana Ramos, left, was found dead in her bedroom. Her sister Luisel, right, suffered a fatal heart attack while leaving the catwalk last August
In Feb 2007, the telegraph (UK) headline screamed " Sister of tragic 'size zero' model found dead". In his report, Martin Beckford wrote : A model has died of suspected malnutrition just months after the death of her elder sister prompted an international debate on underweight "size zero" models.Eliana Ramos, 18, who worked for a prestigious Argentine modelling agency, was found dead in her bedroom.
Six months ago her sister Luisel suffered a fatal heart attack during a catwalk show, having reportedly eaten nothing but lettuce leaves for three months.
Eliana is also said to have had a heart attack, and local media in Uruguay, south America, linked her death to anorexia. A source involved in the investigation into the teenager's death said: "The primary diagnosis is death due to symptoms of malnutrition."
She had joined the fashion industry aged 16 and was due to model in the same show at which her 22-year-old sister collapsed on leaving the catwalk at the Hotel Radisson Victoria Plaza in Montevideo last August.
Judge Roberto Timbal has ordered an autopsy. Local police said the cause of Eliana's death was not yet clear.
But Pancho Dotto, founder of the Dotto modelling agency where she worked, insisted that she did not have an eating disorder. He said: "She ate well, she was very healthy and she played sport. It is absurd that people are speaking about anorexia or bulimia in this case........ It is obvious the sisters' deaths are due to a genetic problem, and not their diet."
The death of Luisel Ramos was followed in November by the death from anorexia of a Brazilian model who lived on apples and tomatoes. Ana Carolina Reston, 21, who had worked for Giorgio Armani, weighed just 36 kgs when she died on the eve of an international photoshoot.
The models' deaths sparked an international debate about the ethics of using models who have "size zero" measurements — a 31.5in bust, a 23in waist and 34in hips. The average waist size of a British eight-year-old is 22in.
Five women were recently barred from the catwalk at Madrid's fashion week for being "excessively skinny". The British Fashion Council, the organiser of London Fashion Week which began on Sunday, refused to ban size zero models but wrote to designers asking them only to use healthy-looking girls.
"It is a wake-up call to the fashion industry — but how many wake-up calls does it need to have before it recognizes the seriousness of the situation it faces? There is clearly the need for further decisive action."
Some readers commented interestingly :
* I fully agree that some of the models shown modelling on the fashion TV programmes look like the walking dead. They have lifeless eyes and yes they must be going through hell just trying to stay on their feet! Something has to be done about this appalling thing.
*I am a healthy 32-23-33 girl and I love my food, eight years ago I had to buy clothes at size 8-10, shoes at size 4. Today, with the same measurements, I have to get a smaller size 6 and size 3 shoes. ..... The industry is creating some smaller sizes to make the fat people who are constantly putting on weight feeling better.
*Fashion in China and Japan has historically crippled the feet of beautiful women.