23 Feb 2011

London Fashion Week using anorexic models? Start the debate:

This week it came out that fashion designer Maria Grachvogel's collection, which was shown on Friday morning had problems with the models - they were too thin. Maria Grachvogel is known for making clothes for "real women" (I'm sorry but I HATE the term real women, I'm a real woman and a very healthy size 8-10 and I have friends who are healthily a size 6! real does not always = size 14+! Rant over) and therefore modelling her items on size 10 models, yet this year there weren't enough, and it is said she had to take in many of the items for the models available. This does not surprise me sadly, and it must be really hard for models who are average UK sizes to get into the fashion industry because people "don't want to see a fat person wearing designer clothes" or some other rubbish. However I'd much rather see a "fat" size 10 girl model clothes than the girls seen this week. For example, the picture on the right is of model Martyna Budna, modelling here for Mark Fast. I can't even think of the words to express my sadness at this picture. This poor, young girl is working in the fashion industry and obviously being praised for her figure which is estimated to be around a BMI of under 15.

London Fashion Week is all about aspiration right? We look to the clothes and think "I wish I had that" in the same way that I also sign when the My-Wardrobe newsletter plonks into my email inbox. For many women this also applies to the models - they look to the models and think, "I want to achieve that". I'm not going to go into why women become anorexic because it's a hugely complex tangle of psychological influences and problems, but needless to say, anorexia should not be promoted in fashion but sadly it is. As I said in my article on airbrushed models, it is not my place to say that models should be a certain size, they should just be healthy and some girls at LFW were really not.

Other worrying pictures include that of Chloe Memisevic, the young Swedish model pictured left at the Erdem show who has worryingly prominent bones and very hollow cheeks. This isn't something that most women can achieve without putting themselves at risk of illnesses, bone disorders and early death.

You may be asking why this is an important subject, girls on the catwalks have been underage and underweight since FOREVER, but you have to remember how impressionable this group may be, if you're hearing everyday that you're not thin enough or beautiful enough, no matter how much strength you may have to ignore the pressures of being a model, it's bound to get to you one day right? And think of all the young, fashion loving girls out there, a huge proportion of who will read blogs on fashion week and look to catwalk shows for inspiration which is really great, but some will also gain "thin-spiration" from these pictures and "ideals". As Giles Deacon pointed out - the fashion industry can impose some "unrealistic ideals" on women, and it's true - for the majority of us these figures are unrealistic and very unhealthy. In many cases biologically impossible to achieve without some long-term health implications. Take this example from Grachvogel herself:
 "The model industry is international now, and body shapes that a decade ago were unusual in Britain have become standard. Ten years ago, the standard British body shape for a 5ft 10in model was a size 10 with size seven or eight feet. Now there are many, many Eastern European models who are that tall, but with very fine, narrow bone structure. Typically they have size five or six feet. They are built differently."

 So for many of us, these kinds of sizes are biologically impossible and shouldn't be attempted.

I'm shocked that the authorities at London Fashion Week would allow such thin models, as it was being questioned whether this should be legal at one point. You only have to remember the case of the model Isabelle Caro who died in November at the age of 21 who made a very public campaign against eating disorders to see the devastating effects that an eating disorder can have.

 



Yes, eating disorders are not due to fashion, they are a hugely complex problem caused by psychological illness, and I know importantly for fashion shows – size 0 women don’t have lumps and bumps in places so dresses fit all and the seamstresses don’t have to worry about tailoring the clothes to fit those of us who are pearshaped or have bigger boobs etc… because size 0 women don’t have these bumps! But for those on the slippery slope to an eating disorder, images of glamorous, successful, beautiful and THIN models are very influential. I don't have an eating disorder myself thankfully, but I have several close friends who have/had one and I've seen the devastation it causes. So come on London Fashion Week, please start thinking of the young women who can't afford your clothes, but aspire to.

For more help, go to the websites of MIND or B-EAT, if you are suffering from an eating disorder, please go see your doctor. Finally, if you want to support those with eating disorders and live in the Brighton region, go to the Free Clothes - For Better Mental Health clothes swap event which you can see here on Facebook.

Please all add your opinions, for or against my post. I'd love to hear your points of view x
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38 comments

  1. Such a good post! I struggled with a few of the LFW shows this year as the girls are getting so thin and even on TV Programmes such as Americas Next Top Model they are getting thinner. It's very sad and something has to be done about it.

    Carol x
    www.mystylisms.blogspot.com

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  2. It actually makes me feel so ill/ sad to see these poor girls; the bit that saddens me most is that they give in to the trend of being stupidly thin. Great post, and I agree on the whole 'real woman doesn't = size 14 thing)! x

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  3. I saw these pictures in the news and they are extremely worrying! These girls pictured here are just far too thin and are not something young girls/women should be aspiring to look like!

    I agree with you about the "real women" term, that is something that irritates me. I am not a size 10 (I am however losing weight in a normal and safe way), I'll admit I'm on the size 14+ end of the scale but I would not like to be labelled a "real woman" because of it. To me a "real woman" is someone who is healthy and comfortable in her own skin regardless of her size - it shouldn't be categorized under a size band!

    Great post, I really hope something is put in place to not allow such scarily thin models on the runway...it's not only damaging to the models themselves but also many viewers that can be so easily influenced!

    x

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  4. I totally agree with what you say about 'real women'. It's not about size it's about eating healthy and not being underweight. Just because someone is a size 8 does not mean they are starving themselves. However, I do disagree with using size zero models, it creates pressure for young girls to copy them.

    xo

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  5. I do not agree with this post. I have had an eating disorder for many years, have received medical help for many years yet, I am still affected by it. An eating disorder stems from not being mentally strong -something (namely a death, stress/striving for excellence, change of environment etc) has affected a person and they subsequently can not cope with that problem and in order to 'deal' with this underlying problem they decide not to eat and turn to their appearance as a means to forget what is really affecting them. I should know, I have been there and have gone to many cognitive therapy sessions with doctors where they constantly try to dig deep to find my underlying problem(s).
    In your blog you are suggesting that girls want to be thin and are thus 'anorexic'. There is a complete difference between shallow girls wanting to be thin and girls/guys that are affected by an eating disorder (which is fundamentally a mental illness). I do not want to be labelled as some vain person that is not eating solely because I want to look like a model or celebrity. Yes, there are some girls that do do that, and that's their choice, but choosing to not eat because you absolutely can't because you are suffering from an eating disorder are two totally different subjects. These models are thin, yes, but they may not (well not all of them) have an eating condition - they are more than likely just starving themselves - or being forced to - so the clothes look good on them.
    I really don't appreciate having my illness erroneously talked about, twisted or even mocked. This is an illness like cancer, or dementia, and should not be used as an excuse for describing thin girls. How am I meant to talk openly about my illness and confront it if people are constantly talking about in the wrong context. This isn't fair on me or other sufferers.

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  6. Hi Sarah,

    Sorry if you were offended by my post. As you say - doctors always want to find the underlying causes and I have to admit I am a trainee psychologist so that's what I've been taught too. I'm also sorry that you were offended by me relating being thin and anorexia - but in my experience they are very related and people become anorexic because they want to be thin, or in the more rare cases it is related to control, not wanting to grow up and other rarer causes, but as I said this is my psychological training talking and as someone who has not experienced anorexia this is all I can quote. I also therefore believe that girls who are obsessed with being thin and try very hard to be thin, which you say is different to anorexia, is actually more similar as it is an eating disorder to have such ideals and alter your diet for it.

    I'd like to disagree with you saying I've twisted or mocked "your" illness as I don't believe I have. I think I delt with this very sensitively and you must agree that I said some thin girls are healthy in my "real women" comment and we are discussing girls who are not here.

    As I said I'm sorry if you are upset by my post. I honestly believed that I delt with eating disorders in a sensitive and professional manner.

    Lauren x

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  7. Lauren I don't think that you mocked or made anorexia into something that it isn't. It is a fact that a lot of young, impressionable people see these incredibly thin models and in some instances can act as a stepping stone to developing an eating disorder.

    I think you have dealt with the issue quite sensitively, considering that i too am a size 8-10 and am sick to death of the term "real woman" being thrown around to describe those size 14+. The woman you have pictured and described are not just thin, they are ILL. Nobody has bones that protrude unless severely underweight.

    I sympathise with Sarah but in some ways cannot agree that a model will simply be making themself thin to fit into the clothes or get a job. As she herself mentions that she is a sufferer, surely if a person is making themself that thin they would stop if they could?

    I worked in a high street clothes shop where a lot of the girls were size 6-8. I attempted to get rid of a bit of belly weight that I was (admittedly) obsessing over, by skipping meals and cutting down snacks. It was at a friend's house when I was washing my hands that I saw that my rib cage was showing on my chest (was wearing a vest top). At that moment I realised what an idiot I had been and stopped missing meals.

    At that point, because I wasn't ill, I made the point to change, and I had only lost a couple of pounds at most. There is no way on earth that anyone would starve themselves to the point of starvation unless they had an eating disorder (or were being actively forced to by someone else). I'm sure Lauren, who has a masters in psychology (that's right?) has made every effort to handle this issue sensitively and even says

    "Yes, eating disorders are not due to fashion, they are a hugely complex problem caused by psychological illness... But for those on the slippery slope to an eating disorder, images of glamorous, successful, beautiful and THIN models are very influential"

    This is a very long comment sorry, but I feel Lauren hasn't done anything wrong. Sarah, I hope your treatment continues to help with your condition and would suggest in instances such as these to avoid reading topics that will upset you, I myself do not get sucked into arguments about certain topics by simply avoiding them.

    On a side note, it's very strange that Mark Fast used such obviously underweight models for his show when a few years ago he was the one to use regular sized women.

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  8. Hi Emma,

    Thanks for your comment, I do indeed have a masters in Psychology.

    I didn't know that about Mark Fast... that's very odd that he'd go from extremes within the fashion industry. Thanks for letting me know, I'm gonna have to have a google.

    x

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  9. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lauren, Lauren. Lauren said: Today's post is a big topic - what do you think of anorexic models at London Fashion Week? http://www.laurenlovesblog.com/?p=1730 #LFW [...]

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  10. What an inspiring post you'd written. I do think it's incredibly sad that models face such pressure to stay "thin" as according to the industry's own perceptions so as to be able so secure more jobs or for a myriad of other reasons perhaps.

    It's such a worrying trend, especially when the fashion industry have such an influential presence over girls these days. And I must say that you did a great job in bringing such issues to light, to me it was discussed about in an appropriate and sensitive way :)

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  11. You are insinuating that a lot of these girls have anorexia, when in fact most of them probably don't eat properly due to pressures the industry imposes on them - I tend to find that those with genuine eating disorders can get ‘healthy’, but have to live with and 'manage' this mental condition for the rest of their lives, and are never ‘completely cured’. However, do all models leave the industry (because let’s face it, most models won't be doing catwalk shows past their mid twenties/early thirties) and remain skinny for the rest of their lives? No, because they were merely maintaining their low weight during the duration of their career. I therefore agree with one of the commenter’s when they say: ‘There is a complete difference between shallow girls wanting to be thin and girls/guys that are affected by an eating disorder (which is fundamentally a mental illness)’

    I also agree when they say they’re not: ‘some vain person that is not eating solely because I want to look like a model or celebrity’ because not everyone with an eating disorder is a follower of LFW - I do agree that the fashion industry sets unrealistic ideals, but not everyone is influenced by this and you say people are influenced by these models and the media, but I’m sure (because anorexia is more prevalent in society these days) that, as you know a few people with this problem, that not all of them are particularly ‘fashion (or media) loving’? I feel that you’re just generalising the subject, and I would like to think that as a psychologist, you WOULD go through some of the underlying causes of eating disorders, for example, a lack of control over one’s life etc. But you don’t.

    And I do agree with you about the pictures, I would say that those specific models may have some kind of condition, be it anorexia or bulimia, but you are clearly using the same technique as many media outlets by showing the most extreme examples to back-up your case. How many models were there at LFW? And how many would you suspect had an eating disorder from their photos in one catwalk show? I like to think your argument would have more substance if you asked us to estimate how many models we suspected had an eating disorder from one or two specific catwalk shows, and then you could conclude a percentage. But you don’t, you just show the 2 extreme cases.

    Also, how can you say: ‘she looks like a boy’? Even though you have said no offence to her, I think it’s really insensitive of a ‘psychologist’ to say this – do you think that if she read that, she really wouldn’t be offended just because you said ‘no offence’? Talk about doing the opposite to what you should do to build up someone’s self esteem and better their conscious image of themselves (which is what some sufferers need). If someone said I looked like a boy, I would be devastated. I feel that you use emotive language like ‘devastating’ and statements like ‘it’s so sad’ to cover up the fact that you are talking about an issue from a very one-sided point of view – people also feel obliged to say you handled this sensitively because of this, clearly overlooking the boy comment.

    I also agree with you about the ‘real women’ statement, but I feel a lot of people are incorrect to agree with this post for the following reason:

    You’re making a sweeping generalisation about the models at LFW – something you wouldn’t expect from a psychologist, especially not one who feels the need to express their opinions online for the world to see and then feels it necessary to justify your views with your degree (which is really just theory – you say yourself you don’t have an eating disorder). Personally, I wouldn’t be as willing to voice my opinions online like this for fear of ruining my professional reputation. Maybe you should just stick to issues you have directly dealt with, or about something less controversial, like make-up and fashion – you’re usual stuff.

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  12. Well done! I agreee with this - I was stumped for words and you have put them down for me.

    I have read a lot of interesting articles on this website, but there have been some articles that have made me quite upset.

    There is too much hyp generally for young girls to look / behave / like certain things

    You stated this was a "debate" but you have only stuck to one side of the coin and as Clare has pointed out missed a lot of important facts.

    Sarah - I hope you continue on your journey to recovering well

    Lauren - as you have some experience with psychology, perhaps you should be more considerate of the feelings / thoughts of people who aren't as beauty / fashion obsessed or as confident as you appear to be. It is okay to be "less than perfect".

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  13. I'm sorry this post might have offended you, but thatnk you for providing your opinion even if some of the points were personal. and maybe the pictures I used are the most emotive and extremem because that's my source. I've not said all LFW shows have used anorexic models but have provided examples that this still goes on in the fashion industry even though many have campaigned that it shouldn't be.

    I wanted to cover this controversial subject because it's something close to my heart with many friends current and recovering from an eating disorder. I don't think what I have stated ia unprofessional and I don't think going into the causes of all forms of anorexia is practical or necessary as there is enough press coverage and I have provided support too.

    I'm sorry I may have upset you, I just wanted to highlight an issue more important than makeup and fashion for once, to hear opinions etc.

    I do agree with your she looks like a boy comment. I used very emotive language because this topic distressed me and I will take it down when I'm on a computer not my mobile.

    Thanks for your comment x

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  14. I Wanted other's others opinions, that's where the debate came in. I stated my opinions and now I want comments from the other side. Maybe debate was the wrong word and I'll avoid real topics and issues in the future. x

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  15. Lauren I wouldn't take any of these comments personally.

    Fair-do's if this post has offended you but in my opinion it's FAR more balanced than most articles you read along the same theme. Sarah you said that that the models 'are more than likely just starving themselves'. I understand this isn't your experience of what an eating disorder is as it's to look good and not for emotional reasons but at the end of the day purposely starving yourself is still an eating disorder. And of course Lauren has chosen the most extreme examples - that's the whole point of the post - some of the models on the catwalk were too thin. I understand your frustrations with having anorexia talked about in a context that doesn't fit with your own experience but unfortunately because of the complex nature of the illness it can be appropriately spoken about in many contexts - the catwalk being one of those contexts.


    This idea of a 'difference between shallow girls wanting to be thin and girls/guys that are affected by an eating disorders' is an odd distinction. Lauren isn't talking about girls wanting to be thin. Lauren is talking about girls that want to be too thin (unhealthily thin), and the fact is wanting to be too thin is an illness - regardless as the motivation behind it.

    Lauren I'm glad you chose to focus on this aspect of fashion week rather than just the pretty clothes. When discussing an emotive topic there will always be people who feel strongly about certain aspects and so you can't please everyone. For the record I thought it was a really interesting article about a topical issue.

    PS: Looking like a boy isn't offensive when you're going for the androgynous look!

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  16. I don't think you should stop posting about more controversial topics like this, Lauren, just because some people don't agree with what you say.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and it's a debate, not an excuse for people to get offended about the topic. I think everything that has been said is opinion, but I think going so far as to basically call Lauren unprofessional is somewhat harsh, she was simply voicing her opinion on a topic which is highly debated.

    Also, I'm fairly sure that "it is not my place to say that models should be a certain size, they should just be healthy and some girls at LFW were really not" - is not a sweeping generalisation, it's simply an observation that some of the girls at London Fashion Week were an unhealthy weight.

    It could be that these girls are naturally thin - but I'm really not sure that anyone can be naturally THAT thin without restricting their diet in some way.

    It's a constantly debated topic and a double edged sword, and the sad reality is that nothing is likely to change in the near future and that young girls are being inspired by pictures such as these. Whether or not the models have an eating disorder is kind of besides the point.

    xx

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  17. ‘That’s my source’ is really no excuse for using those photos. You can easily get a variety of images from LFW via the web – unless you typed ‘anorexic models’ into Google, which again, would just be supporting your one sided argument. You have a choice in what images you use – you chose the most extreme ones. That says a lot. I feel that maybe you should mention the above, about how you’re not saying ‘all LFW shows’ use anorexic girls, because as I said, your post just sounds like a generalisation.

    I just feel that to jump from rather trivial subjects like make-up to a topic like this is no small task and deserves the highest level of attention to detail to ensure you get your argument right. There are so many blogs today, mostly written by fashion obsessed air-heads. Here we have a fashion-obsessed PSYCHOLOGIST. I like to think that with your knowledge, you might be able to provide a more interesting and informative post when dealing with serious topics. Don’t get me wrong, I read your blog because I enjoy it, but don’t you see that if you are going to make use of your degree, why not do it in an intelligent way? I say, either talk about a topic as an average individual, or make the most of what you know – why say you’re a psychologist at all if you’re not going to substantiate it in your posts?

    I appreciate that it’s a topic close to your heart, but honestly, I rarely see people delving into the underlying reasons that can cause anorexia – the most common reason we hear is the media and fashion industry, but is that a true representation of the population of anorexic people? Again, rather than using your knowledge from your degree, you have simply used societies go-to excuse to explain away eating disorders. I can read this post a thousand times over on different blogs on the web, your post is no different to any others. All I need to do is type in ‘anorexia’ in Google. Personally, I DO want to hear about the root causes and read an interesting article from a psychologist! I also think it is practical! Where are young girls meant to turn for help when they begin to show signs of the illness? I read in the paper every year about how LFW is a bad influence on young girls... what about the girls with eating disorders who have the illness due to a dysfunctional family life? No one ever covers these in the press or on the web. You have hundreds of followers and a portal to do good, and yet you’ve written a post which literally could of been copied and pasted from someone else’s blog. (I’m not saying you’ve stolen this, but it’s such a common topic, and again, with the same unexplored outcome.)

    I don't feel offended, just that the post is ill-informed in places. I feel that if you do want to post controversial topics (and I agree with your friend, do continue) in the future, you need to look at it from all sides of the story, otherwise you’ll experience many more opinions like these. I will continue to read your blog because I enjoy it, but as I said before, why bother saying you’re a psychologist when you don’t substantiate it, especially in serious posts like this one? (Obviously this isn’t as necessary for fashion/make-up posts.) I’d have more respect for you if you did. And again – the internet is a public place. If future employers were to see this (especially with the boy comment) what would they think?

    Burger - the trouble is, not all anorexic girls are going for androgynous look.

    'Whether or not the models have an eating disorder is kind of besides the point.' - I think the fact that they probably have eating disorders was entirely the point.

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  18. Thanks for your comment and opinion. I'm glad to have a Place I can discuss this and have meaningful debate.

    As you'll understand the psychology behind eating disorders and anorexia is vast and not something I could cover on what essentially is a fashion blog. My specialism doesn't cover this area but I am aware that some of the factors may be not wanting to grow up, abuse, there are so many and they are individual to the person.

    However I think it is very obvious to anyone who takes an interest in fashion shows, the current trend for ultra thin models.

    Thank you for giving us things to think about. Anorexia is so much more than fashion as you pointed out but I think it's a huge driving force. X

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  19. I completely agree with you here Clare. I dont think that fashion can be blamed entirely for anorexia, just as much as it cant be pinned on 'not wanting to grow up' or 'abuse', what a presumption to make. I have a number of friends that have suffered from this terrible illness and as far as i can tell it stems from a deeper mental issue.
    I consider myself to be a healthy size 6-8, and I have prominent hip bones, collar bones and ribs...does this make me anorexic? I think not.
    I do enjoy reading your blog Lauren, purely for the easy-going fashion and make up posts. Maybe touching upon a complex illness like this was just too much, especially considering your profession, I doubt you would generalise your clients problems like you have this. x

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  20. Lauren wasn't pinning anorexia on ‘not wanting to grow up’ or ‘abuse’. What she actually said, before you twisted her words, was 'I am aware that some of the factors may be not wanting to grow up, abuse, there are so many and they are individual to the person'.

    This is entirely correct.

    You also said - ' I dont think that fashion can be blamed entirely for anorexia'. Sorry, did I miss something, did Lauren say that? Or did she in fact say that ' 'I am aware that some of the factors may be not wanting to grow up, abuse, there are so many and they are individual to the person'. She therefore in fact did the total opposite of saying fashion can be entirely blamed for anorexia.

    I'm sorry for the angry tone but frankly twisting Lauren's words like people have been doing is just bullying.

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  21. I wasn't twisting laurens words, purely stating my opinion, and I'm sorry if this isn't the same as yours 'burger'. Personally I don't think that you can discuss a topic such as this, which has so many underlying factors, emotions and issues, without major research. These are peoples lives, you are labelling most models as having eating disorders when the frank truth is that you don't know them at all or what is going on in their lives. How would you feel to have your pictures plastered over the internet with derogatory labels

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  22. Hi lily.

    Thanks for your feedback but I have to agree with burger that I haven't generalised the causes of anorexia at all. I have used examples which are backed up with research and fact and I also said that there were many causes and they are individual so I'm quite offended that you'd insinuate I haven't done an research or in fact I'd treat my patients in a negative way.

    Normal blogging service will be resumed tomorrow. I just wanted to discuss anorexia and what everyones opinions were on using anorexic models in fashion shows to speak about something more important than superficial makeup and fashion. I didn't anticipate that people would get angry or attack me. I spoke to some anorexic friends in fact before I posted and got feedback about putting in helpline information so I had hoped it was ok.

    Lauren

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  23. To be honest I don't really have an opinion on any of this 'lily', other than that as this is Lauren's blog she can write what she likes. She's been far more diplomatic in replying to people than I would have been!

    Lauren I think in future you shouldn't bother trying to engage with certain comments and address peoples' concerns -this is an internet blog so there will ALWAYS be a few negative comments from people who are bored or like picking arguments. Stop being so nice!

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  24. You've obviously hit a nerve here Lauren with a lot of different opinions. This isn't the first or last LFW that will feature models that by all accounts look too slim.

    What I've always wondering about these designers is who buys their clothes? If they aren't making them for 'real women' (whatever that means) who are they making them for and how can they still be in business? A lot of fashion is there just to shock, amuse, or confuse us. There are tons of collections that are never made because no one would wear them. Unless journalists boycott shows that have these contraversal models then will continue to see them.

    What I will say though is the older you get you learn to ignore these messages and just learn to love yourself the way you are.

    A x

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  25. I agree. Making sweeping gerneralisations and in fact insulting young models is not an honouyrable thing for any prospective psychologist to do. You have a lot to learn clearly so that you dont damage the very people who you claim you would like to help. What if any of these young models read your posts or the offensive personalised comments from some of your contributors? Shame on you for your abuse of what could potentially have been an interesting forum. I disagree with people being picked on for how they look - in any form.

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  26. Shame on Lauren? For trying to bring some awareness to a huge issue and for trying her best to say to everyone that it doesn't matter what size you are - real women can come in all sizes? And for saying what most other beauty and fashion blogs don't - that you don't have to look to the catwalk for inspiration?

    No, Shame on you for your abuse of this forum, for not reading the post CLEARLY and just seeing the pictures and making your opinion. If you read it you'd see that the comments are not offensive, they are fair and point out that wanting that sort of body shape isn't healthy.

    I disagree with you picking on other for their opinions and making personal comments about the writer when you have no information at all about her, and you don't have the ability to discuss the topic rather than just bully the author.

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  27. I think that Lauren pretty much said that it was a psychological illness when she said this:

    "Yes, eating disorders are not due to fashion, they are a hugely complex problem caused by psychological illness"

    Eating disorders weren't mocked at all.

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  28. Personally, I think that Sarah is the same poster as Clare. The writing style is almost identical, including the use of quotation marks and parentheses. In which case, it's just someone trying to wind you up.

    Please don't stop writing about real issues (whatever 'real' means!).

    You'll always find people on the Internet who play games to wind people up. The trick is to just take it for what it is.

    Remember when people said that your post on doing your own manicure was ruining lives!? I nearly had a hernia because I laughed so much. It's probably the same people posting here!

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  29. Sarah, I am very sorry to hear of your condition, but i do think that you have got the wrong impression from this article. In your comment you specify that your illness is brought about by a problem in the past which I am in no doubt of, and I am very sorry to hear that and hope that things are looking up for you, however, you have to approach this article in a different view to the one you have. Models don't always chose to be like this, they are under immense pressure from corporate bodies, managers, brands and if it is all they have known for all their life they are going to start to believe that this is the only way to be, any other way is wrong. I like the way you compared it to other illnesses, because that ties in nicely, like other illnesses, there are variants, types or styles that are brought about by different symptoms or causes. I do believe there is more than one type of anorexia. However, it is almost impossible to think that these girls look in the mirror and think "oop, need to be a bit skinnier", and as much as your comment did get to me, and i really do wish you the best of luck, at no point did i believe that Lauren mocked your condition, this was a professionally written post, talking about a different style of anorexia.

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  30. I don't see why Lily can use the "Oh, I was just stating my opinion" excuse, yet that's all Lauren has done and she's taken a lot of flak for it. It's a bit hypocritical, no? Saying that something is your opinion, Lily, does not make it immune from criticism (as I'm sure you'll agree, given the amount of criticism of Lauren's).

    Lauren hasn't said that fashion is to blame for anorexia. She made two very crystal-clear caveats *explicitly* saying as such. You would have to be blind to have missed them.

    This article is about fashion's promotion of anorexia. It isn't about the causes of anorexia. If you can't understand the distinction between these two, you might want to do a bit more research on the subject before you post a barbed comment.

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  31. Hi Random,

    Thanks for your point which I think is very fair - it'd be nice if you put your name though because I clearly know you from Facebook and haven't taken what you've said personally.

    As I said on facebook, I don't take personally what others have said if it's their opinion - e.g. that they don't agree and think models need to be thin, or that they don't agree and think thin is beautiful. It's the comments that call me unprofessional, that I'm mocking their illness or insinuate that I have been rude about an illness that I have tried to tackle in a balanced way which I didn't want to have any pro-ana connotations.

    I agree, this is my hobby and I do take on board when people have other opinions as that's real life, just like when I talk to others I like to hear their opinions, but only if they aren't personal, off-topic and aggressive as some of these comments clearly can be taken.

    I guess you could interpret my talk of fashion hair and makeup as promoting the beauty is on the outside comment, but as you said it's not something I have ever intended. I wear makeup because it makes me happy and follow fashion because I enjoy it, so to think that others would take my (clearly mindless) chatter to say "you must wear makeup and wear this to be beautiful" would really upset me. I sincerely hope they don't as the majority of my readers are also beauty and fashion bloggers to be fair.

    Thanks for your comment though, I knew when I wrote this that I may get comments which are different to my opinion but I wasn't anticipating people questioning whether I'd done my research, questioning my professionality or how I treat others because I worked really hard to write this post and get as much information as I could. I'm just going to stick to the old topics from now on. Lesson learnt I think.

    xxx

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  32. (she was not my lover!)

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  33. Eee-hee shamone.

    I'm glad we have the Internet in heaven so I can read Lauren loves blog.


    On a serious note, ignore the nonsense lauren, knowing you as a real person I know what you say was never meant to irrititate people, you are a kind hearted soul - unfortunately over the Internet People misread and misunderstand.

    Many people used to misunderstand who Billy Jean was..

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  34. Lauren,

    I think the issue with this is that it is clearly so close to people's hearts that they have lost sight of what you have intended this article to be about. (That usually happens in debates - have you said the politics debates!?!!)

    I totally disagree with using "too thin" models for fashion shows. I love Gok's Fashion shows where he uses REAL WOMEN! That's what life is really like and that's what people are really like. I don't think catwalk shows are ever likely to change unless laws are changed - it's a sad fact. And it's essentially a crime that they get away with it really.

    Having said that you should continue your hobby - as I said previously it's clearly popular and (without disrespecting you) there's SO much hyp in the media about looking good I don't think an extra blog about how make up and fashion will make a terrific amount of difference to "impressionable" girls - but I do wonder how old some of these bloggers are and how much they really take on board these comments?? It's a very sad reality that lives can be dominated by this.

    I think the "personal" attacks have stemmed from the heated passion from people that have written as the debate has thickened rather than actually attacking what you have initially written and intended to put across. Reading through the arguments people have put forward, although being hard to follow comes down to a lot of back and forth between people who do and do not know you and their opinions - when someone's opinion is questioned people get defensive, when people are defensive they attack without really meaning it. And whilst it is hurtful to you, I doubt that was actually their intention. Some of the comments each person has written has potential to be an attack towards someone and as you're attacked, you fight back and so it carries on.

    Be strong. Whether you have been professional or unprofessional this is your hobby, not your profession. My employers have seen me drunk at an evening do - am I therefore unqualified to do my job?

    Anonymonity allows me to have confidence to express my thoughts.... xx

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  35. Thank you. Sometimes it helps to be reminded to not take it personally. It can be hard when I put so much effort into my blog xxx

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  36. "what about the girls with eating disorders who have the illness due to a dysfunctional family life? No one ever covers these in the press or on the web."

    Gross generalisation if ever I heard one.

    I think all of you who are replying taking offence that a psychologist should write such a post (which I think was sensitively written) should consider the fact that everyone is going to approach the subject differently. Lauren is writing a blog with her own opinions. Yes, these opinions will have had different influences from her time studying psychology than the influences that might be found in those commenters who have suffered from anorexia. If I wrote a post on the subject, it would be different too, coming from someone who has always felt larger than average and never quite liked the feeling. It's important to remember that Lauren wasn't setting her post up as a scientifically balanced article, it's a space for her personal thoughts. I dare say if you were to write something on the topic, you would not dedicate space and time to focussing on the opposite argument to what you believe. Maybe you ought to think about these things before you start lashing out at people for having personal opinions which differ from your own.

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  37. I remember that the manicure post too! The person kept saying stuff like
    "I find your blog very disturbing Lauren, do you want people to lose their jobs by using ebay?!"- I also laughed a lot :)


    Lauren please don't stop writing about topics like this, if people don't read the whole thing and get pissy (from the general tone of some of the comments I seem to gather they think you are blaming fashion for EVERY aspect of eating disorders- which you are not!) then that's their choice, hope they sleep better at night for it.

    Also, a couple of the comments talking about fashion and beauty being so superficial and meaningless, as well as forcing people to be "beautiful" I have to disagree with. Make-up and nice clothes do not serve their purpose to me by forcing me to be "beautiful"; they boost my self esteem and give me confidence that I lacked for many years.

    Slight tangent there but oh well :)

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  38. Before anyone says anything - yes the second comment was from me, the same person (anonymous - posted this morning...) For some daft reason I failed to add the name in! Whoops!!

    I'm not sure if the last comment was aimed at me, but I'm not sure I actually said beauty and fashion was "superficial" - I was simply saying that it does have a huge effect on impressionable girls. Quite often girls are growing up too quickly as they are surrounded by what has become a need to be beautiful. Most people do have a wonderful natural beauty that gets masked - it's a way of hiding low self confidence, amongst other reasons. I just think it's a terrible shame when girls / women (even men) feel pressured into doing it and they lose sight of how wonderful they are without it...
    Equally, Anon whilst you don't feel it serves a purpose to you by forcing you to be beautiful, some people do feel they are only beautiful when they wear expensive, designer clothes, or feel they can't go out without doing they hair / make up. Again, these are probably extremes but it is out there...

    I haven't denied that I wear a bit of make up - but being "beautiful" hasn't got me where I am today. But I do believe that some people out there do believe surface beauty (can I call it that??) does equal success... And it's the media and the way people are portrayed that promotes that behaviour / thinking... Have you seen Beauty and the Beast? It demonstrates how so many people have such underlying issues yet feel beauty and fashion is the answer....

    This has gone way off the anorexia issue, sorry!

    As I said, I wasn't sure if that was aimed at what I wrote - I just wanted to clarify myself! x x

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