Passion For Fashion

Girls live and breathe fashion. It’s part of our chemistry. We love to decorate ourselves, pose in the mirror, chat endlessly about the latest style of clothes, handbags, shoes, accessories, you name it. We couldn’t look away from fashion if we tried. We are a captive audience for fashion designers.


  Photo: Zack Seckler NY Fashion Magazine

Fashion designers demand models resemble “human clothes hangers.” This stick thin look is deemed the only one worthy of showcasing their art.  To achieve this ultimate draping effect for their designs, designers have deliberately shaved the size of clothing down, inch by inch, to a size that never existed before. Size zero. Then double zero.

Size 0 is the average waist size of an 8 year old girl. 

An average fashion model stands 5’9 and weighs in around 100 lbs. 

Four fashion models have dropped dead in the past year and a half.  

Dead not from anorexia, but emaciation. A condition the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies as two levels beyond anorexia. A malnourished body state that is incomprehensible, one generally reserved for impoverished, desperate human beings suffering in Third World Countries. This unfortunate population is sadly susceptible to the horror of starvation, so why are young, wealthy, once vibrant women of the fashion industry succumbing to such a fate?

Luisel Ramos

Struck by a heart attack as she stepped off runway, Luisel Ramos was the first to die in the hands of the fashion industry. Lettuce and Diet Coke were the only foods Luisel was willing to consume for three months prior to her death, since she was told she needed to trim her slim frame in order to stay in the runway game. [1]


Dead: August 2, 2006
Age: 22
Height: 5’9
Weight: 98lbs.

Anna Carolina Reston
Discovered at 14, dead at 21. When this grown woman reached 88 pounds her body gave up. Friends and family recall Ana’s two year slide into the eating disordered world clearly started after being called “fat” when auditioning for a modeling job in China. According to Journalist Laura Ancona, Reston’s health condition was common knowledge. “Everyone knew she was ill,” she says. “the other girls, the agencies, everyone. Don’t believe it when they say they didn’t.”[2] After 21 days fighting for her life in ICU with her dear family at hear side, Ana died from multiple organ failure, hair in patches, a tube down her throat, and tears in her eyes since she was unable to even speak.


Dead: November 15, 2006
Age: 21
Weight: 88lbs 

Eliana Ramos
Eliana starved herself to death, just as her sister Luisel did six months earlier. She too suffered a heart attack, at age 18. She was buried with minimal fanfare from the fashion industry, or anyone else for that matter.



Dead: February 13, 2007

Age: 18

Height: 5’9”

Weight: not reported

Hila Elmalich

Perhaps most disturbing, is the drawn out death of Hila Elmalich. Long time friend, fashion photographer Adi Barkan, video recorded Emma’s disturbing life and eventual death. The still images of Emma collapsed in Ade Barkan’s arms are a bit to real to bear. After years of struggling to beat her anorexia, Hila passed away on her 34th birthday.



Dead: November 14, 2007

Age: 34

Height: 5’6

Weight: 60lbs.

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21 Responses to Passion For Fashion

  1. kerryelizabeth says:

    this made me cry…

  2. Mrs. B. says:

    I still say that I have two theories.

    1.) Designers are largely gay men attempting to make women into young boys.

    and 2.) It is much harder to design an article of clothing that fits and flatters bodies and curves than it is to design an article of clothing that hangs on a stick. These people just really aren’t that talented and they have been allowed to get away with their lack of talent largely through marketing and hype.

    Oh, and maybe one more thing. A lot of these people are themselves strung out on drugs and alcohol. They don’t know what healthy people look like any more.

  3. Sass1948 says:

    i like the gay designers molding women theory

  4. sarah says:

    mrs. b, i hope your comment on gay men was sarcastic, as it sounded extremely homophobic and rude.

    this was extremely sad. the average height and weight of a model was what got me. i am 5’11, but do not weight 100 pounds. when i hear this though makes me think half of the people i have worked with must think i’m a cow.

  5. Mrs. B. says:

    You may think it is rude, unfortunately, many people think it is true.

    I have nothing against gay people. I simply am saying that gay men are not attracted to a shapely female form. And that’s who is designing your sense of fashion. As much as I love Marc Jacobs’ handbags, take a look at his models.

  6. Pingback: Passion For Fashion | World Health Organization

  7. Josie says:

    Sarah – i felt the same way – it’s automatic for us EDed people to compare ourselves to those weights and heights. I don’t think MV should have put them there.

    I take issue with the first paragraph – that’s a HUGE generalisation. Yes, fashion is influencial on a lot of teenage girls, but suggesting it’s “part of our chemistry” and we “live and breathe fashion” is actually offensive.

  8. mamavision says:

    On the gay male designers topic, I have purposely not addressed this common perception because there is no way to verify it and I don’t necessarily believe this is fair or accurate.

    Take a look at the Board of Directors for CFDA – starting with the President Diane Von Furstenberg.

    What’s Donna Karen doing? Vera Wang? They are highly influential and they are doing the same as the assumed and admitted gay male designers so this line of thinking doesn’t follow for me.


  9. kim says:

    i wonder if designers demand “human clothes hangers” in part because that is what society dictates they want. i dont know i am just wondering? in treatment i never heard one of the girls say fashion made them want thinness, it was usually issues (abuse, divorce, etc.) that led them to develop ed though fashion may have fed it after it was there. heck, half the girls in treatment wore clothes that would fit someone 20 pounds heavier, most dressed to hide their bodies.

  10. Amber/vanity900/cult66623 says:

    Hila Elmalichc looks healthy in that picture, is my mind warped and this look normal or is this when she was okay?

  11. YANYB says:

    MamaV- I’m sorry, but I agree. Posting statistics and pictures of emaciated models is not about to make anyone visiting this blog feel any better about him/herself. This same sort of entry would appear in a pro site, or could be seen as thinspiration. Honestly, it made me put down my pizza for a moment. :(

  12. ana e. says:

    {well she has to post the images up so you know who she is speacking of. im sure that she does not mean it to be thinspo.}

    it is my opinion that the fashion industry is only a reflection of what is going on in whealthy nations. many 1st world nations have a large population of people who are overweight. being thin is looked as a good thing and healthy. the more obese the nation the thiner the models get, it is because that is what they want to look like. even if they know that it is not right and unhealthy. the fashion industry is just giving people what they want. it is a business.

  13. mamavision says:

    Hi YANYB: I don’t understand your comment, can you reiterate what you are thinking?

    This is a story about four girls who died from starvation….so I wasn’t intending for this to make anyone with an ED feel better about themselves. Sure, some of my posts are intended to do this, but certainly not this one.

    As a general rule, I do not steer away from any image that could and is perceived as “triggering.” The fact is the world is a trigger so I don’t believe counselors who tell ED patients to “stay away from triggers such as this” are being realistic about the world we live in.

    What do you think?

  14. mamavision says:

    Hi Amber: Hila was close to death in this image, if you look at her stats she was 60 pounds. In this image she does not look “normal,” she appears deadly thin.

    How does this resonate with you?

  15. weedivine says:

    Here’s the thing- I buy these lines. And if designers are willing to keep ignoring the epidemic of ED, and terrible state of women’s mental and physical health in this country due to a crazy beauty standard they promote- I will put my money where my mouth is. I don’t have to buy clothes from these designers. I called the PR rep and told her that I was “considering my spring wardrobe” and was wondering about the status of the initiative. I hope she got the idea. Thanks MaMa Vision. I love fashion, but I don’t have to support this BS with my money.

  16. sarah says:

    mamaV, to some the weights and images of these models may be astonishing, but to me and many other girls in the depths of an eating disorder they make us feel fat. i think the models look beautiful, and as a model, even though i am 2 inches taller than luisel ramos i though man 15 more pounds and ive got it made.

  17. YANYB says:

    I just don’t understand why the first image and the statistics of the models were posted. I honestly do try to stay away from triggers, even if sometimes it seems impossible. I’m not quite sure of what I was trying to say… maybe asking why it was necessary.

  18. Amber/vanity900/cult66623 says:

    mamav- im shocked, she looks like 108lbs to me…maybe because the picture is so small i can’t get a good look…il cheak the memorial.

  19. Amber/vanity900/cult66623 says:

    OMG I’M SO SORRY!!!!!! I ment Eliana Ramos! whoops! anyway, same question as above…accept with the right person…

  20. Josie says:

    “video recorded Emma’s disturbing life and eventual death. The still images of Emma collapsed in Ade Barkan’s arms are a bit to real to bear. After years of struggling to beat her anorexia, Hila passed away” – where did the name Emma come from??

    Amber – she is very pale, and rather thin. It’s also a fashion photo, so any flaws on the outside would have been photoshopped out. And a person could look okay on the outside, but be very ill on the inside.
    That’s like me at the moment – look absolutely fine and all recovered, but my blood is messed up.

    MamaV – an eating disordered person looking at those weights is going to think “i’m fat. I need to be as thin as that for someone to take me seriously”. People with EDs are only taken seriously if they are emaciated – an awful and incorrect stereotype which is being reinforced here.

  21. Amber/vanity900/cult66623 says:

    Josie- I get what your saying about the surface because i look “recovered” but may die of a heart attack because of my slow pulse, and as for emma i was looking under the picture rather than above it.

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