Scientist: Screening Models For Anorexia "Unnecessary"


Canada’s Montreal Fashion Week just ended, and models were not allowed to walk the runway if they were too thin. But on LiveScience, Benjamin Radford writes that testing fashion models to see if they have an eating disorder or are anorexic is “an unnecessary, cosmetic fix.” Radford notes that there is no way to physically “screen” models for anorexia — since it’s a psychological disorder, the women would have to be asked a series of questions, which, argues Radford, “like drug use or any other topic the model may not want to admit to—could be easily evaded.” And just figuring out if the models are heating healthily may not work, either. As he puts it:

While thinness is often associated with malnutrition, many thin (even anorexic) people are properly nourished—and even obese people can be malnourished. Not only is the health screening impractical, but in America, such measures might be illegal. An employer can’t fire someone from a job or discriminate against that person because he or she has a disease.

True, but then we read this:

Anorexia is a complex psychological disorder; young women can no more “catch” anorexia from seeing thin models than they can “catch” depression from watching an actress cry in a film. Furthermore, if thin models somehow caused anorexia, why is the disease so rare? Hundreds of millions of American girls and women see thin actresses and models every day in the media, yet fewer than one percent of them develop anorexia. Decades of research suggest that the disorder is primarily genetic, not environmental.

Women may not be able to “catch” anorexia, but can’t they “catch” lowered self esteem and a sense that a girl is not worthy of adoration unless she is thin? Can’t they “catch” a lifelong borderline eating disorder than never turns into anorexia? We also call bullshit on the depression thing. We’ve seen movies (Dancer In The Dark, Inconvenient Truth) that made our psyches fucking crumble. Real Problems Hidden Behind Thin Fashion Models [LiveScience]

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