The Danish magazine Cover has apologized after featuring an anorexic-looking 16-year-old model on its latest cover. The magazine was attacked on Twitter for promoting an unhealthy body image and the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia.
Danish Tax Minister Benny Engelbrecht was among those appalled by the magazine’s decision to use an emaciated model on its cover (see photo, above right). “I thought the fashion industry had understood that anorexia is a problem that should be taken seriously,” Engelbrecht tweeted.
In response, Cover magazine publisher Malene Malling said she was “very sorry” for her poor judgment call. “The Cover has over the years printed tens of thousands of images, but the images of a too thin model in Cover 103 should not be suppressed,” Malling wrote on Facebook. “I have not lived up to my responsibilities as a publisher, woman and mother and I am sincerely very sorry.
Malene continued: “On Cover we have always worked to show an enlarged beauty ideal, show that you can be beautiful in different ages and different sizes. Just two months ago we had plus-size model Ashley Graham on the cover of Cover, so it is certainly a subject we focus on.”
Cover magazine was further criticized for allegedly deleting negative comments about the anorexic-looking model from its Facebook page.
Models Resort to Anorexia, Bulimia, Chain-Smoking and Laxative Abuse
Over the years, the fashion and modeling industries have come under fire for promoting eating disorders and unhealthy body images.
According to fashion industry insiders, runway models follow starvation diets, chain-smoke and abuse diet pills and laxatives in order to squeeze into the tiny sample outfits that are de rigueur on the catwalk.
Russian model Kira Dikhtyar said girls who are already skinny do whatever it takes to achieve that lean look that’s the holy grail in high fashion.
“Packs of cigarettes, daily colonics, laxatives, diet pills, Adderall, prescription drugs that suppress the appetite [are some of the weight loss techniques],” said Dikhtyar. “I’ve heard stories that some modeling agents encourage girls to do speed and cocaine in order to speed up metabolism and eat less.”
Still other models turn to hypnosis to control their hunger, while others swallow cotton balls in a desperate attempt to quell their empty stomachs. In 2010, French model Isabelle Caro died after years of battling anorexia. The 5-foot-4 Caro weighed 68 pounds at the time of her death.
Isabelle started battling anorexia when she was 12. Over the next 16 years, Caro was repeatedly hospitalized after nearly starving herself to death. In 2007, the skeletal Isabelle gained worldwide attention after posing nude for photographer Oliviero Toscani.
The disturbing photo, which showed an emaciated Caro looking sickly and older than her years, was part of an ad campaign to spotlight the dangers of anorexia (see photo, above left). In 2008, Isabelle released an autobiography entitled “The Little Girl Who Didn’t Want To Get Fat,” where she discussed her lifelong battles with anorexia, low self-esteem and self-hatred.