Former model: Her organs were failing, but designers still tried to book her
Former teen model Georgina Wilkin was scouted in 2006 and started modeling at age 15. Throughout her career, she became so thin from lack of eating that her organs began to fail, but designers were still lining up to book her. So for the next 7 years, she would battle with anorexia. She is stepping forward now to tell her story.
When she was sixteen, she was booked for a 2-month long job in Japan, on the condition that she lose 3 inches from her hips and 1 inch from her waist. On an already thin frame, this is a serious feat. She did it, and though she was basically emaciated, she realized when she got to Japan that she was one of the "bigger" girls there. "I wasn't looked after, or told what to do. Nobody told me where the supermarket was so I just didn't really eat," she writes in The Telegraph. Completely miserable and barely eating, she couldn't even go home to her parents because part of the contract indicated that she had to repay the agency for her flight and apartment from the money she earned.
After just a year of working, she became too ill to continue, and was immediately admitted into the hospital for anorexia. "In hospital the doctors made no secret of the fact that my life was in danger. My vital organs were under such strain that there was a risk my heart could stop or my kidneys pack up," she said. What upsets her most now is that she still sees women in huge campaigns that show the same signs of anorexia that she did: blue lips and fingers that needed to be covered with concealer because her heart was barely pumping to send blood around her body. At 5'10", she was only 118 pounds in the beginning of her career, and won't reveal her weight from her thinnest moments out of fear that it might become a goal for women suffering from anorexia today. Still fighting the battle, she spoke at this year's "Shape of Fashion" debate during London Fashion Week, shaming the industry for its effects on young women. (Daily Mail)
Now an advocate for young women, she wrote in the Telegraph "I was encouraged to lose weight unhealthily by my modelling agent, but teenage girls need to be proud about what they have as a human being. I want to encourage modelling agents and casting directors to talk to girls about healthy eating, and where they do put pressure on young girls to lose their weight, to do so healthily and sensibly."
We've seen this story before and we will continue to see it until there are serious changes made in the fashion industry. Click here for more experiences of the modeling world.
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