French model Isabelle Caro has died from complications due to anorexia. Caro passed away Nov. 17 at age 28, though her death wasn’t reported until over a month later. CBS News reports Caro has been battling anorexia since she was 13. On the VH1 reality show “The Price of Beauty,” Caro told Jessica Simpson she weighed only 86 pounds when a fashion designer told her she had to lose weight. Caro made headlines when Italian photographers showed Caro at an emaciated 59 pounds as part of anorexia awareness. The Italian ads spread to Europe and the United States.
Sadly, Caro is not the only model to battle eating disorders and lose her life. A prominent Brazilian model died in 2006 because she was too thin.
Ana Carolina Reston
Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died in 2006 from a general infection brought on by anorexia. Fox News reports Reston died because she was underweight and malnourished, despite her family begging her to eat more food.
Reston was 5 feet 8 inches tall and only weighed 88 pounds at the time of her death. Her death followed only months after a Spanish fashion show banned models who were too thin and below a body mass index (BMI) of 18. Reston’s BMI was 13.4 at the time of her death.
WebMD reports anorexia usually starts with teenage girls and affects less than 1 percent of the population. The fashion world has long been criticized for promoting unhealthy body images in young women who feel like they have to eat less to look good.
The sooner treatment for anorexia starts, the better. The longer someone waits to get treated the harder there will be a favorable outcome. Complications from anorexia include starvation, malnutrition, bone disorders, immune system deficiencies and heart problems.
Eating disorders are not widespread but they do take their toll on bodies and the families of those who suffer from anorexia or bulimia. Unfortunately, cases like Caro’s make headlines because they are likely preventable. As Reston’s mother told the Brazilian media, “no money in the world is worth the life of your child.”
When will society realize body image and fashion really don’t matter as billions of people are homeless, starving and suffer from diseases? Fashion models are people too who deserve to live a good life. When models are told to sacrifice their bodies at all costs, our perversion with good looks has gone too far. If even one girl sees Caro’s situation and vows to never become emaciated, then her death has not been in vain.
Derschowitz, Jessica, “Isabelle Caro, Anorexic Model, Brought Jessica Simpson to Tears,” CBS News.
Fox News, “21-Year-Old Anorexic Model Dies in Brazil.”
WebMD, “Anorexia Nervosa.”