This piece was written by Model Megan Babee
Photography: Alex Waber Makeup: Jenny Ruth Elizabeth McLeod Sarah Lam Candice Harvey Carole Methot
Models: April O##Q##Peel, Kelsey Watson, Alex Larente, Megan Babee, Viktoryia Kozik, Ron Wear, Cyrus, Kanika Sasan, Devan Geselle Newman, Jabeene Bhimji, Euvie Ivanova .
February is Eating Disorder Awareness month. All over the globe different organizations are doing their part to spread the message that this illness is becoming more widespread and something needs to be done. The fashion industry has had a reputation for using young, thin models on the catwalk and in print; and many feel this is a direct cause for the rise in eating disorders around the world. The issue though, is a lot bigger than that and we need to be aware of out own attitudes toward thinness.
We need to change what is desired in the fashion industry and we need to value each model as a human being, not as a mannequin that can be molded into be the perfect size. Modeling, as with any profession, has standards that you are judged by and a large part of someone##Q##s success is based on how well they fit those standards. Like any other profession, there are those who break that mold and show that you can pursue your goals despite being told you will never be good enough. The fashion industry is not alone in this, but those struggling can’t just take a course to get ahead, their careers are based solely on their appearances. This pressure to fit an impossible mold in a short time frame (2-5yrs), leads models to taking drastic measures that leads to weight loss addiction and long term physical and mental health issues. Women and men, yes even men, with eating disorders are unfortunately in every facet of life nowadays. They are lawyers, doctors, accountants, travel agents, and they are struggling in silent. We need to start making changes and taking notice.
Lately there has been a bit of a phenomena with the rise of the “plus” size model. Being a thin person myself, someone who has always been a twig and often ridiculed for it,
I experienced bullying and was told my body wasn’t good enough; I was always just too skinny. With the current environment of “anti-thin” us NATURALLY thin women are being vilified, clearly none of us ever eats and we are the reason for everything wrong in the world.
Eating disorders and obesity are simultaneously on the rise and as a culture we need to re-evaluate how we see our bodies and the food we eat. The “ideal size” should not exist; any woman of any size who is healthy should be celebrated and welcomed into the industry. When you see your body as the enemy, a thing that needs to be controlled, and food as a weapon, you’re setting yourself up for failure and eventually the pain of never loving yourself for who you are and not what you ‘should’ look like.
A few weeks ago I was sitting with my beautiful best friend, an amazing fellow model who has struggled with an Eating disorder for years. We came up with the idea for this Photo shoot, in honor of Eating disorder awareness and the theme this year “Celebrating your Size”. It was perfect timing considering the discussions we were having. Everything was planned and executed in under a week and we were so lucky to have had such an amazing team of people come together.
We involved models that have suffered through, or are continuing to struggle with, an eating disorder. We had models, whose family members and friends are struggling, and we had models who just wanted to show their support and show that there are so many different body types in this world, and with confidence and a positive attitude they are all beautiful.
I’m hoping that this will open a few minds, there needs to be a change and the only way to start that is to speak up and start a discussion. Be proud of your body!