Anorexic Health Care Advertising

The recent death of model Isabelle Caro reminded many of the dire health issues related to anorexia and other eating disorders. It also brings up lingering issues with the advertising campaign she took a lead role in – No Anorexia. The campaign, which launched in Italy in 2007, put Caro in an international spotlight because of her emaciated figure. According to some, the campaign was intended to bring exposure to the issues of anorexia, especially as they exist in the fashion model industry.

However, I think the campaign did a disservice to the issues related to eating disorders. Prior to the banning of the campaign in many areas, Caro’s shocking image was spread across the world. If the campaign designers wanted to help women with this type of mental disorder, information about recover should have been included. No support information was included; but the campaign did create exposure to the fashion house No-Li-Ta.

I want to give credit to Jessica Simpson and her show The Price of Beauty. The interview with Isabelle Caro is insightful and heartbreaking. At one point in the interview Caro says that none of the modeling agencies questioned how skinny she was, because they are so used to seeing skinny women.

Jessica’s closing comment cannot be more appropriate, “The skinnier you are doesn’t make you more beautiful.”

Anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and diabulimia are not only eating disorders, they are mental health disorders that can, and do, lead to death. Isabelle Caro is an example of this tragic disease. People suffering from eating disorders need professional, medical and psychological help. They do not need to be stars of an advertising campaign or rewarded for their disease. Highlighting Caro in the No-Li-Ta campaign and continuing to give her advertising, modeling and acting jobs was wrong. She needed help, not notoriety.


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