The Nolita ad campaign has shocked people with its image of an anorexic woman
Heidi Diaz...this is what your Kimkins starvation diet can lead to...
"September 25, 2007
FASHION CHAIN CONFRONTS EATING DISORDERS
Hard-Hitting Ad Shows Naked Anorexic Woman
"The Nolita ad campaign has shocked people with its image of an anorexic woman.
Back in 1992, photographer Oliviero Toscani caused controversy around the world with his pictures of a man dying of AIDS which formed part of a Benetton advertising campaign. Now he is back in the headlines with an equally shocking image of a naked anorexic woman, which a fashion chain is using to raise awareness about eating disorders.
The Nolita advertisement, timed to coincide with Milan fashion week, appeared Monday in Italian newspapers, including a two-page center spread in La Repubblica, and on billboards in Italy. A slogan above the naked photograph reads "No Anorexia."
Flash&Partners, the fashion group that owns the Nolita brand, said in a statement that Toscani's aim was "to use that naked body to show everyone the reality of this illness, caused in most cases by the stereotypes imposed by the world of fashion."
The woman in the photo is Isabelle Caro from France, who is 27 years old and has been anorexic for 15 years. She weighs a mere 68 lbs. and suffers from the skin disease, psoriasis.
Caro said, "I've hidden myself and covered myself for too long. Now I want to show myself fearlessly, even though I know my body arouses repugnance. I want to recover because I love life and the riches of the universe. I want to show young people how dangerous this illness is. Just because modelling is seen as glamorous, [the industry] seems to think it is outside normal health and safety issues. It is time it started taking care of its workers."
Many people blame the fashion industry and the obsession with stick-thin size zero models for the rise in cases of anorexia. Calls for action within the British fashion industry led to a full-scale investigation into the problems by a panel of experts this year.
The report by the Model Health Inquiry, which was published last week on the eve of London Fashion Week, made 14 recommendations including requiring models to pass medical checks before being allowed on the catwalk and barring appearances from those under 16.
Unveiling the report, chairman of the inquiry, Baroness Kingsmill, slammed the fashion world for allowing young girls to be exploited.
In Madrid and Milan, authorities have banned the appearance of ultra-skinny models on catwalks by forcing models to carry certificates proving they are healthy. Last year, super-skinny models were banned from Madrid Fashion Week. The ban covers girls with a body mass index of below 18 -- 18.5 to 25 is considered to be "normal."
Italy's health minister Livia Turco backed the campaign and said: "The disturbing image of Isabelle Caro could open an original channel for communication and encourage people to shoulder their responsibilities in the area of anorexia."
Italy's Ministry of Health supported the Nolita campaign and Health Minister Livia Turco said it can "promote responsibility towards the problem of anorexia." Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana also praised the ad. "Finally, someone says the truth about anorexia, that it's not a fashion problem but a psychiatric problem," the Italian news agency ANSA quoted the celebrity designer duo as saying.
The issue was brought to the forefront after the starvation-related deaths of South American models Ana Carolina Reston, 21, and sisters Luisel and Eliana Ramos. All died in the past year. 22-year-old model Luisel Ramos collapsed and died at a show in Uruguay, after having gone days without eating properly.
"Luisel Ramos (born c. 1984 – August 2, 2006) was a Uruguayan model.
On August 2, 2006, at 9:15 p.m., Ramos died of heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa while participating in a fashion show during Fashion Week in Montevideo, Uruguay. Ramos had felt ill after walking the runway and subsequently fainted on her way back to the dressing room. She died at the age of 22.
Ramos' father told police that she had gone "several days" without eating. She was reported to have adopted a diet of lettuce leaves and Diet Coke for the three months before her death. At the time of her death she had a body mass index (BMI) of about 14.5 due to having weighed little more than 7 stone (98 lb, 44 kg) despite being 5 ft 9 in tall (1.75 m). The World Health Organization considers a BMI of around 16 to be starvation.
In the wake of Ramos' death, the Madrid Fashion Week (held in September 2006) set a minimum BMI of 18 for all models. In December that year, Italian fashion designers banned size zero models from walking down their catwalks.
On February 13, 2007, her 18-year-old sister Eliana Ramos, also a model, died at her grandparents' home in Montevideo of an apparent heart attack, believed to be related to malnutrition. " (from Wikipedia)
For those who may feel that this billboard campaign could "promote" anorexia nervosa, please read this excellent article by Susie Orbach of the Guardian Unlimited:
"I am surprised to read that colleagues working with girls and women with eating and body difficulties have responded negatively to the pictures of Isabelle Caro, the 27-year-old actress who weighs just 31 kilograms, displayed on billboards across Italy.
The startling and disturbing images are part of a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of going on hunger strike. She's been on one since she was 12. The campaign, shot by Oliviero Toscani, who has shocked the world before with his provocative campaigns for Benetton, is supported by the fashion industry in Italy and has been mounted to coincide with Milan fashion week. The industry has become worried, and for good reason, that they are inadvertently promoting body hatred in girls and women.
My colleagues are concerned that the Toscani pictures will be aspirational. They are certainly correct that visual culture is reconstructing our relationship to the body. We can't but help look at ourselves from the outside to see whether our bodies sufficiently reflect an acceptable version of the 5,000 digitally enhanced images that are beamed at us per week. This is particularly the case for girls and young women and my colleagues worry that girls, perhaps those who are already hooked into the proAna sites will chase the elusive dream to fit in through acquiring a diminished body.
If visual culture can invoke a feeling that we need to be thin, perhaps the pictures of Isabelle Caro will become glamorised in such a way that they invite us to mimic her. It's possible but I doubt it. I think we are not yet inured to the horror they portray. We can still see them. It takes more than one or two images to change our visual landscape and I think they will become a rallying point for campaigners against the body hatred which eats into so many of our children's childhoods, adolescence and young adulthood.
We need to address the problem visually because it has in large part created visually. Yes, eating problems start in the home, sometimes unwittingly passed on by mums and siblings who have body anxieties of their own which in turn owe much to the ubiquity of art-directed visual culture. Yes, anorexia and the starvation that goes with it have to be addressed emotionally and sometimes medically, but if we fail to challenge worship of just one body type, we will miss an important dimension to transform the problem.
Bodies today are rarely where we live from. They become our production. Our personal statement about who we are. We work on them. We spend a fortune on them. We decorate, transform and manipulate them. Cosmetic surgery is worth $14bn this year, and expected to increase by a $1bn for next. The number of girls and women (and increasingly men) who suffer with severe eating and body difficulties, sometimes obvious like bulimia and obesity, sometimes hidden in bulimia or binge eating, is rising and reaching into earlier and earlier age groups.
We do need to campaign. And at the visual level - which is where this campaign is located. Shocking images are one way, pictures of women of different sizes, as in the Dove campaign, and the deconstructing of the beauty industry through videos are others. We need the best our art directors can do to democratise our visual field so that all of our beauty and variety is included. We need to face the public health emergency that is body hatred (in all its manifestations from obesity to anorexia) and transform the role of visual culture so that it becomes part of the solution and not the problem."
One of the comments on this blog post was made by OhYeahBabe, and it is an excellent comment. I was remiss in not pointing this out in my blog post.
Here is OhYeahBabe's comment:
"People need to understand that you don't have to look like Isabelle Caro to be anorexic. I think that's a significant point of confusion for people who want to stick to Kimkins because they think they are not anorexic yet."
So right you are, OhYeahBabe. Thanks so much for taking the time to point that out. Kudos to you!
http:// www. bleskovky.sk/cl/11/175198/Anorekticka-z-plagatov-je-zobracka
Lying here hungry ...
My whole body in pain ...
Should probably eat something ...
But I feel too ashamed ...
Starting to shiver now ...
Beginning to shake ...
God how I love this ...
How my body just aches ...
Got up for some cold water ...
Then to take a cold shower ...
Remind myself that soon ...
I'll be a delicate flower ...
Did 3 hours exercise ...
But I must do some more ...
Still got one pound to loose ...
Like the pound I lost before ...
Whoa, got a dizzy head rush ...
Colors dancing all around me ...
Like little tiny faerie angels ...
Wanting to set me free ...
Oh wow, I'm floating with them ...
Going high up in the sky ...
I finally made it! ...
To the thinness that is I ..."
What is PRO-ANA?
"Pro-ana refers to the promotion or support of anorexia nervosa as a lifestyle choice rather than an eating disorder. It is often referred to simply as "ana" and is sometimes affectionately personified by anorexics as a girl named Ana." (from Wikipedia)
What is PRO-MIA?
"Pro-mia is the belief that bulimia nervosa is a lifestyle choice rather than an illness."
This belief, along with pro-ana, has been criticised for creating an environment in which those suffering from eating disorders might not seek treatment. Pro-mia supporters respond that they do not recognise bulimia nervosa as a disorder worthy of treatment but much like any social activity which, taken to extremes, can cause physical and psychological harm. They argue that although some of the pro-bulimia/anorexia sites promote the conditions in a positive way, the majority of them are a place where individuals can cope or share their pain with one another. "(from Wikipedia)
If you aren't thin, you aren't attractive
Being thin is more important than being healthy
You must buy clothes, cut your hair, take laxatives, starve yourself, do anything to make yourself thinner
Thou shall not eat without feeling guilty
Thou shall not eat fattening foods without punishing oneself afterwards
Thou shall count cals and restrict intake accordingly
What the scales say is the most important thing
losing weight is good, gaining weight is bad
You can never be too thin
Being thin and not eating are true signs of willpower and success"
THE PRO-ANA/PRO-MIA LINK TO KIMKINS
The starvation experienced by persons with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can cause damage to vital organs such as the heart and brain. Pulse rate and blood pressure drop, and people often experience irregular heart rhythms or heart failure. Nutritional deprivation causes calcium loss from bones, which can become brittle and prone to breakage.
Since the publication of the magazine, both Deni and Christin have left Kimkins and reported the following potentially deadly effects they suffered, and continue to suffer, as a result of following the Kimkins diet:
"Kimmer's words in response to questions about people who think Kimkins is proana:
'Low Calories/Pro Ana We are low calorie after ketosis kicks in or with the shake option, but those calories are identical to post-WLS patients (500 cal a day for months), original Optifast and Medifast (450-700 cal a day for months). I don't think we can fight the '1200 calorie a day mentality'. Some people cannot understand that your body takes the calories it needs from body fat if the calories you eat are too low to sustain current weight. If you need 2500 calories (250 lb person) and eat 500 (number picked for easy math), the other 2000 are taken from body fat. In Jimmy's interview I meant what I said about take a Weight Watcher or Jenny Craig meal and remove the starches. What's left? Kimkins. There is no health advantage to adding carbs or extra fat, so why is removing them (and having less calories)
dangerous? 1200 calories a day is an arbitrary number (like 8 glasses of water). Anorexia is a psychological disorder. Do we have people with ED on Kimkins? Of course. I weighed 318 pounds and you don't get that big without an improper relationship with food so I have an ED. But low calories aren't an ED, otherwise all of the WLS patients would be medically classified anorexic.' (bolding mine)
"I have seen Kimmer on NUMEROUS occasions tell people to eat less, even when they were eating less than 800 calories a day. She personally recommended to me when I started to stick to ranges between 600 and 800, and to drop to closer to 500 if I stalled. This is what Kimkins is... there is no way you can possibly stick to the "rules" of the plan and end up with more than 800 calories on a regular basis."
1. extra periods (told this was normal)
2. loss of hair ... loss of about 60% of my thickness if not more. (told it was normal, and even looked it up online for myself! Saw that it said it was common in people who were dieting and skimmed over the part that said "fad diets" or nutritionally deficient diets.)
3. Lightheaded dizzy spells- never mentioned these to anyone .. they were not an everyday occurrence, and I had them sometimes prior to this diet so I easily ignored them.
4. Weird blurred vision- like my eyes would dilate at different degrees... things would get fuzzy and look far away and warped.. I would then readjust my own "focus" and a few minutes later it was back to normal. Again.. I didn't mention it.. figured it was a fluke.. it only happened a few times.
5. heart flutters- never mentioned these to anyone either. Even when they happened, I dismissed them in my mind as quickly as I could. (these are still happening randomly)
Other strange things I noticed:
6. Peanut butter CRAVINGS... like really super cravings... and I knew I wasn't the only one having this. I read post after post after post about people who were feeling guilty for giving into peanut butter or any kind of nuts. So, I wrote this off as "normal"
7. Milkshake CRAVINGS... again.. these cravings were much stronger than any craving I'd ever had before dieting. I heard lots of other people also talk about craving milkshakes, including my mom who also did the diet.
both of these "cravings" were something that I, along with many others, chalked up to a strange coincidence, and I either ignored it.. or caved in a little and then felt extremely guilty about it.
Now, I'm really wondering if there is something in the peanut butter(nuts) and milk shakes that our bodies were SCREAMING for!!! Like maybe more fat? Calcium?
I often typed in "listen to your body" over and over again in posts.. and it wasn't until late August that I started to realize that even cravings were a way that our body tells us what it needs.
Anyway... I still don't know if there's anything wrong with me or not.. my doctor has ordered lots of tests to see where I'm "depleted" of certain things, and warned me strongly that while being extremely overweight isn't good for your health, or for you heart... that sometimes losing it all super fast and not getting all the nutrients necessary for bodily functions.. is an even quicker route to heart disease.
So, now I'm wondering.. where inside Kimkins does it list "possible side effects"? Where is the "warning label", the "if these symptoms arise, get it checked out announcement" ?
With EVERY weight loss pill or plan that I've ever been on, there has been a warning list.. and a "common side effects" or even "in extreme cases side effects" list.. that I always read. I know myself.. and I just about always choose NOT to take medicines that have side effects that concern me. If I had been warned about these things, I don't think I would have joined. If I had been warned about the possibility of these things, I certainly would not have convinced others to join!
The sad part really is, is that I didn't realize that I wasn't the only one with these symptoms until I started reading OFFSITE.I hated reading those "other forums" because they made everything sound so bad. They made me feel bad, and they exaggerated things so much. But, the symptoms they mentioned sounded vaguely familiar to me. They knotted up my stomach, and made me want to either fight or run away and pretend I never heard what they said.
I saw some try to fight them....
If I did mention my worries to others inside Kimkins I only got pats on the back and reassurances that of course everything would be fine, and "that's normal, don't worry!"
And NOW.. it's even worse.. if you even ask about a negative effect, you're likely to be "accused" of stirring up the pot, or if you point out your negative side effects, you're likely to get banned. :(
How is that safe for other members??? Shouldn't everyone be made aware of symptoms to be on the look out for? I'm sure there are lots more negative effects that I didn't have... and from the stories I've heard elsewhere.. I can only count myself lucky.
This is not a joking matter, this is not time for a "band-aid" announcement that "of course, you should always check with your doctor". Or even comments to make those of us who "ignored symptoms" appear stupid or crazy or "extreme". This is time to get real and time to take your health seriously.
How many of you truly talked to your doctors about your plan?
Did you show him the food list?
Did you mention that you really only eat a few items on that list?
Did you show him your fitday?
Did you write symptoms off as normal because you heard someone else had the same thing?
I said that one of the reasons why I wanted to lose weight was because I wanted to be here long enough to see my kids and future grand kids grow up.
Now, it's possible that losing weight has lowered the chances of that actually happening.
I remember when we often joked about how Kimkins didn't need that little small print disclaimer of "results not typical" on our success stories.
Perhaps she does need to put up a disclaimer that "results ARE typical" on the side effects listing!!!
If you're still doing Kimkins, as written or not... please stop for awhile and really take a look at your own symptoms. Don't glorify your "pros" list and minimize your "cons" list.
You can get those "pros" with lots of safe plans, and eliminate the cons. Just think about it. And don't ignore the promptings of your heart right now." (all bolding mine)
Through the next few months, the dangers of this program became increasingly evident as more members began complaining of the same symptoms and side effects. Slow and steady starvation methods utilizing a caloric intake of significantly less than 1000 calories a day was the norm. The daily intake of less calories and less fat was not only encouraged, but praised as new members began to feel “snatty” (Slightly Nauseous All The Time), lightheaded, and generally weakened. Tips for controlling hunger varied but all were primarily synonymous with little to no caloric intake. All for the sake of losing weight fast. But at what cost to the individual’s physical and psychological condition?
Disguised eating disorders emerged; serious malnutrition indicators like hair loss, heart palpitations, electrolyte and potassium deficiencies were commonly reported. I did not learn of the potentially deadly side effects of my eating habits till after I completed the program. I had shrugged the symptoms that I had off as “typical” or short term.
Bottom line, starvation works to take off pounds – here, just like in Ethiopia or Dachau. The difference is that in those sad places, the people knew they were starving. Kimkins moderators are merely overweight peers with eating disorders of their own (speaking from personal experience), completely unqualified to assess what constitutes nutritional dangers.
Do not let the tantalizing beauty of rapid weight loss hinder the ultimate goal of a better life and good health.
There are many effective and safe weight loss programs out there today. Diet responsibly; do your research; always remember to speak with your physician regarding your plans. Do not desperately trade obesity for broken health."
Ana Psalm **
Strict is my diet.
I must not want.
It maketh me to lie down at night hungry.
It leadeth me past the confectioners.
It trieth my willpower.
It leadeth me in the paths of alteration for my figure's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the aisles of the pastry department, I will buy no sweet rolls for they are fattening.
The cakes and the pies, they tempt me.
Before me is a table set with green beans and lettuce.
I filleth my stomach with liquids,
My day's quota runneth over.
Surely calorie and weight charts will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the fear of the scales forever.
Ana Creed **
I believe in Control, the only force mighty enough to bring order to the chaos that is my world.
I believe that I am the most vile, worthless and useless person ever to have existed on this planet, and that I am totally unworthy of anyone's time and attention.
I believe that other people who tell me differently must be idiots. If they could see how I really am, then they would hate me almost as much as I do.
I believe in oughts, musts and shoulds as unbreakable laws to determine my daily behavior.
I believe in perfection and strive to attain it.
I believe in salvation through trying just a bit harder than I did yesterday.
I believe in calorie counters as the inspired word of god, and memorize them accordingly.
I believe in bathroom scales as an indicator of my daily successes and failures
I believe in hell, because I sometimes think that I'm living in it.
I believe in a wholly black and white world, the losing of weight, recrimination for sins, the abnegation of the body and a life ever fasting.
Ana Prayer **
Forgive me Ana for I have sinned. It has been 30 seconds since my last confession.
I am weak, fat, and not worthy of such support.
I am ready to fall. I pray, please make me thin, tiny, non-existent.
Take me away from food, block it out.
I pray please for your guidance, for your firm voice to ring out in my head.
Yell at me please. Scream!
Keep me alone and away from the cupboards.
Help me to stay strong.
Be with me always and I will not forsake you.
Guard me from eating, committing sin against you.
I should rather than suffer than sin for there is strength in suffering.
Ana, I love you, please make me thin.
**FOOD PYRAMID/CREED, ETC:
(Please turn on your speakers when viewing the video)
I have spent the last 24 hours contacting various law-enforcement agencies regarding a woman who is a member of the Kimkins website who is starving to death.
The first report of this starving Kimkins member arrived in comment form on one of my blog posts. This was the message:
And this is what she said in her post:
"Ok, Now I know something is wrong. Last night was the most difficult night I’ve ever had on Kimkins...I was starving and it was all mental so it was especially difficult. I held it together and went to be [sic] especially early in order to sleep through the thoughts of different foods.
Jumped on the scale this morning and I am still 246. Yesterday I was saying it must be my scale, but when I got on the scale in the gym it read 242...the same number as a week ago. I got out the tape measure and it read 46.5", ok, that is a solid 46.5 for the first time...that’s good, I’m still slimming there.
How is it possible that I am losing inches and not losing weight. I know the answer I am in the shrinking phase. HOWEVER, this is very frustrating. Today is day 26 cheat free. 26 days of being VERY VERY VERY good...not cheating once and I’ve only lost 18lbs...WTH. I’m angry.
Ok, I am entering day 2 of shakes only...I hate this. It’s not that I can’t do it, but I knew this was going to be very difficult for me. I’ve never done well on just fluids...never. Something in my mind tells me loud and clear that nobody should have to go to all liquids to lose weight...it is a difficult message to fight. There are many medically sponsored diets that are all liquid...so we know they are safe, that is not my problem, it is that...if I’m exercising I should not have to diet and if I’m dieting I should not have to exercise thing going on...so when I’m exercising and following a diet to the letter and still not seeing the scale go down it is very difficult for me to wrap my mind around.
Understand, this has happened EVERYTIME I’ve dieted. This has nothing at all to do with this woe. It happened on Atkins, on South Beach, on WW, on every diet I’ve ever done. It is not that I can’t diet, it is that I get to this place where my body defeats me. I can’t let that happen this time. I want to see what is on the other side of this...ride it out to it’s [sic] end...but how long will it continue? How long will it take for me to feel good about what I’m doing...to realize victory.
Victory...2 full sizes gone. Rings fitting like they should, breast smaller, face looking thinner, longer. I’m feeling lighter when I walk, people are noticing...
Victory...26 days cheat free, one body roll gone, my hands are looking smaller. I’ve purged my closet and shopped in the "normal sizes"
But for me victory will be seeing the scale go down for in the end that is the goal.
I just need one lb. I see everybody else dropping weight. I’m in every challenge I can jump in. I am exercising and being supportive. I just can’t understand why I can’t have the same results...I should be at least 30lbs down by now...why has the good Lord denied me that extra 12lbs?
Ok, enough of this feeling sorry for myself for now. I just needed to get it out. It is not [sic] 4:53AM I am going to jump on the treadmill this morning and am going to do double duty this afternoon with weights AND a run. My fitday shows me that my activity far out plays my intake...that is that I’m burning far more than I am taking in. Traditional thought would say that I should be dropping weight like crazy...mabye [sic] when my body finishes shrinking the scale will start moving...shrink away body, shrink away.
I expect to be at size 14 by 230 at this rate (I usually hit a 14 at 225 but we will see). I’m not sure how to set goals now...I have 4 days (including today) to lose SOMETHING for Kimmers mini-challenge...what if I’m still 246 on the 11th...do I stop participating in mini-challenges...I hate to lose but I am losing left and right here...in every challenge I accept...when does that start working against me?
I am entering that self-loathing stage...that sad deeply depressed stage that I always go through. I don’t want to show this on the site, I want to run and hide, but this time instead of running from it I think I should face it and work through it.
I am still eating clean, my stomach feels bloated this morning because when I got up I drank 67.6 oz of Diet Lipton White Tea...not only was I hungry but I was thirsty...so now I’m dragging and I don’t want to try on any clothing for fear that I am not bloated. Not to mention TOM is on it [sic] way...darn.
5:16AM Still not on the treadmill...I don’t think I’m doing it this morning...my stomach feels like it is going to burst. I just tried on 8 pairs of size 16 slacks...not one fit...all way to [sic] small. I am chalking up my size 16s that I am wearing as vanity sizing...that is size 18 slacks with a size 16 tag. There are simply too many that don’t fit for me to think I am a size 16...so I change what I previously posted and state I am not down 2 sizes just one. 18s are roomy, but the majority of 16s don’t fit. So I still can shop in the normal sizes...I just have to go for the largest size in that category."
"I want to see what is on the other side of this...ride it out to its end"
Like many dieters, the starving woman at Kimkins, makes entries in her online Fitday, noting what foods she has eaten that day.
Fitday tracks your daily food intake and provides a breakdown on calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, etc.
Below are a list of links to the shocking daily entries of this woman. Please note that I have changed her username at Kimkins, which appeared on all her Fitday entries, to Jane Doe.
When you click on these links, a pop-up box will ask you whether you wish to "Open" or "Save" the file. Please click "Open," and after viewing the page, click on your browser's Back button to return to this post to view further entries.
I am at a loss for words.
PHOTO by Sharon Kizziah: