Friday, December 31, 2010

The Face of Anorexia

Isabelle Caro pictured in 2008. Photo credit:

Remember Isabelle Caro? She was the French model who posed in the nude and whose emaciated image appeared in a shocking 2007 ad campaign against anorexia. The controversial campaign occurred during a debate among the fashionistas in the use of "ultra-thin" models on the catwalk. The posters were banned by the Italian advertising watchdog but the images went viral online, sparking heated debates worldwide.

A billboard in Rome showing Oliviero Toscani's campaign that used an image of Isabelle Caro to raise awareness of anorexia. Image credit:

At the time of the poster campaign, Caro who literally became the poster child for the campaign against anorexia was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed only 32 kg.

Caro, who had struggled with anorexia since she was 13, chose to battle her demons in public in a bid to warn women away from the disease. She appeared on talk shows and wrote a blog and then a book titled The Little Girl Who Didn't Want to Get Fat.

Here is a video clip of Jessica Simpson’s interview with Caro – to hear the latter’s story:

She died on 17 November at the age of 28 but news of her death was kept secret until this week. I picked up this story from UK’s The Independent today.

"My anorexia causes death," Caro had explained in an interview three years ago. "It is everything but beauty, the complete opposite. It is an unvarnished photo, without make-up. The message is clear – I have psoriasis, a pigeon chest, the body of an elderly person".

The Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, who shot the hard-hitting campaign, made a similar argument. "Looking at my ad, girls with anorexia would say to themselves that they have to stop dieting," he said at the time. "When you do something extreme, there are always people who oppose it. It shouldn't be the photos that shock, but the reality".

In Malaysia, where food is in abundance 24/7, it will be hard for anybody to want to be anorexic, kan? In fact, it would be plain silly because you can eat just about anything, anywhere, and anytime!

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