Share Your Thoughts on This Week's Story: Anorexia Takes a Life

11/24/2006 at 10:00 AM ET

This week’s issue of PEOPLE magazine features a story about Ana Carolina Reston, a Brazil model who tragically died from complications due to anorexia at the age of 21. Following the August death of a Uruguayan model from heart failure during a fashion show, Reston’s death adds fuel to the outrage over too-thin models. Click here to read the story about Reston. You may also read our previous post on the PEOPLE’s cover story Pressure To Be Thin, by clicking here.

If you’d like to share your thoughts on this tragedy, or weigh in on the growing debate over weight issues in the fashion and entertainment industries, feel free to leave a comment here.

Photo: L’Equipe Agence/AP

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Showing 74 comments

Lauren on

Is the temperature falling, or is it just me?

It’s saturday morning, and I’m watching Designing Women. Everything’s going famously. I turn on my computer and check my e-mail, nothing too exciting. But while the internet’s up and running, I decide to go to google and finally research the Supermodel who died a few weeks ago.

The fact that I have to search Ana Carolina Reston via the keywords “supermodel dies” strikes me as sad. This woman functioned as a walking hanger for ten years before her death at age 23. And, even in her death, she’s only claimed the title of “that supermodel that died of anorexia”. A nameless face on an emaciated figure that’s now lying in a coffin somewhere – that is this poor woman’s fate.

I doubt this woman’s tragic death will be of any real consequence to the masses. In another month’s time, she will be conveniently forgotten. Sure, there are the newly inforced medical check-ups for runway models. But I doubt that this will keep dangerously thin women off the ramp in the long term. Many will see this woman’s death as just another sacrifice on the road to sales. And she is not the first, nor will she be the last if this abhorrent trend of gaunt chic continues.

And, outside of the fashion world, other women and men are trying to shrink their way into oblivion. Many have succeeded. What is the response to this? For one, the Banana Republic began producing a size double zero earlier this year. Also, Nicole Miller is releasing a “sub-zero” line this fall – which is exactly like it sounds: clothing sized below a zero. Does anyone else find this notion as chilling as I do?

Today, young women and men can find “thinspiration” on pro-anorexic websites. Pro-anorexic websites? Are you kidding me? This is a disease. It’s a serious, debilitating and deadly illness. But because our culture is rewarding those who suffer from it, others are now seeking to garner this diagnosis.

In reality, there’s nothing glamorous about the fate of Reston. She didn’t get the chance to explore life or to really grow-up. Instead, she fell victim to the hypothermia brought about by an increasingly cold environment. It seems that the freezing temperatures have made us all numb to the severity of this situation.

Dinorah Rivera on

I just have to say that it is so sad to see women suffer so much and die just to be accepted. But again, the real issue is not being addressed. We have this news and instead of tackling the pressure behind this behavior we still allowing the model companies and the people behind the distorted view of a woman to get away with murder and not as a saying but in reality, as the requirements leads to murder. On the other hand I believe that we as women are just allowing this to happen by accepting the conditions and being so critical and so insecure. Let’s work more in who we are and less in what we pretend to be. I congratulate Spain by setting a new standard for models as if we continue in this trend we will have just cadavers walking down the runway. We need to stand up and set the pace. Mothers, do not pressure your daughters to be what we would like to look like. Women in general, let’s help to built a better and healthy society. Let’s be strong and beautiful and have less casualties.

cari on

I really believe anorexia is a problem that affects the whole world.Children and specially teenagers are really exposed to this illness because they see skinny celebrities and hope they can look like them. Although the fashion industry has a lot to do with this problem,families have to take care of the children and explain them that looking skinny is unhealthy and that their life is much more important than their look.

vanessa on

I think that they should put normal size women in magazines and on the cat walk its so wrong puting anorexic women in mags and on the cat walk. I do feel sorry for Ana Carolina Reston death but it waz her choice to be anorexic and i actully don’t know if she has children or not but if she did can u imagine when the childern got older to understand wat anorexia is they would be so upset and that is so unfair to them I don’t know if u can tell but i’m in grade 8 and I waz leaving a comment cause i’m atcully researchin anorexic models but I did alwys think about anorexicmodels cause I waz bulimic for a shost period of time but i have stoped cause i can’t handle the pain and how upset my loder sister waz when i told her I don’t won’t to be mean or anything but I am actully the skinny one in my family and i’m the one who is bulimic and not my sister that is not the skinny one so I feel really bad I just won’t say I don’t think any1 has a good reason to be anorexic or bulimic for any reason i tell my friends be happy whoyou are and don’t care what other people think if u do change the way u look it is only gonna matter to the people u see daily and you were created like your are cause that is what makes everyone of us different.

Anonymous on

i am a young girl who has recently been hospitalised with anorexia and i’d just like to say that reading some of these comments that imply anorexics choose to have anorexia just makes me realise how little society actually knows about the disorder.
Don’t you people understand that we only choose it because it has taken over our minds! It’s all we think about 24/7 and nothing else matters. i hate the way some people look at me like it’s my fault that i can’t eat and it’s my fault that i think i’m fat when i’m not. i wish i could tell you all what it’s like, but unfortunately i can’t. So, to all you people that wrote the awful comments on here you obviously know nothing about anorexia and i’m truly sorry about that because i doubt it’s your fault you see anorexia as a suicide attempt!

Beth on

That is not right for girls that model to get that skinny! It’s not hot.. Its nasty and i dont get why people would want to look like that… plz be careful and dont be like that.

Brianna on

It is so sad to see all these beautiful women kill themselves ust to be a model

Brianna on

I think that deep inside these girls are crying for help. All I can say is that please do not do that to yourself. You should love your body not try to hurt it

enigma on

Hey Anonymous,

I will not claim to know much about anorexia nor will I judge those that choose to be this way but, I am very curious, why do you choose to be anorexic or why be this unhealthy? Being this unhealthy is parallel to being obese.

Is it because of insecurities you have with your innerself?
Is it because you crave attention to be noticed?
Is it because you feel you are not loved by those you love??
Are you afraid of something or need to say something but don’t know how to talk about it?? Well, I don’t know how it is for you so, maybe some of my questions are too much for you….????

Well, I hope your 24/7 thoughts are consumed with being HEALTHY….you need to be strong mentally and physically!!

I wish you luck in your quest to get better and STAY BETTER!

Remember to learn to love yourself first and foremost!!

Cheers and Good Luck!

pinkladieee on

it is a shame but it is addictive! i have been through it and although it drives you mad you thrive off it and it becomes like a drug… weird i know but i sort of miss it. but if you are not anorexic,,, do not try it!!!

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