What Was She Thinking?

By Cindy Bishop
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Gisele Bundchen has now opened her mouth to insert foot over the growing debate around anorexia and high fashion modeling by saying possibly the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a long time. The 26 year old says, families are to blame for anorexia – not the fashion industry.

"I never suffered this problem because I had a very strong family base," the supermodel told a local Brazilian newspaper on Friday. "The parents are responsible, not fashion."

Huh?

"Everybody knows the standard for models is to be thin, but you can’t generalise and say that all models are anorexic."

Now who’s generalizing, Gisele? Such damaging statements by a fashion icon, stating that unsupportive families cause anorexia nervosa only perpetuates misconceptions and further stigmatize eating disorders. By the way, four women in Gisele’s home country of Brazil died last month from anorexia, including 21-year-old model Ana Carolina Reston.

Sometimes it really is better to be seen and not heard.

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2 Responses (Add Yours)

  • podo says:

    I think that family values got something to do with your general health – fact. If you feel good and you have your life sorted you will look nice too….

  • lynn says:

    I think the previous comment it is a simplistic reaction to a complex issue. Eating disorders can be a symptom of problems in the family, but since they rarely existed before underweight models appeared on television, there is a much more complex sociological compenant at play. I’ve even read in some feminists writings that as women gained more equality, emphasis on impossible body weights and figures also increased. Perhaps it’s a stretch to make that correlation, but interesting none-the-less. The threat of being labelled ‘fat’ has become a potent weapon against women’s self-esteem, regardless the origin. Women use it against each other to compete for status or partners, mothers have been known to deny their growing babies necessary dietary fat out of fear of obesity, men use it to ridicule, dismiss, and defeminize women (even if they themselves are overweight), and now sadly, children as young as five or six have been known to eat paper to avoid ‘getting fat’. I wish that we could all depend of solid family values to ward off the ‘fear of fat’ insanity, but television is the biggest experiment ever conducted on the human psyche: it is a powerful, prevalent force that – pardon the pun – carries a lot of weight.

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