Friday, February 2, 2007
THE SKINNY ON BEING SKINNY
THE SKINNY ON BEING SKINNY
This morning in my Sheknows.com fashion week blog I interviewed Paige Adams-Geller and discussed the serious issues involved with anorexia. I haven't covered this issue before, but I think Paige's thoughts are worth checking out. Click here to read the interview + my pre-fashion week predictions and more...
Below is a re-print of the interview in case you are unable to access it via the link:
Fashion's dirty little secret, anorexic models who are literally dying to stay thin, is being scrutinized around the world. If you're following the raging controversy about skinny models that is brewing here during New York Fashion Week, you may have caught THE TYRA BANKS SHOW yesterday when denim designer and former fit model/Miss California, Paige Adams-Geller, joined Tyra to discuss the recent death of three models from anorexia. I was able to catch up with Paige this morning for a mini-interview.
Paige sought treatment for her own battle with anorexia and has been recovered for many years. She now works as an advocate for healthy models through her own denim brand, Paige Premium Denim, and takes a stance on the types of models she hires for fashion shows and photo shoots.
mary jo: Why do you think so many girls who work as models are willing to risk their lives?
paige: The entertainment industry and modeling world look so glamorous on the outside. The notoriety, the fame, the "position" in society is aspirational to so many young women. They may feel that they will have prestige, a voice, or make a lot of money. Let's face it, being viewed as an "IT GIRL" is appealing. Just as professional dancers, athletes, gymnasts, and celebrities may have to sacrifice their time for proper training to get ahead, many young women feel that starving is their sacrifice. Former fit model Paige Adams Geller is living proof that you don't have to be rail thin to be beautiful.
mary jo: One model recently said that families were to blame for the problem with anorexia and if you had a solid family that you wouldn't suffer from anorexia.
paige:(Personally, I came from a solid family and suffered from anorexia as a teenager, so I'm not so sure about this.) paige: Just as families are not to blame for addictions, they are also not to blame for anorexia. Anorexia is an equal opportunity disease. It can take over anyone. Whether you have a loving family or no support system at all, it can attack. It all depends on if you are susceptible to this dreadful disease. I never thought it could happen to me. I was too in "control". Anorexia is all about control. Once you feel like you are out of control, it is the one thing you can control. At least that is what you think. Then it consumes you and it is all you think about. Your family may love you to pieces and they cannot do a thing about it. But, they can love you no matter what, and they can get help for you. Hopefully, you will be ready to accept the help. mary jo: What do you think can be done to change the perception that models have to be super skinny both on the model's end and in the fashion world? paige: One thing I can do, as a designer for my own brand, is hire models that are not too thin. In fact, I had models coming in for casting 2 weeks ago and I could not hire most of them. They did not fill out my samples!!!! I am in the clothing business. The clothes need to look good on a body, not just on a hanger. Most of the models were swimming in the garments. I had even asked the agents to send me shapely models! I was thrilled when a model actually had enough shape to fill out the size 28 jeans!
As a society we need to put more visuals out there of "healthy" young women on runways, in magazines, on television and in movies. Personally, I can make a difference and I am trying every day. I can create clothes that help women feel good about their bodies no matter what size or shape they are. Women that have curves need to be viewed as aspirational body types, just as are super slender body types. J-Lo and Beyonce are great role models for us. Because young women may think that being ultra thin is gorgeous, but any woman who is unnaturally that thin is not having any fun at all. They are consumed by this illness. That is not glamorous one bit!
Thanks Paige for your great insights! Be sure to check out her great fitting jeans line at www.paigepremiumdenim.com.
I'll have coverage of the exclusive and highly anticipated Sophia Kokosalaki debut as Creative Director for Vionnet fashion house later today at http://www.sheknows.com/fashion so please check back for more later...