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David Baxter

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Anorexia Advertisement: Trigger Alert
by Dr. Deborah Serani
Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Italian fashion label No-l-ita, which features the slogan "No to Anorexia" as a backdrop, has stirred debate by featuring a naked, anorexic model on billboards across Italy's countryside in an effort to raise awareness of anorexia during Fashion Week.

Isabelle Caro, age 27, has suffered with Anorexia for 15 years and weighed just 31 kilograms (approximately 71 pounds) at the time of the photo. The actress from France told Italian Vanity Fair that she began starving herself as a child to please her mother, who disapproved of her escalating weight. Now in recovery, she wants to bring this issue to the masses.

Most people think depression has the highest death rate among mental illnesses. But in truth, anorexia has the highest mortality rate. If this graphic image can help save a life, it's worth all the controversy the media campaign is generating.

I know many will have mixed feelings about this photo. Is it too graphic? Will it set the bar "higher" for those suffering with the disorder?

I feel that it casts a necessary light on the issue beauty, body image and society. But I do hope it does more good than bad.
 

Halo

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In my opinion I don't think that it would be too graphic but I would be concerned with the bar being set higher for those girls that think they need to achieve the "perfect" weight and looking up at a billboard thinking....I want to be that thin. It is like having a "thinspiration" picture in front of them blown up to 1000 times larger than what they see on their computer screens on the pro-ana websites. I understand the message behind the ad but will an anorexia suffering really get it? I think not.
 

David Baxter

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Italy advertising body bans anorexic woman picture

Italy advertising body bans anorexic woman picture
Fri Oct 19, 2007
By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's advertising watchdog has decided to ban a photograph of a naked anorexic woman used to highlight the illness while promoting a fashion brand.

The IAP self-regulatory watchdog said the picture, shot by controversial Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, did not conform to its code of conduct.

The shocking image appeared in newspapers and on billboards during Milan fashion week in September with the words "No Anorexia", and the name of advertising fashion group Flash&Partners' clothing brand Nolita.

The pictures had already been taken down from billboards in Milan, though one remains in Rome.

Specifically, the IAP said the campaign contravened article one of its code which calls for advertising to be honest, truthful and correct and article 10 which states it must not offend moral, civil and religious beliefs and "respect human dignity in all its forms and expressions."

Toscani, who once photographed a man dying of AIDS for a campaign for clothing group Benetton, called the move "censorship".

"I am deciding whether to take action to seek moral and economic damages," he told Reuters, saying the decision was taken by a "private corporation and not an official judge."

"The health minister said the campaign went well. Who should I listen to -- the health minister or a private justice corporation? It is late when the campaign is already done."

The Nolita campaign had received backing from the Ministry of Health, with Minister Livia Turco saying it could "promote responsibility towards the problem of anorexia."

There was no immediate comment from the health minister.

Flash&Partners said 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."

But Italy's Association for the Study of Anorexia said the image was "too crude."

Models' weight became a hot topic after two Latin American models died of anorexia last year. Critics say fashion's obsession with waif-like frames leads young women to dislike their bodies.

Milan responded by barring under-age and ultra-skinny models at its fashion shows.
 
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In my opinion yes i do think that the modeling industry doesn't help much in raising awareness of eating disorders nor does it help in preventing them either but the way i see it and the way many of the doctors that have treated me for eating disorders in the past 6 years see it is that they are not only at fault ..

if a person becomes a model and is told that she needs to be skinnier .. if she is strong of character in is sure enough of herself and is not easily influenced she will judge it herself anorexia an bulimia are not because of the image to be thin .. it is mostly about the persons way of adapting or dealing with things.. a person will not let herself dye of starvation if it is only because she wants to be a model or be thin . cause to be a model she has to be alive and we all know even when we are deep in the e-d that we need to eat to survive.

yes , there is a high degree of competition in modeling which is also another factor in itself , who will be the thinnest the nicest the prettiest but that is everywhere. in other words if someone came up to me and told me i am fat and need to lose weight if a knew that is was wrong i would probably laugh in his or her face! i became this way not because i was fat but because i felt uncomfortable in my body and then an event happened which worsened my feeling and increased my need to love myself to control myself and basically to self destruct to fade away but i believe had i not been insecure of my weight i would have probably chosen another way to deal! i don't know if any of what i am saying makes sense but it is the way i see things.

yours truly
ashley

PS this doesn't mean I am justifying modeling companies i think they are full of it and cruel to try and create the perfect body as a role model that is not reachable. but i don't blame them for everything , they aided in the increasing of people that feel they are not perfect enough but not in creating anorexics and bulimics.
 

David Baxter

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All good points, Ashley, but do you not think that we have some responsibility as a society not to make things more difficult for those who are susceptible to this illness?

I'm not talking about acting as if people with eating disorders are helpless puppets of the media. But I am talking about taking some social responsibility for promoting or normallizing eating disorders through advertising, sports/athletics, modeling, film and television, etc.
 
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yes i know that we should do some things and that the image that projects society is completly wrong but lets take for example an alcoholic there is beer advertisments every were and stuff like that but we as a society are not look ing to comdemn that though.. i think that yes eating disorders are serious an deadly at times but by saying we should do something to change that is it not right to think wel then might as well change all the other stuff that is going on to promote dangerous behaviors
yours trully ashley
 

David Baxter

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yes i know that we should do some things and that the image that projects society is completly wrong but lets take for example an alcoholic there is beer advertisments every were and stuff like that but we as a society are not look ing to comdemn that though..

Actually, in Canada at least there are rules about ads for alcohol, especially those that are called "lifestyle ads" which might suggest that you need alcohol to be happy. If you watch TV commercials, you'll notice no one actually drinks anything in them.

Obviously, the alcohol industry does everything it can to get around these restrictions and I'm not sure the restrictions shouldn't be reexamined, but there is some attempt at least to linit the worst offenders.

i think that yes eating disorders are serious an deadly at times but by saying we should do something to change that is it not right to think well then might as well change all the other stuff that is going on to promote dangerous behaviors

As I have noted in several blog posts, I think we SHOULD be doing more to restrict the promotion of dangerous behaviors.
 

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