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Two anecdotes on fashion models and their diets
Two anecdotes from the fashion world, involving Adriana Lima and Alek Wek, are discussed below.
Adriana Lima on preparing for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show (#)
Adriana Lima has recently explained how she prepares for the Victoria’s Secret annual show, which illustrates an instance of pressure on older models to conform to a thinner form.
She starts exercising in August for the show in November, and works out twice daily during the last three weeks, which includes high-intensity boxing, jump rope and lifting weights. The apparent purpose is to increase fat burning.
She has a nutritionist assess her body, particularly lean body mass, fat mass and water retention. She goes on a diet under his supervision. The regimen includes drinking a gallon of water a day, taking protein shakes, vitamins and supplements. This means that her caloric intake is reduced below the threshold required to maintain body mass; the supplements ensure that she does not experience undernutrition regarding micronutrients, and the protein intake is an attempt to reduce the extent to which the body starts to cannibalize muscle tissue to meet its energy needs.
9 days before the show, she only drinks protein shakes, which include powdered eggs (presumably only egg white), and does not consume solid food. 2 days before the show, she reduces the amount of water she drinks, calling it a normal amount, and 12 hours before the show, she does not drink any water. The intent here is to lose water weight by the time she gets on the stage.
Considering what Adriana Lima is paid, most women in her position would suffer in this manner for a one-time event per year.
Alek Wek on models cutting calories (#)
Alek Wek, a former fashion model from Sudan, who observed starving individuals in her homeland prior to settling in the West, has recently narrated that when she started working as a fashion model, she found that many of her peers were hungry and starving, and they apparently “chose not to eat.” This adds to a lot of previous anecdotal evidence that not all high-fashion models are naturally thin.
She added that by restricting food and cutting calories, models have it all wrong. This is a very ignorant statement that blames the models for their plight, whereas in reality the models have the choice of either maintaining the thinness required for fashion modeling or not being hired, which is not much of a choice for those who need the money. The pressure does not come from within but above. Fashion designers determine who they would have model their designs.