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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.



Models must add more fruits and vegetables to their diet. Actually no need to starve.

Fruits and veggies are important and healthy but they are NOT enough on their own and they don't satisfy a person who takes no or very little protein and carbs less than what is medically recommended and healthy for the body BMI- so they will starve which is wrong. No one should have to starve to keep a job.

Hi Eric here's an interesting site/ blog on models being too thin if you like to check it out

And check this one out , it's an article by the New York Times entitled "When is Thin Too Thin?"

And finally another interesting one

But as you always say and you are right sadly they just discuss the problem of being too sickly skinny and never discuss the reason why! Wonder why huh?):

Here is a really insightful one I found, an article about Karl Lagerfield being a jerk and bitchy because a famous German magazine decided that they are going to STOP using stick thin models for their mag and start using HEALTHY NORMAL SLIM WOMEN AS OPPOSED TO SICKLY THIN BOYISH WOMEN!!

Apparantly the magazine is sick of having to airbrush the models afterwards to make them look less EMACIATED , and so Karl got angry saying that only fat ppl or 'mummies' as he called them would want to see anyone who isn't skinny! Yeah right!):, promoting anger from the general public, and here some comments from hetro men who commented below the article talking about how hetro men want natural women with curves and NOT skinny women who look like boys!!

Here are some I copied and pasted for the site Eric

Surely it's not beyond the wit of so-called top designers to design clothes for women, and not stick-insects. It's not only 'fat mummies' who object to zero sized models, as a straight male I like women who look like women, and not small boys"

'Still, what should we expect from a man who designed T-shirts that read "For Skinny People"?'

I'm guessing they don't go up to XXL, do they?

Really surprising thing about Herr Lagerfeld is the white hair - I really thought it would be brown, considering where his head must be most of the time.

"Flat chested size zero models most closely resemble young boys...

...there really is nothing more to add.

It's quite simple. Yes, this is fuelled by misogyny but it's also clearly motivated by sheer laziness. It is far simpler to design something for a human clothes hanger than it is to spend the effort necessary to design something for a woman who, God forbid, has some womanly curves. The 'ideal' woman used to be 36-24-36 or an hourglass not an ironing board. What is so scary about curves? (Good question huh):

And I like women who look like women, not boys (or underage girls for that matter) – otherwise I might as well be 100% straight in my æsthetic tastes.

While I don't claim to speak for every heterosexual in the Galaxy, I personally think breasts and an arse exponentially more attractive than angular shoulders and protruding collar bones.

I think it would be a very good thing to change the word "model" from meaning an ideal of beauty to meaning a rather freakish looking person, also I am sick to death of the word "curvacious" sort of meaning fat, no, curves are the natural shape of a woman and are to do with their skeletons, not anything to do with fat at all, the ultimate compliment on a woman's body I can think of is to say it's curvacious, which means it visibly shows all of the wonderful natural shape that has made woman the figure and muse for so much art over the millenia, let's not let a half dead German robot try and change our minds about that, or anything else for that matter.

Here's the article, check it out as I find the comments left by ppl support what you say in your site.

Maybe some ppl are actually waking up and smelling the coffee huh):? Anyway food for thought so hope you find the articles I posted interesting and helpful.

And a final copy& paste from the article of a young hetro man posing the VERY question you answered in your site!! Here is his comment:

12 October 2009 8:37PM

This may be terribly innapropriate, and perhaps more an indication of my ignorance of the fashion world, but could it be that gay, male fashion designers are creating super-thin women's clothes within a subconscious attempt at making women look like young men?

(The only difference is he thinks the attempt is subconcious):

More interesting comments by male hetro readers on previous article:

13 October 2009 10:32AM

straight men don't like girls that look like 12 year old boys ....

I'll take a fit healthy type over a skinny heroin mangled body any day. Is there any other choice??? Lagerfeld and his ilk are so far up their own arses that the real world must seem a very long way off

13 October 2009 5:36AM

If Karl Lagerfeld were a real person - and not made of plastic, and he lived in the real world - not one where people live on fags and prozac and are past it by 25, he would know very well that people do NOT (least of all, men) prefer to look at skinny, junked-up waifs, to looking at someone who looks normal and won't break in half if you hug her.

What a wanker that man is.

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13 October 2009 10:40AM

The guy's an idiot.
Personally, I'm attracted to skinny women more than rounder women.
However, my idea of a skinny woman is a good few sizes up from some of the martian freaks paraded on the catwalk. To pretend his industry is the follower rather than the leader in this bizarre distortion of body-image is puerile fantasy.
Let him say what he likes, but let us move away from giving these fools the oxygen of publicity. I fervently hope that in another generation the world of these fashionistas will sem as quaint and irrelevant to mainstream society as the foxhunting crowd does now.

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13 October 2009 11:16AM

i've spent 38 years on this earth.

i've spent my entire life enjoying 'the banter' of large groups of men (6 brothers, school, collage, the navy, and then working on civil engineering and electrical engineering projects)

i have never heard a man express 'an interest' (if you know what i mean) in a fashion model.


in fact the one phase that pops into my head (in relation to the subject) goes along the lines of "who the hell wants to end up with a girl like that ? sleeping next to skinny girls is like sharing a bed with a bag of spanners"

so apparently not only are they not actually attractive they are crap for snuggling as well :P

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13 October 2009 1:15PM

yeah and i like to see poeple that look 'alive' at least, not like 'walking corpse features' Kaka Lagerfield. The man is a fool

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13 October 2009 1:33PM

I think the rule should be that if you want to design clothes for a gender you have to be attracted to that gender.

Of course this means suddenly all Fashion designers would be bisexual for business reasons but the test would be that you have to french kiss your models before each show.

Then the business tension would be between what people feel comfortable wearing and what the designer wants them to look like. A much more Darwinian approach to fashion ;)

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13 October 2009 4:40PM

there's an argument that goes along the lines of the modern fashion model being something closer to the pubescent male that gay designers like Lagerfeld desire, henceforth skinny in. Round buxom women out. oh I don't care...I know that I wasn't so erly answering this article but could I please have lots of credits.

And from a hetro woman:

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13 October 2009 10:53PM

A doctor told me that men like curves on women because it shows they're producing oestrogen. Maybe Karl doesn't really find women attractive? Most men I know say that sleeping with a skinny woman is like being with a boy. I think designers just aren't that clever and can't make their clothes look good on anything but a straight up and down coathanger.


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14 October 2009 12:10AM


Maybe Karl doesn't really find women attractive?

Wow. You may be onto something there ...

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14 October 2009 10:19AM

This from the man that has chosen a 5"2 size 12 chav as the face of Chanel?
If that isnt round I dont know what is!
How can anyone take his opinion seriously? What hypocrisy!
We all know that the fashion industry is headed by gay men of course we dont see real women on the catwalk.

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