Here are some eye-popping stats for all of those with teenage children. It is estimated that one half of all women between the ages of 15 and 24 suffer from an eating disorder. It is also believed that one third of men in that same age group also suffer from one. The last stat will be the icing on the cake for you: anorexia nervosa causes twelve times as many deaths for teenage girls than all other causes combined. Obviously there is a major problem here.
From a very young age, people are constantly being told what is considered beautiful and what is not. These young people are highly impressionable and try to live up to that image by whatever means necessary. The image in the minds of young people, especially teenage girls, is the supermodel-like body.
The body of a supermodel is almost unattainable today through healthy means. Most supermodels are a size zero. They are constantly being told to lose weight or maintain that extremely thin waist. Gaining the slightest bit of weight can cost these people their livelihoods. This is then slapped on the cover of magazines or one television screens all over the globe. The message this sends to young people has come at a huge cost to their health.
So many supermodels have been blasted in the media for being “too fat”. This of course sends a message that even these women are not good enough in our society and one must strive to be even thinner. Keep in mind of course; these are some of the most beautiful people on the face of the planet. If they are not pretty enough, then who is? One of the most legendary supermodels in the world, Cindy Crawford, summed it up best when she said “I’m too healthy to be a supermodel today.”
10 Filippa Hamilton
Filippa Hamilton is a 28-year-old Swedish-French supermodel. She got into the business at sixteen as a model for Ralph Lauren. Controversy erupted between the model and the company when she discovered that photos of her appearing in the company’s Japanese catalogue had been digitally altered to make her appear thinner. Outraged, Hamilton brought this to the public’s attention. The company was forced to publicly apologize for the alterations. Shortly after the public apology, Ralph Lauren allegedly sent Hamilton a letter stating “We’re terminating your services because you don’t fit into the sample clothes we need you to wear.”
9 Sophie Dahl
Sophie Dahl became a famous English supermodel during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Unlike many supermodels, she used her heavier build to her advantage. She was seen as an alternative to the size zero models that had risen to prominence in the early 1990s. Dahl is now retired. At 37 years old, she sends most of her time as an author and columnist for Vogue magazine.
8 Gemma Ward
Gemma Ward began her modeling career at the age of fourteen. By the time she was sixteen she had become the youngest person to ever appear on the cover of Vogue. She was also the first model to appear on the cover of Teen Vogue. In 2008, rumors spread throughout the fashion industry that Ward was retiring. This was untrue at the time, but the following year she did officially announce her retirement due to constant criticisms over her weight. Ward went into acting while she was away from the modeling industry. In 2011, she appeared on the silver screen in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Last year the 26-year-old model announced that she had signed a contract with IMG Models Australia, which immediately prompted rumors of a comeback.
7 Coco Rocha
6 Kate Dillon
Kate Dillon was the first “plus size” model to appear on the cover of Vogue. The 40-year-old supermodel has been in the business for years and has gained recognition as one of the best in the entire industry. In 1993, she was forced to leave the modeling business due to a life threatening eating disorder. Once recovered, Dillon picked up modeling again and was named Mode magazine’s “Model of the Year” in 1998. She is now a very outspoken activist against anorexia and other eating disorders.
5 Karolina Kurkova
4 Kate Moss
Forty-year-old English supermodel Kate Moss is one of the biggest figures in modeling. She rose to fame in the early 1990s as part of the heroin chic. The heroin chic was a period in modeling where supermodels were used to reflect the drug problem in the United States. This look was characterized by placing dark circles under the model’s eyes and all the models had a very angular bone structure. Most importantly, all these early 1990s models had to be a size zero. In 2005, Moss was forced to leave modeling because of a drug problem. She later returned looking much healthier. Her larger appearance prompted the magazine The Sun to write the article “Even Supermodels Can Have Off Days!” The article featured pictures of Kate Moss in a bathing suit. The photos focused in on her back, stomach, and her almost non-existent “love handles” in order to make her look fat.
3 Kate Upton
2 Heidi Klum
German supermodel Heidi Klum is one of the most famous models of all time and an originator of the industry. She became internationally known for her appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue and as Germany’s first Victoria’s Secret Angel. Next to Gisele Bunchen, she is the highest earning supermodel in the world. In 2009, fashion designer Wolfgang Joop stated “No way she is a runway model” because she is “too heavy”. Klum’s associate on the show Project Runway, Tim Gunn, jumped to her defense stating “If she’s fat, other women should throw themselves off a train.”
1 Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks is one of the most successful supermodels of all time. She rose to fame after appearing twice on the cover of Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue. She then became the first African America to appear on the cover of Victoria’s Secret’s catalog. Banks has always been heavy for a model. When she retired she weighed 148 pounds. Since retiring from modeling, she has become a successful TV personality, producer, author, and actress. In fact, she is one of four African Americans and seven women to appear twice in Time magazine’s list of “World's Most Influential People”. In 2007, Banks was attacked by tabloid magazines for weighing too much. In response to the criticisms, Banks declared on her The Tyra Banks’ Show that she was going to host the next episode in a swimsuit showing “dimples in my booty and all.”