Model for Anti-Anorexia Campaign Dead at 28

Model and Anorexia Awareness Activist Isabelle Caro’s death at the age of 28 was announced today. She died on Nov 17 after a three week hospitalization. Her death is presumed to be from complications related to Anorexia which she battled from the age of 13, after being told by a fashion designer that although already thin she would have to lose twenty more pounds if she ever wanted to work as a model. She so wanted to model that she put herself on a starvation diet and a tragic body weight dysphoria began to rule her life. She wanted her emaciated image to be shown as a caution and a protest against the social pressure for hyper-thinness in young women and girls. The 2007 billboard campaign was called “NO Anorexia” and was banned in some places. She weighed only 63 pounds at the time of the photo shoot. She was quoted as saying” Iย thought this could be a chance to use my suffering to get a message across, and finally put an image on what thinness represents and the danger it leads to — which is death.” In honor of her wishes the photos are posted above. Rest in Peace, Isabelle.

49 thoughts on “Model for Anti-Anorexia Campaign Dead at 28

  1. What a waste, and scary. I see Lesbians in my community who don’t look like they weigh a lot more than Isabelle, and they’re a lot older too.
    I remember a cottage cheese billboard ad from years ago that simply said, “Waist Away.”
    They want us dead or very weak. Which then leads to what food we choose to eat since the doctors tell us to eat the opposite of what’s good for us, and the media tell us the same lies.

    1. Waist/waste away, eww gross pun. Yeah these marketers are disgusting. And now not only are young girls supposed to imitate an anorexic thinness standard but they’re airbrushing/photoshopping the shit out of the celebrities too. To make them unhumanly thin, or to re-add curves and breasts when the model is so emaciated that she looks like a skeleton.

      1. The even worse part is, that these end up on the pro-ana/pro-mia sites with a group of girls who are already very vunerable and aren’t always able to distinguish the heavily photo-shopped images with the non-heavily photo-shopped one.

  2. Isabelle was a very courageous and noble woman for doing that service. May she rest in peace; I am sure those photos will help anorexic-minded women and ALL women to see what really anorexia is about (death of the body).
    Body image issues are sterotypically called a “female thing”, but that’s just natural when our society puts so much emphasis on FEMALE image, while males can look pretty much how they want (thin, fat, makes no difference). The fashion industry is blood-soaked with the innocent stains of fashion victims, professional models in particular. They know but they don’t care. Let’s put a stop to this by refuting the “thin woman” image. Let’s value healthier, heavier (normal weight) and also more athletic and muscular women. I think most athletes can make exceptional models because their bodies are the healthiest.

    1. Once on a pro-ana site I saw the whole this “Eating disorders are a lifestyle” shit, and responded with
      “No, it’s not a lifestyle,
      Anorexia is not even an illness,
      Anorexia is not a disorder,
      Anorexia is a slow and painful death wish”

    2. Bluetraveler,
      I gotta say, even though the white-hetero-beauty-industrio-complex is a large part of why anorexic and bulimic girls and womyn suffer, there is a lot to suggest that many who do have an ED are actually survivors of rape and/or sexual abuse and this is a way for them, of attempting to regain control. I’m not disagreeing with, just sharing a little-known fact. Anorexia is heartbreaking ๐Ÿ™

      1. I knew about that, but even in that case IMO it’s about control (and then death) over the body. The body is guilty because it’s too fat/what caused abuse/etc.

      2. “but even in that case IMO itโ€™s about control (and then death) over the body. The body is guilty because itโ€™s too fat/what caused abuse/etc.”
        No argument from me there whatsoever!

  3. Women are supposed to hate their bodies – we get a steady dose of the message from our culture, in all its forms, telling us so, from the moment we’re born until the moment we die. Whatever levels of hatred for our bodies we do develop are part of a man-made neurosis that accounts for many billions of dollars of profit to the diet, “beauty,” medical, and legal industries (just to name a few) every single year.
    Caro courageously showed the effects of that on a real human being. But far too many people want to shrug it off as the disease of just a handful of women, and not cause for real concern. The horrific result that she suffered is just on a continuum that includes many other forms, including FtM trans people who think nothing of mutilating healthy tissue to escape from the body they hate.
    Unless and until we can get a whole lot more people to understand what this body hatred is doing to women, I believe it will only get worse, with more variations on the theme.

    1. “I believe it will only get worse, with more variations on the theme.”
      There certainly is more technology being applied isn’t there. Pharmaceuticals, surgeries etc.
      I was glancing at some anorexia facts and someone was prattling on about possible but still undetected neurological causes and then stated “Highest rates seen among models and dancers”. Duh. Those neurologically distinct fashion model brains I guess.

    2. The thing about the continuum of body dysphoria is so true. I hated my (relatively small) breasts because they were full of negative, sexualized connotations (all false). I now don’t LOOOVE them, but accept them as a part of my body and especially as part of my history (as a side note: I think the term “herstory” is a bit ridiculoud because History comes from Latin Historia, which is, guess what? a female noun)

  4. As a womon who has suffered from anorexia, it is a fucking heart-breaking disease. While now I acknowledge that yes, it can be a very selfish disorder, but it is a disorder none the less, with suicide rates 32 times higher than the non-eating disordered female population. It is never as simple as “just eat” the way some people would like us to believe. It’s like a drug that comforts and hurts you all at the same time.
    I really hope that Isabelle is at peace now, and may find the love for herself in death that she never could find in life.
    Eating disorders destroy girls and womyn.

      1. Thank you gallus! People so often forget how painful it is to suffer with it. When I was at my lowest weight, which was 39kgs, I could not even sit down or lie down comfortably because my bones would grate on whatever it was I was sitting on, my hair would fall out in clumps and pooing is all but impossible, and when it was, messy and painful. If this is TMI, I am sorry, but so few people consider all the physiological side effects rather than just the thinness.
        I will try and read what I can, but my french is basic at best.

      2. That is terrifying Aileen. I remember Isabelle saying how she wanted the sore on her coccyx to show in the photo. You can see her feet are turning black.
        It’s not TMI, it makes me want to know if you are in recovery though and how you managed that, but that may be more than you wish to share, and my asking might be rude.

      3. I’m glad it’s not TMI! I thought not every one wants to talk about poo so, to be a bit careful.
        My grandfather is a holocaust survivor so I figured he didn’t suffer the extremities of racism, starvation etc for me to do it willingly to myself, luckily I am privileged enough to have private insurance (tho I am Aussie, so our health care system is v. different) + wonderful supportive parents and some valuable advise. My psych told me that I could not hate everything about myself and what was the one part I liked – I said, my mind.
        And she told me, Aileen, a healthy mind can and will not exist without a healthy body to support it. Tell yourself that every day and you might start to believe it. Obviously, I had PTSD as well, which is v. different, but that gave me a kick start to start biophilic be-ing.
        Oh yeah, smoking weed helped me too! I got super stoned, ate a half jar of peanut butter, a bunch of fruit and veggies and smoked some more and realised, hey, I feel better now! At first the weed really helped to get the appetite going, then I didn’t need it to get hungry. Part of the fucked up ED cycle is that when you don’t eat yr appetite disappears.
        I still am not sure how I did it, I only know I’ve maintained a healthy weight for a while now and love my body, it holds my deadliest weapon and softest blanket…. My brain : )
        Eating disorders are really hard to recover from, but it is do able, and I like to think i am proof ๐Ÿ˜‰

      4. I’m SO glad to hear that Aileen. Keep up the good work! That is very good advice too for anyone reading this. Thank you.
        I’m always ready to talk about poo btw. In a world full of shit it’s as good a topic as any.

      5. It’s just all about body fluids with me hahah. I hope maybe a young girl will read this thread and learn that she is beautiful and human the way she is. When looking for pro ana surf, hopefully they’ll come across this instead.
        Of course, I must credit radical feminism too, I don’t think that I’d have made it this far without it, that of course means the wonderful writers like you! : )
        It is NYE here, well, when it gets dark it’ll be the eve, but, I am feeling very optimistic about the new year : )

      6. God Bless Radical Feminism!
        It just turned NYE here too. I hate how I can’t post photos in comments on WordPress. You’ll just have to use your imagination and see the shining glittering fireworks sunburst that wishes you a wonderful healthy exciting prosperous New Year!

    1. I am sure, Aileen, that your testimony and that of other women (even some rare men, like my almost anorexic “emo” friend) can help other girls going out of the gutter. I don’t have many experiences with pro-ana sites; can they be very influential? How do they treat recovering anorexic, as positive models or betrayers? Do they accept “outside help”, do they know about the serious death rate of anorexia, and so on?

      1. They are super influential. I still can’t work out if it’s in a good way or not. Some you do get the womyn and girls acting the way that fat activists claim (i.e I’d rather kill myself than be fat) but a lot of the time I found it was sharing “Oh fuck I feel like XYZ, I did XYZ today, can anyone help/hear me?” and you do get someone to talk to.
        Some treat recoverer’s as “sell outs” yes, but, most of the ones I was on said that it was the best thing that you could do and that they wished they had the strength and courage to do it themselves. I haven’t been on a pro-ana site in about two years though, so, I’m not 100% about any of this anymore.
        Most of them are not stupid enough to think that it’s not a serious disease, although you do get what we called “wannarexics” who were usually white, middle class, high school girls who thought that it would be cool to join a site for people with a mental illness to encourage them to lose 10kgs before their year 12 dance or whatever – they were usually the ones who were like “OMFG I’d kill myself if I got that fat”
        most of the anorexics were too busy thinking about killing themselves anyway.
        i’m kinda curious to do some research on it now, but, don’t know if it’s something i’m capable of doing.

  5. It really is a war against women and girls. They want us little and weak. The local health food store had hand painted on their window an ugly drawing of an big muscley man and then an exremely skinny woman — images they were recommending if you shopped there.
    Be careful also of being “athletic” though. There are some women who, trying to stay thin, run and exercise until at 20, they have the bones of a seventy-year-old. It’s a variation on anorexia, but also a reflection of how we are supposed to over-do, over-work, over-everything. Good workers for patriarchy. Too many women get knee and hip replacements when young because of running. And then there’s pressure on women who’ve had cancer, to run marathons and climb mountains, ignoring how important rest and healing are.
    When a friend of mine was in an alternative cancer group, a woman was doing fine until she started dieting and joined Weight Watchers. She died not long after.

    1. Yes Bev, I nearly forgot about Orthorexia/anorexia athletic (as it was known on thhe Ana/Mia sites I used to visit before I got better). That is horrible about your friend.
      My best friend (the one who suicides at 16) was anorexic/bulimic as well, and no one knew until after her death. Anorexia is harder to hide, and bulimia is just as dangerous, because it is so sneaky.

    2. Yes that’s a good point. A local woman that I met a few times died recently. The way they found out was she didn’t show up at the gym she frequented and her friends knew something was wrong because she never missed a day and stayed for hours and them biked several hours after. She was a compulsive exerciser and did not look healthy. Everyone knew she had a problem but no one could help her I guess.

  6. I just read an AP story that said her photo was posted on a pro-Ana site when her death was announced with the caption “die young, stay pretty”.

    1. That’s terrible! I must admit, I did find pro Ana sites helpful at one time, not so much the ‘thhinspiration’ which I now realise is as dangerous as showing pornography, BUT the fact I did not feel alone and many of them do have resources for recovery sites and help and positive affirmations. Many of the girls I met on there were very supportive of my decision to recover as well, but some. Not so much….

  7. Fran Day, my longtime Separatist friend who killed herself recently had been bulimic, and I believe she still was depriving herself of proper nutrition for years.
    That’s another problem, where women are starving themselves thinking that they are following a good health regimen. Restrictions in fat is a main cause, which idiot doctors and the diet industry push. It’s healthiest to eat LOTS of organic saturated fat.

    1. “Itโ€™s healthiest to eat LOTS of organic saturated fat.”
      This means veggies/fruits like avocado and stuff right? I hope it means avocado, I love that shit

  8. Oh you’re such a sweetie! Does that sign mean hugs? (I’m new to all this.) Hugs and love back, and wish we could all celebrate together!

  9. Yes, Aileen, avocado is really good for you. Coconut oil too, if it isn’t rancid (keep refrigerated.) I just dig out big spoonfuls and eat it several times a day. I forget if you are vegan or vegetarian. If not vegan, it is SO good for you to eat organic butter, eggs, cream, sour cream, cheese etc. And have at least one high-fat avocado (like Haas) a day.
    Here, almost everything is “low-fat,” where they take out the nutritious part and then sell it back when those starving from lack of fat binge on ice cream. It’s all lies about saturated fat being bad. Studies saying that included toxic transfat/hydrogenated oil, which is like plastic.
    The reason people from the era of growing up on farms lived so long is that they were eating all the butter, lard, meat, cheese, eggs, etc. they wanted, and it was all organic and they didn’t have processed food.

    1. Thought so. Something that tastes that good has got to be, and I had some gnarly scrambled eggs with hella buttery pancakes for brekkie this morning ๐Ÿ˜€
      Yeah, it’s all low-fat here, and it is always high in sugar as well, but not simple sugars, always complex shit, for lack of a better term and the low-sugar stuff is always filled with other toxic chemicals (like that fucked up one they put in diet coke)

  10. Aileen, just wanted to say I loved your description of your brain — “deadliest weapon and softest blanket.” Beautiful.

    1. Well, ferocious dual natured beast, half-way between the natural and supernatural (the same way womyn and girls have been portrayed in texts for many, many years) that emerges once a month on the full moon. Connections between lunar cycles and menstrual cycles have been pointed out before. I would have to give it some more thought, maybe I will even make an entry about it..I haven’t watched many Werewolf films, so maybe I should ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. You’re right — that’s good. All fear of nature is about fear of the female too. That’s what I want to do in a book — write about rats and how males are destroying the world because they are so terrified of nature and hate it. They try to mark it all as territory in their destruction, but it will survive them.
    But instead, I waste my time writing a defense of what needs no defending.

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