Models have long suffered at the hands of the fashion industry's absurd, sizeist standards and the public's general notion these women exist for us all to judge.
With luck, the latest offer at the self-love altar will convince young female followers to think twice before torturing themselves in the name of perfection, an ever-elusive destination.
The years Polish model Zuzanna Buchwald spent working for major fashion houses like Versace and Calvin Klein should have been the most rewarding of her life. Instead, she was shamed into an unhealthy and unsustainable lifestyle, one that left her weak and unhappy, by the fashion industry.
Buchwald shared her story in a video for the Real Women Real Stories project, explaining how she spent years eating a disordered diet under the guidance of her former agents.
Formerly an athlete, I was asked by my agency to lose muscle mass by not eating and not exercising… I was very weak… I lost my period for three years, I had problems with teeth, my complexion was gray, my skin was dry, my hair started falling out… It was a terrible experience… I wanted to work, and I wanted to fulfill what was asked from me, but I didn't feel beautiful or powerful, or strong, at all.
Now, having overcome anorexia and bulimia, Buchwald hopes her experience can convince young girls to avoid listening to the toxic opinions of outsiders.
I would like to give an advice to young models, to girls that are just starting. I would like to tell them not to listen to other people about the body that's theirs… What we see in the mirror when we're healthy is the right image.
Until the fashion industry broadens its standards to include men and women of all shapes and sizes, it remains a risky one for those looking to succeed while loving their natural figures.