Thursday, December 30, 2010

Anorexia Kills (nudity)

Three years ago, Italian fashion brand Nolita shocked Milan's Fashion Week with billboards featuring a nude woman suffering from severe anorexia nervosa:

The woman, French model, actress and blogger Isabelle Caro, has died. News reports say she was just 28 years old.

Oddly, reports of the original campaign in 2007 stated her age at that time as 27, while other sources say she was born in 1980 — making her all of 30 at the time of her death. This is strange, because if she had really only been 25 when those photos were shot, that fact would have made the campaign all  the more shocking.

Caro had been battling anorexia since adolescence, and she had said that she allowed herself to be photographed by Oliviero Toscani because:

“I’ve hidden myself and covered myself for too long. Now I want to show myself fearlessly, even though I know my body arouses repugnance. I want to recover because I love life and the riches of the universe. I want to show young people how dangerous this illness is.”

The campaign shocked sensibilities even in naked-ad-saturated Italy, and was eventually banned by the country's advertising authority because it violated a rule that "Marketing communication should not offend moral, civil and religious beliefs. Marketing communication should respect human dignity in every form and expression and should avoid any form of discrimination."

Instituto dell’Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria (IAP) President Giorgio Floridia stated, "The photo is shocking for everyone, particularly those who are sick, and has been set up for commercial ends."

Isabelle weighed just 68 pounds at the time of the shoot. According to Wikipedia, she died over a month ago in Tokyo (of acute respiratory disease) but her family only reported the news to media yesterday.

Ms. Caro back in the day.  Is this so much less shocking?

A sad ending to a sad story.

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