This powerful anti anorexia campaign is turning 'thinspiration' on its head.

Trigger warning: the following content may be sensitive for those with an eating disorder.

Brazilian modelling agency Star Models has released a shocking anti-anorexia campaign featuring fashion illustrations alongside a model drastically photoshopped to represent the unrealistic proportions that exist within the fashion industry.

And it’s terrifying.

The campaign has been criticised by sites such as Jezebel, who labelled the agency as “passing the buck” on to fashion designers but locally Christine Morgan – The Butterfly Foundation’s CEO – applauds the move.

“This is a bold move by the Brazilian modeling agency to draw attention to the damaging culture currently saturating the fashion industry. I believe that it is an important conversation starter on how pervasive and destructive the fashion industry’s body size, shape and beauty standards are,” Morgan told Mamamia.

“I applaud the creative approach of the campaign – they have managed to capture the grotesque and absurd culture of ‘thinspiration’ that has been slithering across the dark corners of social media.”

Morgan acknowledges that these images, while disturbing, will serve as ‘thinspiration’ (that means “images or video montages of slim women, often celebrities, who may be anything from naturally slim to emaciated with visibly protruding bones” according to Wikipedia) for some.

“This culture draws in our most vulnerable people, including those who are seriously ill with an eating disorder, and affirms their deepest body fears. In fact, we need to be aware that these surreal and morphed photos will be seen by some as genuinely aspirational, rather than dangerous and damaging,” Morgan said.


If the ad is aimed directly at fashion designers, do we, the public, then continue to be pawns in the merry-go-round-blame-game scenario that modelling agencies, fashion designers and magazine editors are playing at?

Where the modelling agencies blame the fashion designers, the designers blame the agencies and the magazine editors blame both the agencies and designers; and all parties can successfully eschew any responsibility.

This campaign, while powerful in it’s message; is it representative of a overly simplistic “Just Say No” understanding of eating disorders? Anorexia Nervosa is a complicated and potentially life-threatening disease not a lifestyle choice.

At a time when models are eating tissues and modelling agencies are scouting for new talent outside eating disorder clinics, the time to do something is now.

An anti-anorexia campaign from 2007 by fashion label Nolita, featuring model Isabelle Caro who sadly died just two years later.

What do you think about Star Model’s anti-anorexia campaign? Would it be more successful if the ‘before’ images were of a range of real woman in the community and the ‘after’ were of a high-fashion industry model?

If you need help or support you can call the Butterfly Foundation support line on 1800 334 673.

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