When I was a senior in high school, I got very interested in the fashion industry, looking at blogs and obsessively staring at models in magazines. After dropping 20 pounds, I had my sister take pictures of me in a bathing suit, which I then emailed to all of the modeling agencies in New York. A few of them asked me to come in and meet with them. I was offered five contracts, but all of the really “good” agencies told me to lose weight. So I chose one of the other agencies, and I would skip school a couple days a week to come into the city for test shoots to build my book. I was held back from the great jobs because I needed to lose more weight—36-inch hips would just not do. It was all about having the “right” measurements: I was constantly being told to lose eight pounds, or an inch in my hips or waist. Over the course of a few months, I ended up losing 20 more pounds. Eventually, I switched over to another agency that had initially asked me to drop an inch in my hips by “just eating salads.” I had dropped 2 inches when they finally signed me. I had an eating disorder prior to modeling, but it worsened tenfold once I started working. I went from dabbling in restriction and laxatives, to full on starvation and purging even water. By the time I was 18 I had lost 40 pounds. I think the modeling industry is incredibly bizarre. People are so desensitized to the wildest things. It’s so crazy to me that it’s glamourized.  I quit modeling when I turned 20, but a small part of me misses it. Not the actual experience—but the pride of saying, “I’m a model.” Unfortunately, I’m still very sick. I still measure my hips and waist to make sure they’re perfectly even though I haven’t modeled in years. The modeling industry has a serious impact on impressionable young girls. I realize this myself and have still fallen into the trap. It’s addictive. I hear so many little girls saying they want to be a model and I immediately try to turn them off of it.  At the end of the day, the industry makes tons of money, so the people in charge have no great incentive to make a difference which is so unfortunate.

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