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Isabelle Caro, Anorexic Model, Dead At 28

Illustration for article titled Isabelle Caro, Anorexic Model, Dead At 28

In 2007, French model Isabelle Caro famously posed for an anti-anorexia billboard plastered in Milan during fashion week. Today, various media outlets are reporting that Caro has died.

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According to reports, Caro died in Japan in mid-November after a two-week hospitalization for a lung infection.

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In a 2007 interview with CBS' The Early Show, Caro talked about her struggle to gain weight, and the fact that she would often draw freckles on her face: "If they're looking at my eyes… they're not looking at the rest of me," she said. She also told of the time she'd been in a coma, and how she'd once weighed as little as 55 pounds.


(More from that interview here.)

Illustration for article titled Isabelle Caro, Anorexic Model, Dead At 28

In March of this year, Caro appeared on Jessica Simpson's The Price Of Beauty. She told Jessica and her friends that she started modeling as a teenager, but a casting director told her to lose weight. (You can watch that clip here.)

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Caro, who was either 28 or 30 when she died — reports vary — may not have been a professional fashion model, but she did end up being an important figure in the fashion world, and put a face, a real body, on eating disorders. So much of eating disordered behavior is about secrets and hiding, and Isabelle Caro made a deliberate choice to be extremely visible.

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Monsters & Critics claims:

After her 2007 photo session, Caro told German magazine Stern that she felt like "an ambassador for anorexia."

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And she was. Sometimes we throw around the word "anorexic" without realizing what we're really dealing with and talking about; Isabelle Caro made it painfully clear.

Illustration for article titled Isabelle Caro, Anorexic Model, Dead At 28
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Model In Sensational Anorexia Nervosa Pictures Reported Dead [Monsters & Critics]
Isabelle Caro, La Victime Oubliée De L'anorexie [Paris Match]

Earlier:
Price Of Beauty: Jessica Meets An Anorexic Model
Milan Subtly Reminds Fashion Week Attendees To Occasionally Eat Food
Anorexic Model On Recent Weight Gain, Weird Freckles
Anorexic Model Admits Some People Find Her Unpretty, But Anorexics Totes Disagree!

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DISCUSSION

I'm really not sure who those ads are aimed at, though. Anorexia is a disease, it's not really something people decide to do one day. I've also read that it often has a competitive mentality, and that seeing how skinny other people get, or hearing how low someone's weight got, can actually spur people on. It almost says, "I can get down to 55lbs and still be okay, why do I weigh more than that? Must try harder."

I'm not speaking from experience, so I apologize if I'm mischaracterizing—feel free to set me straight.