Model left with body dysmorphia after agencies told her to become 'bone thin'

A size eight model has said she will ‘forever have body dysmorphia’ after being constantly pushed to lose weight by the fashion industry.

Rosie Nelson was just 21 when she met with London’s top modelling agencies, most of which rejected her for being ‘too big’ or ‘too old’.

One company said they would take her on if she got down to ‘sample size’, which meant having a 24” waist and 35” hips.

She managed to lose 10kg and went back to the agency – but was told she still needed to lose more as they wanted her ‘down to the bone’.

Rosie told that she still suffers with her body image, despite being four sizes smaller than the average British woman.

She said: ‘I will forever have body dysmorphia because of the modelling industry.

‘When I was growing up I was always very sporty and in shape, and I was completely comfortable with being a size eight or 10.

‘Now as an adult, and still at a size eight or 10, I view myself as being too big. I pinch at the skin around my stomach and think I need to lose weight.

‘I know in the “real world” I’m considered very thin, or even underweight, but in the modelling world I am only two sizes away from plus size.’

Rosie has now joined the Remodel Fashion campaign in a fight to regulate the global standards of care for models.

Other countries such as France, Denmark, Spain and the US have implemented laws to protect models from dangerous bodyweight targets – but the UK is yet to follow suit.

‘Modelling is one of the only industries that still doesn’t have any safeguarding,’ Rosie said.

‘There is no paid leave, there’s no guarantee for work despite signing a contract, there’s no one to speak to when you’re alone at a photographers apartment at 8pm and he’s asked you to take off your bra.

‘You would think that your agent would be the one to help and support you – but they’re the ones asking you to eat only two boiled eggs a day and saying “oh this photographer is so amazing, his images will really help your portfolio”.’

She added: ‘I’ve seen countless models avoid eating at work, I’ve seen models faint, I’ve seen them on crazy juice diets which their agencies have instructed them to go on.

‘I’ve seen models crying from exhaustion. All these models are being asked to lose weight by their agencies, and if they don’t do it they’ll lose their jobs.’

Remodel Fashion was founded by Maggie Miodek, an art director at Life Healthcare Communications, after she read a magazine interview with model Victoire Dauxerre.

She was so shocked by her experience she sent her a message on Instagram, and the pair began discussing ways in which the fashion industry could be improved, also getting Rosie involved.

Maggie said: ‘The article was about [Victoire] eating three apples a day in order to lose weight. I thought to myself, why would someone starve just to become skinny?

‘Then for us to look at her and think “this is the perfect body” even though she looked so thin, like a skeleton – it was so wrong.’

Maggie then started researching into the UK’s lack of modelling standards and decided to launch a campaign which would drive traffic towards an online manifesto.

The declaration sets regulations for health, nudity, and food and drink, ensuring models are always above a minimum clothing size and have access to information about nutrition.

Maggie said: ‘Once we have regulated the global standards of care and models become happy and healthy, it will have a huge impact on our society.

‘Anorexia is on the rise in the UK and in many cases it is related to what people see in the media and in the fashion industry. It’s a vicious circle.’

She added: ‘Models have become depressed, developed eating disorders or even died because of the pressure agencies place on them. It has to stop.’

You can read the manifesto here or read more about the Remodel Fashion campaign here.

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