The Nolita ad campaign has shocked people with its image of an anorexic woman.
Back in 1992, photographer Oliviero Toscani caused controversy around the world with his pictures of a man dying of AIDS which formed part of a Benetton advertising campaign. He was back in the headlines in 2oo7, with an equally shocking image of a naked anorexic woman, which was used by a fashion chain to raise awareness about eating disorders.
The Nolita advertisement, timed to coincide with Milan fashion week, appeared in Italian newspapers, including a two-page center spread in La Repubblica and on billboards in Italy. A slogan above the naked photograph read No Anorexia.
Flash&Partners, the fashion group that owns the Nolita brand, said in a statement that Toscani's aim was to use that naked body to show everyone the reality of this illness, caused in most cases by the stereotypes imposed by the world of fashion.
The woman in the photo is Isabelle Caro from France, who is 27 years old and has been anorexic for 15 years, that's way now she weights only 32kg. She suffers from the skin disease, psoriasis.Caro said, 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. Just because modeling is seen as glamorous, [the industry] seems to think it is outside normal health and safety issues. It is time it started taking care of its workers.
The issue was brought to the forefront after the starvation-related deaths of South American models Ana Carolina Reston, 21 and sisters Luisel and Eliana Ramos. All died in the past year. 22-year-old model Luisel Ramos collapsed and died at a show in Uruguay, after having gone days without eating properly.
I don't necessarily want to blame the fashion industry for all this, but like many other, it had a big role on promoting this kind of sickness among young girls (recently, cases of anorexia appeared at older women too).