ColumnistsVogue Williams

Girls starve themselves to try and get jobs

Agnes Hedengard
Agnes Hedengard

This is the Swedish beauty who has had to give up full-time modelling because she is deemed too big for the industry – particularly her big bum and wide hips!

READ: Swedish model told she's "too big" for the fashion industry

Em, she’s a woman. We are meant to have big hips. 

She has a BMI of 17.5, which means she’s actually underweight. 

It’s plain to see she has an amazing body, but still can’t get work because she hasn’t got bones jutting out all over the place. 

I started working as a model when I was 16 and still do now, but I have never been super skinny.

The good thing about the industry in Ireland is that you don’t need to be teeny tiny to work.

Saying that, I’m quite sure there were jobs I didn’t get because a size 10 was probably bigger than the designer wanted. If I had wanted to model in London, I would need to be a size four. 

I have been 63kgs for the last five years. I’m quite healthy and I train a lot, but that is my healthy weight. The only way I could lose weight would be to starve myself; I know this because the only time I ever lost weight was when I did the show with Bear Grylls. 

We weren’t given enough food and the weight started dropping off us. Being so hungry not only affects your body, it affects your mind too. I was constantly tired and couldn’t concentrate properly on anything. 

There are some girls in the industry who are naturally slim, but the majority of working models are underweight because they aren’t eating properly.

I suppose you can say it’s their job to be underweight, just as it is a jockeys, but personally I prefer models who look toned and strong. 

I don’t think any career is worth risking your health over. These girls will have long-term health problems if they continue to abuse their body, but unless the industry changes these girls won’t either. 

Agnes Hedengard, the Swedish model whose story caught my attention, was one of the lucky ones. She described having anorexic thoughts and counting every calorie that passed her lips. She still models part-time, but has given up the idea of being a full-time model as she isn’t willing to lose any more weight.

With stories like these, hopefully the industry will start changing.