-By Bhoomi Gupta
Size zero models have been used for fashion shows and the overall fashion industry for decades. The fashion world did not invent size zero though- this phrase came about in L.A., in the 1990s to describe Hollywood actresses of the time and constitutes a bust-waist-hips ratio of 32″-22″-33″, these measurements were equivalent to those of a 12-year-old girl. In today’s day, we are being saturated with the appeal of this size zero figure where a body with 0% fat was required. While models around the ages of 14-15 that were used on the catwalk were naturally of this size, most of the other models were not.
Even though it is not an ideal human body, it was and a lot of times still is the expected and required body shape and size. Achieving size zero is dangerous because the world of fashion holds the power to negatively influence the way we look at our bodies. It can seriously damage the health of the models also. There have been deaths of models due to social pressure. Ana Carolina died in 2006 due to infections caused by eating disorder, she was was on a diet of only apples and tomatoes which later on led to major nutrient deficiency. Luisel and Eliana, both sisters, both size zero died due to heart failure and heart attack, respectively due to eating disorders and malnutrition. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it classifies a BMI of under 16 with severe thinness. The following models who died were all under the BMI of 15. Following these cases, size zero became an important and controversial topic.
More than two years ago, the announcement that rival Paris powerhouses LVMH and Kering, joined forces to end the practice of size zero. There were or rather, are many reasons as to why size-zero models are looked for in the fashion industry. Mainly because there are designers who believe that their clothes and designs will look the most appealing on smaller body frames. The images of size-zero models can harm a large chunk of our society by persuading people that it is the type of body one should aim for and desire. On the other hand, it can be argued that models shouldn’t be discriminated against due to their figures and an also, ban on size zero would be tough to implement as there are designers who design according to size zero as they might prefer their clothes to be seen on a body type as such.