Last week Ali Michael revealed on the Today show she wasn't healthy at the height of her runway career in Paris. Owing to a staggering 28-pound weight loss to get down to just 102 pounds, Michael's hair started falling out and she hadn't had her period in more than a year. While many were thinking, "Poor Ali! Evil fashion industry!" casting director Douglas Perret, who writes the blog Confessions of a Casting Director, had a different response:
Its a certain girl that wants to be a model, its a certain family that supports their dream. Modeling and fashion is a business of image with unfair expectations, if it was easy then why bother. The fashion reality is that a new batch of girls are in town, younger and hungrier.
My question: Would Ali Michael come out with her eating disorder if she had an amazing show season?
Probably not. But this post and Michael has inspired many other models to speak up in the comments section.
As a model myself, I haven't gotten my period in 10 months and I felt guilty about eating a half a sandwich for lunch. It scares the crap out of me.
i'm a model and at 5'11 and 115 pounds i haven't had my period in about a year. it was so jarring to hear her say that.
And another, who's "battled every type of issue for 5 years":
I am 5'11 and naturally 130- 135. If they would accept someone at those statistics I wouldn't be going through such turmoil, yet I'm not completely blaming the industry 100%, because I do in fact understand that I could've chosen to go seek employment elsewhere.
Point being, it's a big fucking problem, I don't know how many times I've heard my other model roomates vomiting in the toilet throughout the years. It's sad. It's real, It's a problem.
Many other commenters point out some people are just naturally tall and lanky. And many more are pretty angry about what Perret had to say. Still, it's hard to imagine anything changing until someone like Karl Lagerfeld or Marc Jacobs starts routinely casting 130-pound girls.
Off Season: Ali Michael [Confessions of a Casting Director]
Related: Model Ali Michael on ‘Today:’ ‘I Hadn't Had My Period in Over a Year