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Recruiting Instead of Recovery: When Modeling Agencies Go Too Far

Runway Walk

The lengths some people go for their jobs.

According to Swedish newspaper The Local some modeling agencies are doing the unthinkable and actively recruiting girls from treatment centers for anorexia.

The Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders, a 1,700-bed treatment facility that is the largest in the country, claims that recruiters from agencies actually wait outside their doors for ladies they think could walk the runway in their next shows.

"We think this is repugnant,” says the Center’s chief doctor, Anna-Maria af Sandeberg. “People have stood outside our clinic and tried to pick up our girls because they know they are very thin."

Last year, the clinic was actually forced to change its policy in allowing patients to take walks alone around the premises. According to The Local, “One of the patients who was approached by a scout was so ill she was sitting in a wheelchair at the time.”

The modeling industry, as we all know, requires girls to be dangerously thin – typically due to drastic eating and exercise behavior that shouldn’t be encouraged in anyone, let alone girls who have finally taken steps toward recovery.

When the mother of one would-be recruit confronted the agency that approached her daughter (they didn’t name names, but the paper assures us the agent was with “One of Sweden’s largest modeling agencies”), their response was simply baffling:

"They claimed that they approach healthy, normally slim young people and that they never urge anyone to lose weight; that's how they defended themselves," mother Christina Lillman-Ringborg told the TT news agency.

Such behavior is almost unfathomable, but sadly it’s not the first time we’ve heard of the fashion industry disregarding the safety of their employees. What do you think of this story? How can we combat these counterproductive ideals of beauty and provide men and women a safe haven to recover?

Source: The Local

Source: Jezebel