Psychiatr Danub. 2021 Dec;33(Suppl 11):133-136.
Surprising it may seem, the mental health issues remains largely overlooked in the highly competitive and unforgiving industry of modelling and fashion. A substantial number of models experience mental health issues due to the nature of their occupation, however, most avoid speaking out due to fear of stigma and losing out on future work. Moreover, problematic eating behaviours in attempts to improve body image can have profoundly adverse effects on mental and physical health, even leading to death in extreme cases, yet these behaviours are being reinforced and rewarded with success and career progression. Indeed, the term ‘Paris Thin’ was used in relation to the deaths of models from starvation who were in pursuit of ‘the perfect body’ whilst working in France, the epicentre of the fashion world. Although improvements have been made over the past decade, conversations surrounding common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety remain minimal at best and discussions about other serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder are virtually absent. Campaigns that amplify the voices of models living with a mental health condition must therefore be supported to reduce mental health related stigma in the industry and encourage those who are suffering and struggling to seek professional help. Research in this area is urgently needed to yield new insights that will help to improve the mental health of models.