Not really sure about that.
Silent Partners Exhibition trailerI don't know whether Rocamoras' statement was taken out of context but I find it surprising. If the argument is that models have always been thin, they must be thin for whatever reason, and body image anxiety and eating disorders that seem to be so prevalent in our contemporary society have little to do with the fact that models are thin and that there is no quantifiable data that shows any link, well this argument does not strike me as sound. It strikes me as disingenuous. To begin with, one can never say that it will never be possible to find a link. Why so?
For one thing, extreme thinness as a requirement for modelling has had a direct link on eating disorders in those instances of models and would-be-models that starved themselves to death and died on the catwalk.
A model I personally know told me that the agency that initially signed her put her under so much pressure to lose weight that her parents had to intervene - she was only 17 at the time - so she eventually changed agency and she is now working a lot, being a UK size 8 , 5'11 in height and weighing 59 kg - she had been asked to go down to at least 50kg.
Anna Carolina Reston a model who died because she was suffering from anorexia
Model Bonnie Bee, when campaigning for Models of Diversity, talked about her struggle with anorexia and how long it took her to recover. Young girls are encouraged to lose weight in order to be ready for Fashion Week. So here you have at least one demonstrable correlation between model size and eating disorders. 'Oh but not everyone is or wants to be a model". This is the difference between attitudes to models in the 1900s up to well into the 1950s, when models were perceived to belong to the demi-monde and no respectable woman really wanted to be a model, and attitudes today ,when every young girl looks at magazines and wants to be a model, because some models become celebrities and/or they date famous actors, rock stars and footballers. So young girls do starve themselves in the hope of being scouted or simply to be perceived as beautiful like 'so and so'.
Only in June the same newspaper carried an article about size zero campaigners discussing body image issues at an event held at that very same college where Rocamora teaches and at that event the correlation which Rocamora believes does not exist was discussed at length.
Eliana and Luisel Ramos models who died after starving themselves
Now let me ask you this question: until very recently it was OK to have models that were only white skinned. That has, begrudgingly, changed. The arguments for white skinned models were " Oh I am not racist, it's just that paler complexions make the clothes look better" Or "you can't do much with non-caucasian hair". Compare this with saying "Oh clothes fit better on a very skinny body, that's why models have to be skinny".
Of course, there was no correlation between racism and the absence of models of colour. It was only an aesthetic choice. Or was it?
Do you now see why the article in The Guardian makes me feel uncomfortable?