The lives of Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid and every single Victoria’s Secret Angel may seem totally glamorous and perfect, but there is a scary underbelly in the fashion industry.
In order to achieve fame and fortune in the fashion industry, some young women undergo disturbing rituals. These rituals are generally used to stay uber thin, as it is a not-so-secret requirement of the fashion industry. Of course, the fashion industry is slow moving away from the dangerously thin look, as models like Ashley Graham are changing the idea of what “model” means. But for the up and coming model, the way to the top is much easier if she just so happens to fit the beauty standards implemented by the fashion industry. In order words, being successful in the fashion industry is much easier when you’re very thin.
Because the fashion industry still dictates insane beauty stands on young models, these young women have adopted extreme and dangerous ways to lose weight and keep weight off. There are also specific ways models wash their faces (hint: it involves ice) and keep from sweating during hot shoots (hint: it also involves ice).
So, next time you think the life of a model is totally glam, just remember these sixteen extreme habits some models practice. The world of the fashion and beauty industry can be a truly ugly place.
16 The Dangerous Apple-A-Day Diet
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. However, that doesn’t mean you should only eat one apple a day.
Last year, Victoire Dauxerre, a European model, spoke out against the fashion industry and gave a stark account of what she was eating as a model. When she started modeling, she was 5’10” and 126 pounds, but she felt pressure to lose weight. So for eight months, Dauxerre survived on just three apples a day. Yes, three apples a day and that's it.
Dauxerre also says she drank diet soda, as the bubbles helped her feel full. Once a week, she would also eat chicken or fish. But mostly, her diet was straight up apples for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This dangerous diet helped Dauxerre lose 22 pounds.
Dauxerre walked in New York Fashion Week and very elite shows, but at what cost? Thankfully, Dauxerre left the fashion industry and has had no anorexic relapses for several months.
15 Existing On A Diet Of Just Smoking And Coffee
Telling all, former model Pedersen describes her diet when she first became a model. After first arriving to New York and desperate to be cast in a major show, Pedersen says she, “subsisted on a daily diet of 20 cigarettes, a cup of coffee and little else.”
Scientifically, there’s a chemical in cigarettes that suppresses the appetite. While smoking doesn’t actually make you full, it does make you feel full, which is why so many young models turn to smoking in order to stay thin. Of course, smoking is directly linked to lung cancer, so the cost which these models pay to stay thin is very high.
Pedersen’s cigarette and coffee diet shed all the weight from her body. She says that it hurt just to sit down because “there [wasn’t] enough meat on my bones.”
14 Dehydration Helps Models Shed Water Weight
Want to talk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show? Well, there is a lot of prep that goes into it and it isn’t always healthy.
Adriana Lima, the longest-running Victoria’s Secret Angel, usually drinks a gallon of water a day. Yes, A GALLON. Like, fill up one of those huge milk jugs and that’s how much water Lima is guzzling every day. A few days before a major show, Lima will stop drinking water at this rate. Specifically, 12 hours before a major show, Lima will stop drinking anything at all. This is to shed water weight. As Lima explained, "No liquids at all so you dry out, sometimes you can lose up to eight pounds just from that."
Going 12 hours without drinking water may not be the most dangerous method of weight loss on this list, but no doctor is going to recommend you shed water weight through dehydration. Also, this just goes to show you that even the most in-demand models like Adriana Lima put their bodies through intense routines just to stay in the fashion industry.
Lima isn't the only one dehydrating on purpose. On model recalled a fashion show at which water was completely banned from models. And so, models had to sneak into the bathroom to steal sips of water from the sink.
13 Drinking Sugar Water And Olive Oil
Another way models will avoid solid foods is by drinking olive oil and sugar water. This specific diet promotes drinking sugar water or olive oil in the morning. In one hour, it’s said that you’ll no longer feel hungry for breakfast. Overtime, it’s suggested that this will make you feel hungry less often, as your body gets tricked into feeling full.
The trick here is that your metabolism starts thinking your set weight is less than it is. If your body usually keeps you at 120lbs, meaning you’ll be hungry when weighing less than 120lbs, your body will now be tricked into thinking the set weight is 110lbs.
Some mix lemon into their olive oil, as this helps it become a powerful detoxifier. While taking a shot of olive oil and lemon can promote digestion and help strengthen your hair and nails, it’s not recommended this be done to avoid eating solid foods. It should eb done in addition to eating.
No matter what way you avoid eating solid foods, it’s a slippery slope. Eating actual food every day is recommended by just about every doctor in the world.
12 No Solid Food For A Week Before A Show
Adriana Lima doesn’t stop at the whole dehydration thing. Lima also explained before big shows, she’ll only drink protein shakes for over a week. That’s right. No eating solid. No chewing. Just drinking protein shakes for over a week. Wouldn't your jaw just be itching to chew? And guys, Adriana Lima is a top model who would probably get away with some jiggly parts, yet she’s forgoing solid foods for weeks at a time in order to fit the idealistic standard for models. Even when you're on top, the extreme dieting doesn't stop.
Due to backlash, Lima said, “Those teenagers out there, don't go starving yourself or only drinking liquids. Don't do that please.”
With the growing juice trend, it’s easy to see how models and regular people alike may be drinking their meals more than eating their meals. Perhaps we should all follow Gigi Hadid’s advice: “Eat clean to stay fit — eat a burger to stay sane.”
11 Ice, Ice Baby: The Ice Diet And The Ice Face Wash
The modeling world has a very odd relationship to ice. Kate Moss famously said that her morning routine involves dunking her face into a sink full of ice water. Um, why would someone torture themselves this way in the early morning? Moss explained that the freezing water “definitely works, because all the blood comes to the surface.” Moss insists that it helps her skin look brighter and more awake. But Dr. Alexis Granite explained, “Actually, using very cold water to wash your face causes blood vessels in the skin to constrict which decreases blood flow.” However, Dr. Granite did said that the cold water could help to wake you up. But it's definitely not helping with blood flow as Kate Moss believes.
On top of that, some models will indulge in a diet that involves chewing ice. Because the act of chewing burns calories and ice is calorie free, chewing ice can actually make you lose weight. Yes, if you chew ice while binge-watching something on Netflix, you’ll actually be burning calories.
10 Way Too Many Laxatives And Hours In The Bathroom
As a general rule, if you make sure everything that goes into your body also, uh, comes out of your body, you won’t gain any weight. Gross, but true.
In order to make sure it all - and we really do it all - comes out, some models turn to laxatives. Laxatives are generally used to cure constipation. When taken by someone who is not constipated, the laxatives will cleanse you. Sannie Pedersen, a former model, tells of a model friend who took so many laxatives that she had “to barricade herself in the bathroom for 12 hours, where she screamed in agony.”
More importantly, this routine of keeping an empty stomach results in models growing extra hair on their legs and arms, which is a sign a anorexia. Some fashion runways are called "The Yeti Runway" due to how many models have grown extra hair in unusual places.
9 Hot, Hot, Hot: Sweating It All Out
Models look for countless ways to keep the weight off. Obvious methods include what they eat or what they don’t eat. However, some models may turn to other methods of weight loss, like sweating it out. In order to ramp up weight loss, models will wear sweatbands, sweatshirts and sweatpants during a workout. This makes them sweat more and lose more weight during the workout. Models may also sit in a sauna for hours at a time. This is the same idea as hot yoga, in that you sweat out toxins and fat from your body. However, extended periods of sweating it out can result in overheating your body.
On that note, models also have strategies for not looking sweaty during hot fashion shoots or shows. One model says she’ll suck on an ice cube to stay cool. Another model says she’ll spray her face with hairspray to keep from sweating. Finally, Brazilian model Nicole Bernardes says, "I have much less body fat than most people. I am always cold, and I never sweat."
8 Pretty Much Living At The Gym 24/7
While the fashion industry is slowly – I’m talking snail’s pace slowly – moves away from the the scary thin look into a direction of more fit and healthy looking models, models have been clocking in more time at the gym. In fact, maybe too much time at the gym.
Adriana Lima talks of working out twice a day before major fashion shows. And this is all while she’s off solid foods and on a protein shake diet. New to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Bella Hadid clocks in some extra time at the gym as well. Leading up to the show, Hadid said, “I’ve been eating hard protein every day, and working out for three hours every day.”
To be fair, Hadid spends three hours a day at the gym because that’s literally what she gets paid to do. However, it seems like three hours of working out per day is a bit excessive for someone who is just 21 years old.
7 Coolsculpting, Aka Freezing Your Fat Off
Just as models will go to extremely hot lengths to stay thin, they will also go to extremely cold lengths in order to stay thin. Basically, they’ll just go to extreme lengths to stay thin plain and simple.
Some models and celebrities have been turning to CoolSculpting in order to lose excess fat from their bodies. To be clear, CoolSculpting is FDA cleared, and so it’s not as dangerous as, say, living on a diet of olive oil and coffee. What CoolSculpting does is it freezes off your fat cells. Yes, freezes them right now. This is a great non-surgical way to lose weight, but just think of how cold you have to get for this to work.
If you’re one of those people who dives under the covers as soon as it’s 60 degrees, this procedure may be a tad too chilly for you.
6 Drinking Diet Coke All Day, Every Day
The idea of models drinking Diet Coke may seem odd. I mean, Diet Coke isn’t good for you. In fact, almost all soda isn’t good for you. So, what’s up with models and Diet Coke?
Well, there are a few reasons models turn to Diet Coke. The first reason, which was mentioned earlier, is that Diet Coke’s carbonation can make models feel full. The bubbles are more filling than plain old water. On that note, some models will drink Diet Coke simply because it’s the only thing they will digest all day. Water gives the body pretty much nothing to breakdown. On the other hand, the body does have to breakdown the chemicals in Diet Coke, therefore making it more filling than water.
Long story short, there are many ways models will avoid eating actual food. As on model recalls, she was so hungry she collapsed in front of her agent. “He gave me a piece of chicken when I came round. God forbid you give a model sugar,” the model said.
5 Here's A Fun Diet: Eating Baby Food
Looking for the halfway point between juice and actual food? Try baby food! No, seriously. Some models and celebrities, like Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anistion, are said to have adopted this bizarre diet trend.
Instead of going the juicing route, you can purée your fruits and vegetables into a baby food like substance. This is essentially almost the same thing as juicing, but you at least get the satisfaction of using a spoon, which helps trick your body into feeling like its eating an actual meal. Of course, you want to make sure you make the baby food yourself, as many drug store baby foods will had added sugars.
Other diets in the vain include a lettuce soup diet, which ew.
4 Breakfast Of Champions: Raw Egg And Milk Concoctions
The clothes are not made for the model, but rather the model must make herself for the clothes. As one model explains, “Designers need you to be a 34-inch hip, 24-inch waist, 32 bust, and that’s what I am. I can’t stray from those measurements ever, and it’s scary… Those measurements play in your head every day.”
It’s this kind of mindset that has models reaching for everything and anything that can help them stay thin, including raw eggs and milk. This diet even goes all the way back to Marilyn Monroe. Monroe claimed to start every day by whisking two raw eggs with warm milk. Of the breakfast, Monroe said, “I doubt any doctor could recommend a more nourishing breakfast for a working girl in a hurry.”
Monroe’s diet then included skipping lunch. For dinner she would broil liver, steak or lamb and eat it with five carrots. She then finished off the day with a hot-fudge dessert. Yes, hot-fudge every damn day for Marilyn Monroe. But she also pretty much skipped eating until dinner.
Monroe’s diet was strict and it’s an excellent reminder that women have been going to great lengths to look a certain way for quite some time.
3 Only Eating Candy (Yes, Seriously)
When you think of model’s bodies, you probably don’t think of them eating candy every day, right? Well, this thinking may be wrong-o. Some models actually eat candy for every single meal. This helps them keep their weight down because the right kinds of candies – think jelly beans – are almost no fat, vitamins, proteins, and all sugar. In eating this way, the sugar will be burned through, thus keeping them from putting any weight on their bodies. Models employing low calorie diets will also turn to HCG injections in their butt or thighs. HCG is said to sped up the metabolism, helping them lose extra weight. Of course, this extreme eating is what leads to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
Yes, eating candy is generally linked to overweight people. However, when you only eat a bag of jelly beans a day, this can actually help you shed weight in a very extreme and unhealthy fashion.
2 There's No Such Thing As A Cheat Day Ever
For models, there’s no such thing as a cheat day. Many of us normal people who have indulged in a diet have only had that glorious cheat day to look forward to. But that’s not the way of the model. Models embrace their extreme ways to lose weight and never look back. There’s no day off, instead it’s a lifestyle with no end in sight unless they plan on completely leaving the fashion industry.
Though, this strict regimen isn’t something models have thought up completely by themselves. Most models are pushed by their agents and designers to achieve thinness. Famous model Coco Rocha even revealed that a fashion industry professional told her, “The look this year is anorexic. We don’t want you to be anorexic, just look it.” At the young, impressionable age of 15, Rocha was literally told to look anorexic. The lengths models go to in order to stay thin are extreme, but it’s no secret why they go to these extreme, as they are pushed by others in the fashion industry.
It seems the only cheat days models get is… Well, when she leaves the industry.
1 Digesting Cotton Balls To Stuff Their Stomachs
Former model Pedersen tells of a 16-year-old model who almost died. Pedersen explained that the model was only eating cotton balls. Yes, cotton balls, which are absolutely not in any of the food groups. Cotton balls expand in the stomach, so they mimic the feeling of being full, which is why some models have turned to eating cotton balls. However, this diet is extremely dangerous, as it can block the digestive track, result in dehydration, and damage internal organs. Some models practice this extreme diet trend by dipping the cotton balls in juices or smoothies.
From eating ice to eating cotton balls, models turn to extreme methods in order to keep the weight off. Of course, the stakes are huge, as fame and fortune can be achieved if they just manage to stay thin enough. On the other hand, the cost can be very high.