The team here at Models Direct were shocked to hear Georgina Wilkin’s story about her 8 battle with Anorexia. As we are pro-diversity agency representing real models we wanted to share her story with our readers so they could be aware of the dangers of this vicious eating disorder.
At the tender age of fifteen, Georgina Wilkin was told by her modelling agent “Just lose a few inches off your hips and you could be the next big thing”. Already a size 8, the British model began to starve herself and fell pray to anorexia – which she has now been battling for 8 years.
The former anorexic model decided to share her story in The UK’s Telegraph so that young girls could learn from her experiences and not go down the same dangerous path.
“I started modelling when I was 15 years-old. I was a size eight but I was told to lose a few inches from my hips so I could be eligible for the best jobs. This was normal in the fashion world, so I didn’t think too much of it.
“At the time I was revising for my GCSEs, so a combination of lunch times spent in the library along with caffeine supplements and no sleep seemed to do the trick. I lost the weight and won a contract to go to Japan.”
The model was even congratulated on her appearance after starving herself for 48 hours. When on the contract in Japan Georgina said: “I had expected it to be glamorous and fun, but it wasn’t like that at all. One day I was put in a line-up with 12 models. We were all naked apart from flesh-coloured thongs, standing in front of a panel of casting directors. They basically went through us and said ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘yes’, ‘no’, depending on whether we were thin enough. If you weren’t thin enough you were sent out of the room immediately. I was sent out.”
Georgina’s modelled for big brands such as Gap, Prada and Giles Deacon but her modelling career only lasted 3 years and a year after Japan she was admitted to hospital for anorexia and then sent to The Priory.
She is still battling the eating disorder 6 years later: “I have completely left the modelling world but I still struggle with anorexia on a day-to-day basis and probably will for a long time,” she said.
“Eating disorders have become normalised,” she said. “My friends would joke about how thin I was — my nickname was ‘Pencil’ because I looked like one. When I became noticeably ill-looking, people spoke about it and it meant I secluded myself all the time.
“I didn’t want to eat anything so I would hide in the library at lunchtime and I ended up becoming addicted to work. I got 9 A*s for my GCSEs and won awards, but it was only because I was starving myself and working extra hours to avoid eating.”
Georgina now works as a personal assistant in London and wants to see changes in the fashion industry to stop young girls feeling pressured to lose weight in an unhealthy way.
“It was not fair to tell a 15-year-old she has hippo hips and pass that off as constructive career advice… It is not right to excuse starvation under a promise of fame and fortune.”
“I want to encourage modelling agents and casting directors to talk to girls about healthy eating, and where they do put pressure on young girls to lose their weight, to do so healthily and sensibly.” She said.
Miss Wilkin also spoke at The Shape of Fashion debate in London on Wednesday hosted by online fashion retailer Asos, and supports body image charity Beat.
Susan Ringwood of Beat said: ‘Fashion does not cause eating disorders but fashion can be toxic. We want the industry to embrace diversity.
Models Direct hope that the emerging trend to use ‘real’ models in advertising will continue and that more agencies will, like us, help to ensure that those who decide to become a model do not receive pressure from their agencies to become an unhealthy weight.