Monday, January 3, 2011

Anorexic model tasted ice cream before she died

From her blog


Last night my mom told me about a news story from last week that I had missed, about the death of Isabelle Caro, a French fashion model who struggled with anorexia from her earliest days.  It was a very, very sad story to begin with, but what truly touched me, and not simply because I'm obsessed with ice cream, is that according to the New York Times obituary, she wrote on her blog:

“I still eat almost nothing, but I’ve stopped vomiting,” she said after her photo shoot for Nolita. “I have started to distinguish tastes of things. I have tried ice cream — it’s delicious.” 

This comment reminded me, in some strange way, of the two people who held hands before they jumped out of the burning World Trade Center building.  A small human gesture to which we can all relate, against a background of something much larger and much less comprehensible. 

I looked on her blog and couldn't find that entry, but it did make me think about the way certain foods serve different intellectual/physical roles.  Ice cream, to an anorexic, is absolutely forbidden.  It is decadent, full of sugar and fat, one of the world's most popular treats, never to be savored.  And in denying one's self that luxury, the anorexic can find a deeply satisfying sense of power.  Curious how I know these things?  I used to have my own issues.  I never had enough discipline to be anorexic but like a lot of young women growing up surrounded by fashion magazines etc I also associated my self-worth with my appearance.  It's still not easy to enjoy ice cream 100% without any guilt, but luckily I'm pretty active and try and ride my bike places and not eat too much other junk food.  Anyway, my condolences to Ms. Caro's family.

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