Karen Elson was body shamed and ''made fun of'' during one of her first photoshoots, because she was told she had been ''eating too much''.
Karen Elson was ''made fun of'' during one of her first photoshoots, because she was told she had been ''eating too much''.
The 41-year-old supermodel has admitted one of her earliest memories of doing fashion shoots was being called a ''fatty'', which she says stuck with her throughout her career and forced her to associate being skinny with ''success''.
She said: ''One of my first experiences with a fashion editor on a shoot, a dress didn't fit me, and her instinct was to say, 'Oh, you've been eating too much.' Everyone on the shoot made fun of me, saying, 'Oh fatty's coming out.'
''They were all laughing, and being young and impressionable and wanting to please, I internalised that. When I'm thin, I'm successful. But when I'm 10lb or 15lb heavier than what they want, that means I'm not worthy. To be successful, I had to play that game, it's the unspoken rules of the business.''
When Karen was 19, she was openly mocked by a designer for her weight at a fitting for Milan fashion week, and was dropped from the show.
The beauty was then dropped from every show that season, and was told by her agent to eat vegetables for a month to lose weight.
She recalled: ''I felt so humiliated, I cried my eyes out. You know, to be told you're disgusting ... The humiliation of having this played out publicly, on an international stage, filled me with self-loathing and plunged me into a deep depression.''
Karen's experiences in the fashion industry triggered a cycle of disordered eating, but the star eventually had ''a moment where [I thought]: I have to stick with who I am''.
Now, during the coronavirus lockdown, the model is finally allowing herself to enjoy whatever foods she wants.
Speaking to The Sunday Times' Style magazine, she said: ''[I've allowed myself to] eat whatever I want. I exercise, but I finally allowed myself to gain weight. You know, without being like, oh my God, what's gonna happen?''
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