One Model Fights The Pressure To Be Dangerously Skinny

Rosie Nelson takes her petition to parliament

This week 23-year-old model, Rosie Nelson, submitted a petition to parliament (featuring over 100,000 signatures) asking the Minister for Women and Equalities, Caroline Dineage, to create a law to protect models from getting dangerously skinny. 

Nelson’s own experience working in the fashion industry prompted her to start the petition. The bill calls on MPs to address the fact that modelling agencies put pressure on vulnerable young girls and boys to restrict their diets and overexercise. 

When she joined one of the UK’s biggest modelling agencies Nelson was immediately told to lose weight from her already slim (size 8) frame, which she did: ‘Four months later I lost nearly a stone’ explains Nelson ‘2 inches off my hips. When I returned to the same agency they told me to lose more weight, they wanted me “down to the bone”.’

Nelson wants the pressures young models are put under to be thin acknowledged and the ways in which agencies talk to them about eating habits and body image regulated. Her personal experience indicates that currently disordered eating is normalised within the industry: ‘I’ve been on shoots for up to 10 hours where no food is provided — the underlying message is always that you shouldn’t eat,’ wrote Nelson in her petition. 

Nelson wants the legislation to ensure young models have access to health checks and are properly educated about nutrition and exercise to ensure they don’t damage to their bodies.

Plus size model Hayley Hasselhoff (daughter of David Hasselhoff) also attended the petition hearing, which was followed by an inquiry with industry professionals. 

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