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Model calls for action over pressure for size-zero look

A FASHION model lobbied the government yesterday to regulate the industry after irresponsible agents told her to lose weight “down to the bone.”

Rosie Nelson is demanding that agencies look after young models’ health as the firms made constant demands on her body image that left her feeling “like a slave.”

She said she had tried to lose more weight, but she “physically couldn’t” after subjecting herself to eating mostly steamed vegetables, taking no exercise and “avoiding just everything.”

Hundreds of girls have contacted her, she said, to say that they were “becoming anorexic” and “doing drastic things to get ahead as a model.”

The 23-year-old delivered a petition of more than 114,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street.

Models should be given nutrition advice by doctors and regular check-ups to make sure no long-term damage is being done to organs if they choose to lose weight, said Ms Nelson.

On a 10-hour photo shoot, no food was provided as there was an “underlying message that you shouldn’t eat,” she wrote in the petition.

Ms Nelson added: “It makes you feel horrible about yourself, knowing that you’re not OK the way you are. I felt really bad about myself. My body didn’t look good. I didn’t feel good about myself.”

“The reality of it is I am healthy the way I am, and if they can’t accept that, then it’s their loss,” she continued.

The petition was followed by an inquiry with industry professionals at Westminster, attended by plus-size model Hayley Hasselhoff, daughter of US actor David Hasselhoff, and MP Caroline Nokes.

Earlier this year, MPs in France voted to make it a criminal offence to hire undernourished models, punishable by hefty fines or even six-month prison sentences.


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