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Death of Anorexic Model Opens Dialogue

Alison Alhamed | July 10, 2011 | 11:47 PM
Like many, I took time off for the holidays and have taken a much needed break from my busy full-time job with the magazine and hung up my "student hat" as my academy is closed for the week... and I've definitely reacquainted myself with the wonderful people in my life that I've had to put on "pause" this year.

In addition to catching up with friends and family, I've also, shamefully, reacquainted myself with the couch and the TV. Today, watching E! News, I first heard of the death of 28-year-old Isabelle Caro--a french model who was on the front lines battling anorexia. Isabelle struggled with the debilitating disease since she was 13 and, despite being so public with her determination to combat anorexia, she died never fully overcoming the disease.

After hearing the news, I did a little bit of research on Isabelle and am just so saddened by the news of her death. She was frighteningly thin, emaciated and ill--but she wasn't shy to go public with the life-threatening disease. In fact, in a very public campaign, she posed nude on a billboard to show how disturbing and sick anorexia is.

In an interview with Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves for VH1's "The Price of Beauty," Isabelle said she, at one point, was down to weighing just 59 pounds, after being told by a designer that she needed to lose more weight when she weighed 86 pounds. Though recently the fashion industry has certainly addressed the too-skinny bodies featured on runways, the death of Isabelle Caro will no doubt shine a negative light on the fashion industry's perception on body size and image.
 
As the beauty industry is very closely related to the fashion industry, I feel compelled to write a quick something about the sad news. I write this blog at home in my pajamas recovering from the flu to just sort of get everyone thinking about Isabelle and the real meaning of beauty and what power you, as hairdressers, have to make the clients in your chair feel beautiful--regardless of dress size, skin color, height or weight, whatever... every day you are given the opportunity to change peoples' lives ... you can make people beautiful with the snip of a shear, the brush of color, the right consultation or scalp massage... YOU have the ability to touch people, change lives and make people feel and look beautiful.

With New Year resolutions right around the corner, it can be easy to fall into the trap of vowing to lose weight, promising to go to the gym more, etc... but this time of year I ask you to think about what's REALLY important in life... and that's spending time with friends, family and the things in life that TRULY matter.

**photo in caption by Andreas Solaro AFP Getty Images
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