1. Katy and Maria Campbell: Twins and trained doctors who compete with each other in a very unhealthy way
Maria and Katy Campbell, identical twins, can recall the life-changing statement their father made, that would forever alter the course of their lives. They were only 11 years old, when they overheard their father tell their mother, “Gosh, those girls are becoming young women, aren’t they? They’re getting hips.”
The twins, now 33 years old, decided that very day to stop eating in order to lose their blossoming hips…
Maria and Katy have spent the last 20 years of their lives, attempting to “punish” their parents for the remark their father made, so many years ago. Obviously, these women have severe mental issues along with their anorexia.
The twins have preternaturally childish bodies and voices. The illness causes their hair to fall out in clumps. Maria is 5’5” and weighs 87lbs and her sister, Katy is the same height, but weighs 70lbs. Neither twin has even started their period yet, because their body weight was never enough to support one.
The twins say they feel like the anorexia has imprisoned them and they are absolutely sick of the situation they are in.
Katy states, ‘I can’t walk any more. My back hurts, my heartbeat is irregular, I’ve got osteoporosis, chronic gastric pain and pancreatitis. I’m on diuretics because my kidneys don’t work.
‘At secondary school, at 11, we were all weighed in PE class,’ recalls Katy. ‘There was another set of identical twins who weighed less than us. They were prettier and popular, and Maria and I felt insecure.’
‘Katy and I also began to resent Mum because she was so slim,’ says Maria. ‘We looked up to her as a role model and felt we came up short.’
‘Maria started keeping a food diary and would jot down everything we ate, our weight and how much exercise we’d done. We started skipping breakfast and exercising fanatically, doing 50 lengths of the pool in the morning and gymnastics after school.
‘We had a system where we’d starve ourselves for six days, only eating 400 calories precisely a day — ten pieces of pic ’n’ mix, an orange, a banana and a diet cola,’ says Katy. ‘Then, on the final day, we’d eat anything and everything we could get our hands on — bread, pasta, crisps, cakes.’
‘When we were 15, Mum noticed we were losing weight, but we brushed her off. She began to sit with us during supper — but one of us would distract her while the other put food up their sleeves.’
Despite the illness, both girls gained excellent grades at GCSE and A-level and were accepted into medical school at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
Maria explains: ‘We were having just one cup of coffee and a packet of chocolate buttons a day, and Katy had lost a lot of weight. So we were called in and told that she would have to go to hospital to recover.
‘I remember one of the doctors saying they had noticed I had lost weight, too, but that my weight loss wasn’t quite as bad as Katy’s.
‘Rather than be relieved, I thought: “No one is going to say that Katy is better than me at something.” It was a trigger for me losing another 2st.’
Because of this deadly competitive streak, the girls were sent to different hospitals in London in the hope they would not be able to encourage each other’s weight loss.
‘We were force-fed 3,000 calories a day through tubes,’ says Maria. ‘We were not allowed any contact with each other, but we got around that by writing letters under pseudonyms and getting friends to pass them on. We also managed to get hold of mobile phones and hid them in cupboards.
‘It was the first time I had been apart from Katy and we were both in pieces. It’s hard enough being forced to eat, but I hated being without my sister.
Incredibly, they both graduated from medical school in 2009 and are now qualified doctors.
While Katy has never had a job — a fact that she describes as ‘mortifying’ — Maria left her first job as a doctor in a care home after six months.
They now share a flat in Finchley, North London, and their parents support them — though it is clear from their sparse living arrangements that money is tight.
‘Neither of us has ever had a boyfriend,’ says Maria. ‘The illness has always got in the way.
‘We’ve never had the opportunity to go out and meet men, let alone date them. It’s something that both Katy and I are very sad about.’
‘I want a husband. I want fertility. I want my bones and my hair — and it’s not too late. I know people who are still ill with this horrible disease in their 50s, and I’m determined that will not be me. I am 100% ready to change this time.’
2. Rebecca Jones: Anorexic mom who wears the same size clothes as her 7 year old daughter
At first glance they might be sisters, but look again at this startling picture. They are, in fact, a 26-year-old mother and her daughter. After suffering from anorexia for half her life, Rebecca Jones weighs 70 lbs and is 5’1”. Her daughter actually weighs more than her.
Rebecca is a medical secretary and eats only soup, toast, and energy drinks. She encourages her 7 year old daughter, Maisy, to eat lots of chocolate and cupcakes; both are unhealthy, but just at different ends of the spectrum.
‘Wearing the same clothes as Maisy gives me a sense of pride. It’s wrong, but it makes me feel good. I don’t think I’m thin – I always see myself as bigger.’
She met Maisy’s father when she was 19 and studying at Manchester University. She had assumed her anorexia had left her infertile and had no idea she was expecting until she felt a kick. A scan revealed she was 26 weeks pregnant.
Doctors urged her to eat chicken for protein and take vitamin pills to help her baby, but her stomach wasn’t used to them. ‘My boyfriend tried to tempt me to eat, but my stomach was so used to eating tiny amounts, proper food made me feel sick,’ Miss Jones said.
As a result she survived on a diet of bread and beetroot during pregnancy and put on only 7lb during that time. Nevertheless, Maisy was born healthy, but small at 5lb 7oz, and her mother couldn’t produce milk to feed her.
After splitting with her partner, Miss Jones went on to a virtually liquid diet which took her weight down to 70 lbs.
‘I picked up one of Maisy’s skirts and it fitted perfectly,’ she said. ‘Maisy is 4ft 5in and wears a children’s size 9-11. We share tops and jeans.’
Now her daughter’s weight has overtaken her as she enjoys cakes, chips and pizza. ‘It’s wonderful to see her enjoying cakes,’ said Jones. ‘I’ve told her I have an eating disorder and she knows it’s a bad thing. ‘And if she wants chocolate, I say yes – I don’t want to deny her food.’ She admitted that Maisy worried about her mother’s weight and would try unsuccessfully to get her to share portions of cake.
Doctors have warned her she is at risk of a fatal heart attack if she does not put on weight.
‘I’m terrified I won’t see Maisy grow up,’ she said. ‘I’d love to eat – I can think of nothing nicer than going out for lunch with Maisy, but I can’t.’
3. Eliana Ramos and Luisel Ramos (Deceased) - Uruguayan sisters and models both died of anorexia 6 months apart
The fashion world reeled over the death of Eliana Ramos, Uruguayan model – just six months after her model sister, Luisel Ramos, 22, died shortly after stepping off a runway during a fashion show in Montevideo.
The sisters were supposed to appear alongside each other on the catwalk the night Luisel died, but she collapsed before the show’s finale.
Miss Eliana, 18, was found dead in her home in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, on Tuesday. While no medical report was immediately released after Eliana’s death, Judge Roberto Timbal says that she died of a heart attack.
4. Kate Puncher: Beat anorexia to fit into her wedding gown
Anorexic bride-to-be Kate Puncher overcame her disorder after her fiancé bought her a wedding dress two sizes too big and told her to put on weight to fit it. The ex-model developed the condition after an ex-boyfriend threatened to break up with her if she put on weight, she claimed. She hit 56 lbs at one stage, surviving on nothing but mints and using laxatives.
She was told the damage done to her body meant she would never be able to have children. But when she became engaged to firefighter Barry, 30, he told her to start eating or there would be no wedding.
‘The thought of putting on weight was terrifying but I was prepared to do anything to be Barry’s wife,’ the 31-year-old said.
She began eating three meals a day to put 42 lbs on her frail frame and was even too big for her dress at the final fitting. The couple, from Glasgow, married in Cuba in 2009 and Mrs. Puncher has since given birth to a daughter.
5. Maggie Baumann: Mom who stuffered pregorexia
While most expectant mothers marvel at the site of their growing baby bumps, Maggie Baumann says she was horrified. “As my stomach began to grow, I remember being in the shower and my bump was sticking out and I looked down at my body and I thought, ‘I don’t even want to be in this body,’” said Baumann.
Baumann, a 48-year-old mother of two, says she struggled with an eating disorder during her pregnancies, a condition sometimes referred to as pregorexia. “I wasn’t even thinking about the baby,” said Baumann of her first daughter, Christine, who is now 23.
Baumann, who lives in Laguna Niguel, CA, struggled with anorexia since her high school years, but that it worsened after she got married and began having children. “I feared my pregnancy,” said Baumann, who gained a normal 33 pounds during her first pregnancy. “I refused to buy maternity clothes and our neighbors didn’t even know I was pregnant until the ninth month. I hid it well.”
Baumann says that it was during her second pregnancy when she gained a measly 3 pounds that she saw her anorexia worsen. She began over-exercising to try and quell her growing belly. An hour and a half of cardio — running, biking and even volleyball — was typical for her up until she gave birth. Even when Baumann almost miscarried Whitney at the beginning of her pregnancy, cutting out exercise and increasing her daily caloric intake was not an option.
Finally suffering from chest pain, Baumann went to the emergency room and after doctors told her that her organs were failing, checked into an in-patient treatment center in Arizona. Today, Baumann maintains a healthy weight and lifestyle and is proud that both her daughters live similarly healthy lives.
6. Ana Carolina Reston (Deceased) - Brazilian Model
Ana Carolina Reston was a Brazilian model who died of anorexia in November of 2006 at the age of twenty-one. In her case, her beauty was her “source of power”.
When she was a child, her family’s savings were stolen, and suddenly she felt that she was responsible for helping her family out. After winning a small beauty contest in her hometown of Jundai she began to model and her career took off.
Some could argue that there is nothing she wouldn’t do for her career to be successful, and many speculate this is how her weight loss spiraled out of control. For Reston, looking thin and achieving an ideal body type was a small price to pay to be successful. She died November 15, 2006 after kidney failure due to anorexia. She was 5’8” and weighed 88 lbs.
Excerpts from an article about her:
…it was on 14 November that she finally crossed over from being a successful catwalk model to appearing on the cover of every magazine and newspaper in Brazil, and making headlines around the globe. Not for her modelling, but for her agonizing death, attributed to ‘complications arising from anorexia’.
…Reston was, at just over 5ft 6in, too short. But she wouldn’t be put off; she altered her height on her publicity shots and claimed she was just over 5ft 7in. And she seemed to get away with it. In July 2003, after four successful years at Ford, she signed to Elite, one of the biggest agencies in Brazil, a move which catapulted her from teenage wannabe to serious model.
…No one can pin an exact date on when she began to suffer from anorexia, one former booker, who refuses to be named, believes that it was Reston was 18…like so many other teenage models, travelled unaccompanied by either a personal friend or family member, someone who could help her negotiate a way through the lonely castings, where personal criticism came as standard.
…’She arrived in China,’ explains a booker, ‘and the guys looked at her and said, “You’re fat.” She took this very personally.’
…Back in Brazil, Reston’s descent into anorexia became all too obvious. When Laura Ancona, a journalist at the Brazilian fashion magazine Quem, befriended Reston towards the end of 2004, she sensed immediately that something was wrong. Reston, she says, only ever drank fruit juice, and after her death was found to have survived on a diet of apples and tomatoes. As Ancona recalls: ‘She said, “I can’t eat any more.” She told me she tried to eat but felt like vomiting. She knew she had a problem, but didn’t know what she was suffering from. I think I was the first person to explain it to her - I knew she was anorexic, because someone in my family had suffered in the same way.’
…According to Ancona, Reston’s condition was common knowledge. ‘Everyone knew she was ill,’ she says.
…In August 2005 Reston called her employers at the Elite fashion agency and told them she was leaving - she had received an offer from an agent to work in Mexico. They urged her to stay, arguing that the Mexican modelling market required voluptuous girls, whereas Reston was now an increasingly skinny model. ‘She wasn’t listening to anyone any more,’ says her former booker.
…In Mexico things went from bad to worse. On her second day there Reston emailed home that she was sharing an apartment with 17 other models and was very unhappy. Other Brazilian models who bumped into an increasingly miserable-looking Reston at castings began to worry about her emotional state. One of them, Cynthia, left a note for her: ‘Girlie, we’re very worried about you. Please come out with us or stay at home and eat something - eat whatever you want, OK?’
…Reston was admitted to the Samaritano Hospital in Sao Paulo and two days later, on 25 October, she was moved to the Hospital Municipal dos Servidores Publicos, where almost immediately she was admitted to the intensive care unit, where she spent her last 21 days. Her demise was agonising, a plastic tube inserted down her throat, unable to tell anyone how she felt, although the tears in her eyes must have made that pretty obvious. Patches of her once long brown hair had fallen out, too. Her death certificate, for which relatives paid around 50p, cites her time of death as 7.10am and lists the cause of death as ‘multiple organ failure, septicaemia, urinary infection’. Coldly it adds: ‘Leaves no children. Leaves no property. Leaves no will.’
7. Ann Ward - America’s Next Top Model Winner
Ann Ward is 6’2” and all that sources say about her weight is that she is less than 100 lbs. She claims this is just her natural weight, but after seeing all these stories about anorexia it makes me wonder. Especially, with the modelling scene, where they push these girls to be SUPER thin, but it is taboo to have an eating disorder. It steers the girls in to having anorexia, but having no one to talk to about it. Ann appears dangerously thin and if she is hiding an eating disorder, I can only wish her the best. If she isn’t, then I am sorry for making the assumption. Below is an article that talks more about Ann and her weight.
(CBS) Tyra Banks has said she wants her hit show “America’s Next Top Model” to respect all types of beauty. Wednesday, the program held true to that philosophy by crowning 19-year-old Ann Ward, a strikingly thin, 6’2” model, it’s winner.
Images of Ward’s unusually tiny waist - small enough for a man to fit his hands around - shocked fans of the show earlier this year.
On the program, Ward said she was bullied for her body in school: “All those comments about being tall and just not normal. They’re going to look back and feel ‘I should have been so nice to that girl.’”
Whether or not Ward is naturally thin, some eating disorder experts worry when bodies like hers are held up as a paragon of beauty.
“I don’t know what this model is doing, but some of my clients are as skinny as these girls,” says Marisa Sherry, a New York-based nutritionist specializing in eating disorders. “My clients are restricting or purging in order to get their bodies that way.”
Sherry says unrealistic fashion images on television, magazines and the Internet are having a negative effect on her clients. She did not single out America’s Next Top Model.
As many as 10 million Americans are now struggling with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, according to the National Eating Disorder Association.
In the past, America’s Next Top Model has elevated plus-sized models like Tocara and Whitney Thompson. Tyra Banks herself has been ridiculed for being both too thin (as a child) and too heavy (as a talk show host).
Ward walks away with a modeling contract, $100,000 to promote Cover Girl cosmetics and a spread in Italian Vogue.
8. Stephanie Naumoska - Australia’s Miss Universe Contestant
Stephanie is like Ann; she is a model who claims she doesn’t have an eating disorder, but her body says otherwise. Stephanie is 5’11” and weighs 118 lbs. She is shorter and weighs more than Ann, but she still appears dangerously thin. Below is an article that talks more about Stephanie and her weight.
She was hoping to represent her country in the Miss Universe contest, and she certainly had a figure that turned heads.
Unfortunately for Stephanie Naumoska, and to the consternation of health experts, it was for all the wrong reasons.
Critics said the 19-year-old was just skin and bone. With her 31-25-35 measurements she seemed to have trouble filling her already skimpy bikini as she paraded before the judges at the Australian finals of the pageant in Sydney.
She was tall enough - at 5ft 10in - to be the perfect height for a model but what has alarmed health experts is her weight.
She weighs only 7st 7lb (118 lbs) and has a Body Mass Index of 15.1 - and that, by World Health Organization standards, means she is malnourished.
Her BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.9 to fall into the ‘average’ category.
When the pageant organizers were asked why they had allowed Miss Naumoska to parade before the cameras when her ribs and pelvic bones could be seen protruding alarmingly, an official reply was that her look was all to do with her heritage.
‘She’s Macedonian,’ said one official.
But a spectator at the event at the Hilton Hotel commented: ‘Side on, if you didn’t look carefully enough, you could miss her - she was that thin.’
Dieticians urged the Sydney model to seek urgent medical attention because she was dangerously underweight.
Carmel Tebutt, the acting premier of New South Wales, said that allowing her to enter the contest when she looked so disturbingly thin sent the wrong message to young women who looked up to glamorous models.
‘The main thing is to encourage girls and young women to put health before thinking about trying to fit into a particular type of body image,’ she said.
The Australian Medical Association called on pageant organizers to impose a minimum Body Mass Index of 20. But officials said too much emphasis was being placed on Miss Naumoska’s lifestyle rather than her ethnic background.
Deborah Miller, director of the contest, said the model blamed her Macedonian heritage for her thin appearance.
‘The women do have long, lithe bodies and small bones,’ she said. ‘It’s their body type, just as Asian girls tend to be rather small.
‘She doesn’t have an eating disorder or anything like that. There’s nothing wrong with her.’
But nutritionist Susie Burrell said: ‘Macedonian body? I’ve not seen anything like that anywhere to support that.
‘What I see in the photos is muscle wastage on the upper arm and legs.’
Miss Naumoska was beaten in the final by 21-year-old TV presenter and model Rachel Finch, who at 5ft 9in and measuring 34-24-34 appeared to have just a little more flesh than her skinny rival.