Professional models have a great deal of pressure and expectations on their shoulders, and not all of them cope in healthy ways. Some give in to addictions and substance abuse, while others develop eating disorders due to low self image. Eating disorders are perhaps the most commonly known mental condition that professional models struggle with because the weight requirements in their profession are so stringent. Some of the more common eating disorders that professional models struggle with are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.
Anorexia is a condition that involves withholding food. A person with anorexia denies themselves essential calories in order to avoid weight gain. Anorexia develops for a number of reasons that result in the individual always feeling too overweight. It is not hard to imagine why professional models are prone to this condition. Designers, managers, agents and photographers can be very critical of a professional model’s figure to the point that they are struggling mentally because of it.
Bulimia is another type of eating disorder in which the individual purges what they eat. Anything more than a few bites of light food will send them straight to the bathroom to throw up. A person with bulimia will often try to keep up the appearance of being healthy by eating large quantities and portions, but as soon as no one is around they will take the first opportunity they can to vomit the food back up. This disorder is also caused by a low perception of one’s weight.
Binge eating disorder is a condition that is characterized by periods of compulsive overeating. Unlike bulimia, binge eating disorder does not involve purging. Instead, a person may go for long periods eating small amounts, but when something triggers their condition, such as a stressful life event, they attempt to cope with maniacal overeating. Their binge habit is like a security blanket and when they cannot deal with the world, they gorge themselves with food to hide from it. Binge eating disorders occur in many people who had food withheld from them as children.